“Are you applying to any schools out of state?”, the college counselor had the nerve to ask my son! The bitch was downright provoking me. How dare she speak to him like that. Clearly I was gonna’ have to manage my personal emotions so my son could best benefit from this one-time meeting. We had decided to talk to a college counselor just to help him create a realistic list of schools. And even though I knew the best university for him might be far away, I was anxious about that, to say the least.
Why was I so hot in the kitchen that day? The a/c was on and I was wearing shorts and a t-shirt. Unconsciously I pressed my wrists against a glass of ice water for relief. Warm images of carefree family dinners at this same table, a fading memory. Even the usually comforting aroma of the morning coffee smelled a bit off. A water droplet on the table glistened. The late morning sun beat through the window. Did I mention it was hot? Ah, 50.
A college book sat lazily open in front of my son, and with pencil in hand, he started to answer, unaware how the pages in that book taunted me. Surely he wouldn’t disappoint. I smiled at my innocent boy, in my mind’s eye still seven, Spiderman outfit and all.
Today he wore his armor. The weathered Mets hat had seen a lot of action over the years. Like that morning after he came home from a party in tenth grade after drinking too much and knew we needed to talk. He was always a good boy. He took responsibility. We didn’t punish him. He had learned his own lesson. Surely that sort of parenting through the challenging times would pay me back in spades. We always handled the pitfalls of the teen years with a deft touch and hadn’t pushed him to want to flee like those other parents, right?
But then his biting response. “Yes,” he replied. “I want to experience something new. It’s time to get out of here.”
Mother fucker… here we go again…
I can’t believe the amount of time it takes to fill out college applications - especially all those horrible thought provoking essays! It was hard enough dealing with this when my daughter went to college but now my son? My baby!
Do you know what this means? Do you realize the implications? It means my husband and I will be empty nesters! That’s right… before we know it they’ll both be out of the house. People who’ve been through it already say you really do get used to it. And I know that’s true.
I never thought I’d get used to my daughter being halfway across the country and as much as I miss her I really did find a new normal. We still talk, and confide and laugh. And I know there will be a new normal after my son goes to school as well.
I’m excited for him, but I also know how much I’ll miss him. And as if just knowing this isn’t bad enough, people are constantly talking about it. And asking him completely rude and inappropriate questions like Aren’t you excited to leave? I’m trying to keep it all together but when you’re used to being a helicopter parent that’s no easy task!
I’m trying not to scream all the things I’m thinking at the top of my lungs. I’m trying to hold onto every second because before I know it, he’ll no longer be living in my house.
My husband and I will manage our time differently now that our kids won’t need us every second of the day. Though, truth be told, I’m slightly concerned that since my son won’t be here for batting practice, I’m gonna’ find myself in the cage fighting off 80 mile-per-hour fastballs as my husband barks at me not to lift my front shoulder. Anticipating our new normal is a little scary but I’m pretty sure it will never get boring!
Anyone else handle their initial college conversations as professionally as I did?
I recently read a piece that Rob Lowe wrote about sending his son to college. Apparently, he was quite the Miserable Mom. Take a look at his take on the challenges that he faced. A great read.