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To my kidlings, in light of the college admissions scandal

To my amazing, incredible, so-totally-loved kidlings,

The recent college admissions kerfuffle that we’ve been hearing about  as gotten me thinking.

First off, I’m still in shock that Lori Loughlin was caught paying $500,000 to get her daughter into USC. Y’all grew up watching Full House, and I imagine that you, like me, might be wondering how much she paid to get Mary Kate and Ashley into the college of their choice. I looked into it, and it appears that she did nothing wrong as a television aunt, and that the twins got into NYU on their own merit, although they neglected to graduate. I’ll miss Loughlin being on the playlist for the Hallmark Christmas movies, but I’m confident that there are other actresses of a certain age to step into her stylish-yet-sensible shoes.

All kidding aside, I am so troubled by what these felonious parents have taught their kids. Not just that lying, cheating, and stealing are go-to ways to get what you want. No, I am more troubled about what these parents have taught their children about themselves. These children have been shown that they are not enough. No matter how  smart they are, or how hard they have worked, or how passionate they are about a hobby or a skill, their parents have taught them that they are not good enough to get anywhere worth going on their own. What a terrible thing to teach your own child!

Perhaps the kids felt a shimmer of relief when someone else walked into the SAT test impersonating them. Maybe there was a glint of admiration for the gumption it took to pretend to be a star water polo player while coming from a school that didn’t even have a water polo team. It’s possible that these kids even felt some pride for coming from a family with enough money to make their own rules. None of these things would have changed the core message. Their parents told them unequivocally that they were not good enough to do it on their own. These young people are marred and broken by that knowledge.

I want you each to know that your dad and I think that y’all are three of the best things we’ve ever done, and that you are wonderfully and fabulously enough. 

I remember the college searches with each of you. Perhaps it was Midwestern modesty, but none of you felt like you needed an Ivy League school to prove your worth. We looked at schools that seemed to be good matches for you because of what they had for you, not because of the name. We wanted for you to be at a place where we could help you graduate debt-free. Beyond that, you did it all. You took your own tests, the results of which were always a happy surprise for us. You interviewed and applied for scholarships and did all of the normal stuff, and you did well. You never needed bribes or lies, because you have always been good enough to be where you needed to be.

Each one of you is making your own path through life, and we are so very proud of you. Nothing can change that.

If you know nothing else about yourselves, please know that you are enough. You are good enough. You are kind enough, loving enough, smart enough, everything enough. We would never sell out your “enough-ness “ for as cheap a price as money.  We’ve not always been perfect parents, but if we’ve been able to teach you how beloved you are, then that is enough. 

As are you. 

With all of our love,
Mom and Dad