We dropped our oldest child off at college yesterday. Since it was Labor Day I was reminded that, like labor, you can make all the plans you want but until the blessed event is happening to you, you have no idea what you are in for. It was sad, exciting and strange. I confess, I kept wanting to organize and arrange her space, as if my doing so would cast some magic maternal spell of a happy and easeful transition. But I couldn’t and we had to leave. During the convocation ceremony, the college president firmly, but kindly, reminded parents to “let go.” I can (I must, I will) because I deeply know, she’s got this.
I’ve stolen the phrase “You’ve got this” from the August 7th N.Y. Sunday Time “Vows” column featuring the marriage of two principal dancers from the New York City Ballet. Vows Column: 8/7/11 Like all “Vows” columns it traces the couple’s history, meeting, synergy, ambitions, evolving relationship and marital commitment. The woman, Megan Fairchild, reflects on the intensity of the ballet world. She states, “I started getting my first big roles with the company…I was picked to do this lead role in a new ballet. If I had been on my own, I would have freaked out. He (Andy Veyette) was right there not letting me stress out. There were no questions. He said, “You’ve got this.”…He’s very assured about himself and that has really helped me.”
I love this phrase. It’s assured, yet breezy, supportive, yet not overly psychoanalytical. It recognizes the mindful quality of understanding or getting, while equally emphasizing the actual physical capacity to hold, carry or get something. One of my main jobs as a coach is to let clients know when they have “got it”. After sessions of practice, discussion, clarification and reflection a well thought and presented speech is crafted. They are ready and when I say, (well I haven’t instituted this yet exactly, but I am going to), “You’ve got this” it is a joyful and deeply satisfying experience of confident readiness. My daughter has got this and so have I. More often than not, I bet you’ve got this, too.