My oldest son is taking the PSATs right this minute. The past weeks, we’ve been talking about colleges and trying to narrow down his choices. It’s all been interesting, and an eye-opener.
I learned a few things.
Apparently, you don’t just choose some big name college. You look at the program of your choice, and then narrow down the colleges that offer it. So basically, you choose a college based on the program, not the reputation.
I got an eye-roll with this one: “College isn’t just for studying!” So when I said, “Harvard, Hopkins, Vanderbilt. In that order…” he said, “I want a life too. Didn’t you?” I disagreed quite vehemently. [And my college transcripts are locked in a vault somewhere. Ha!]
Also, the proximity to our house is not a factor for the boy. So yes, while he is truly grateful for the offer of our (entire!) basement, he thinks he will survive in some tiny college dorm room if he has to. And yes, he understands laundry could be a problem, but isn’t that why he’s been helping out with the laundry at home for the past several months?
And again, he understands that the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, is a great school as well, with the added benefit of being so close to home, and he certainly wouldn’t mind going there, but he hopes we would be even more understanding than we normally are and not mind that he wants to try to get into other schools as well. In other states.
So today, while my son is filling in his answer choices, it hit me how I only have a few more years left before he goes off to college. And while the hubby doesn’t get the tears I tried to wipe off before he could make fun of me, I knew I better take advantage of the remaining years my firstborn will be home.
So I cleaned the loft. And in addition to dusting and organizing, I tried to make it more comfortable. I changed the sheets on the futon, added a throw, and piled more pillows. All these because it’s October, and in the cold months, we spend a lot of time in the loft.
My desk is up here and my boys often wander upstairs when I’m busy writing. They like to bundle up on the futon and read or watch videos. They also love to snuggle with their dog and chat together, guards down and tongues loose. I learn so much when they think I’m concentrating on something else.
They also like to do their homework up here, sprawled on the floor, rays of sunlight beaming down on them through the skylights. It takes them twice the time to complete their work, but we’re in no hurry.
We set up a television up here. It’s where I like to watch movies, because it’s bright and sunny, unlike the basement. It’s where my boys watch movies—old favorites or home videos, with me.
It’s like nesting, only in reverse.
My son is full of ambition, and my husband and I are determined to help him navigate his way into a meaningful future.
And I suppose it’s only fair that the entire process should bring with it moments of melancholy, where I find myself longing for those long gone days of Mr. Rogers and Sesame Street, library and playground visits, and first milestones that were celebrated like someone won an Oscar.
I remember how I used to think diaper duty would never end. And then they did. And now there are too many emotions set adrift. And I’m paddling as fast as I can, but it’s all too overwhelming.