Something close to 30 years ago, I was named a National Merit Semifinalist. When I took the PSAT, I literally snorted at the idea that I could ever score high enough to qualify for the scholarship program. Little did I know. I went on to win a four-year corporate-sponsored scholarship, and that money made a huge difference in my life.
(I would also like to note that I never failed to thank the sponsor of that scholarship, and gentleman that he was, the sponsor responded each year to my letter of thanks. I still have those letters.)
So it was that I learned to my extreme excitement that the son has been named a 2011 National Merit Semifinalist. I know that others like to pat the parents on the back, but I don't take any credit for this (well, maybe a bit for the genes). We might have set the wheels in motion back in the day, enforcing rules on homework and organization, but this...this is all the son. Other than occasionally checking in with him, I leave him to his own devices. He knows what success takes and he likes to be successful. But it did raise a question with the spouse and I, leaving us to wonder how often this is accomplished by a second generation.
We are proud of him, of course. But amusingly, I am really just giddy over the whole thing. It's just so cool!
Go listen to some good music: "Chain Lightning" from the album Presto by Rush. Predictor of future success? Guarantor of admission to college of choice? Heck, no. But a tidy little achievement that is his, all his. Of course, now NO ONE believes that he's never taken an SAT review course, but he hasn't. And I should know.