Saturday I let Ashley sleep in after going to a (supervised) party and ran the errands and bought the groceries that day. I was loaded down with bags when I got back, but thinking she was still asleep I grabbed the mail with my teeth and cautiously made my way inside, where I found her on the couch awake.
"Need some help" she said with a laugh as she got up to take some bags without even being asked
"THNK Q" I said with a mouth full of mail before pulling it out of my mouth and looking through it and seeing a bright brochure "Why are you getting mail from Eastern Michigan University"
Ashley shrugged "They do that if you're on their mailing list. They were one of the schools that got my ACT scores."
"You got your ACT scores?!" I repeated
"They make you pick four colleges to send them to" She said nonchalantly as she put the groceries away "It's not like I'm getting in anyway. I got a 23."
Sometimes I wanted to slap the guidance counselor at her school. "No, that's good!" I reassured her. I actually had no idea if it was good or not. New York takes the SATs instead. I looked it up later and it's actually above average, but I wasn't going to NOT tell her it was good at the time. More importantly, it was more than good enough to get into the mid to low tier public universities in Michigan.
I opened the pamphlet booklet and sure enough in the back was an application. "You need to fill this out?"
"Do you really think I'll get in. Or can we even afford for me to go?"
"You'll get financial aid!" Said handing her the application and looking for a pen. I was sure about that. Kari has little income and savings and is a single mom. The federal government would give Ashely more than enough cash to afford a place like EMU. (Who are nicknamed the Eagles, missing the golden opportunity to be called the "Emus")
So that afternoon she and I sat at the table filling out not only the EMU application, but applications to Central Michigan, Western Michigan, and Wayne State. The whole time I had to keep from smiling from just how good and knowledgeable I've gotten about Kari's life as well as Ashley's. I was able to rattle off things like immunization history and allergies from forms I've filled out before.
I mailed those out earlier in this week, and they've given me a peace of mind. If all goes well Ashley will be college bound in a little over a year and set to make her own way in life. Now I'm a little less worried about the person who is going to take this life after me, knowing that she'll have a viable future.