With the days of Summer quickly fading, the doll has been preparing her entrance into Tenth grade (finally reading the required pages for her AP history class), next Monday, while her brother is trying not to think too much about his departure to college; the following Friday. Meanwhile, Mom and dad aren’t sure if they’re happy, sad or ready for the boy to act like an adult and be out on his own.
Maybe a little of all three.
I’ve been reminiscing lately, about the boy’s first day of preschool. After I dropped him off, I came home, put the doll down for a nap, then walked into my kitchen and jumped up and down with joy, excited I had two whole hours to myself. “I don’t think I’ll behave that way when we drop him off and leave.” I tell folks all the time only to hear their reassurances that I won’t be. But, every single time I expect myself to behave one way-concerning this child, my reactions are usually the opposite. It’s almost as if I’m trying to keep a stiff upper lip against my own vulnerability.
On Saturday, the boy and I took a trip to the laundramat so he could wash his new sheets, comforter and towels, for his dorm room. While waiting for the his blankets to dry, I asked him, “Are you ready to make this big step?” “I think so…” He replied without much inflection. “What are you excited about?” I asked. He thought for a moment and then said, “I’m excited to play Dungeons and Dragons with people who know how to play”.
I bet you can imagine, the look I gave him in return.
“I mean I’m really excited to play a true game,” He added. “Bay…” I replied and he smiled and then added, “I’m excited for my classes, though I’m worried Journalism will be different than I thought. “How so?” I wondered. “Less print, more radio/podcast stuff,” He explained. “Well, unfortunately, that’s the wave of our future,” I replied and he nodded. “Some of my favorite news sources have been in podcast formats. I’m just not sure what to do…” he said. “Well bay, here’s the great thing, if you meet your professors and talk over your plans, or have questions or anything concerning the class, you get brownie points. The teacher sees you’re willing to do your best, so they’ll give you some leeway and maybe even some pointers to move you along,” I explained. “I never know what questions to ask though,” He returned, stumbling. “Trust me bay, so long as you meet with the professor/teacher about your work, they will help steer you in the right direction. They do not want you to fail, they will be willing to help you succeed,” I tried to reinforce.
“Besides Journalism, what else are you worried about?” I asked, checking the dryer clock for time. “That I’ll oversleep all my classes, that I won’t have the reinforcements I have at home…” “Reinforcements?” I asked puzzled. “You know, you and dad, to keep me in check,” He explained adding, “I’m worried I won’t follow through and fill out the right stuff for future scholarships…” “Sounds to me like you’re afraid of being a grown up,” I said. “Mom, that’s not….” He began but I interrupted him, “Bay, guess what? These are all perfectly normal worries. Heck, I don’t want to be a grown up most of the time, how can I expect you to want to be? But here’s the thing, since you’re paying for school–that’s an incentive to attend your classes, plus between the mentor and the first year seminar, and guidance counselors, I think they’ve got you pretty well covered. Plus, you know, your dad and I are only a text or phone call away…and we both, will always have your back…” I said hoping to convince.
Just then the dryer buzzer sounded and our conversation came to an end.
So today, he continues moving one step closer to college, to hope, some fear and probably a few jumps for joy that his mother will be out of his hair–at least a little while.