Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Confessions of a Parent of a Senior

When I started Mom's College Cram Course about two and a half years ago, the concept of college admissions was still theoretical.

Our daughter was finishing up freshman year and I wanted to start learning about what it takes to get into college today. The closer she has come to participation in the actual application process, the less eager I have been to write about it. Now it's personal.

There have been times recently when both daughter and husband seemed ready to do an intervention with me. As my teen said, "You are a good mom, but the college stuff is making you crazy." Or words to that effect.

As a friend pointed out, maybe it's just my way of dealing with the fact that our only child will be leaving the house in less than a year. It's easier to nag about college deadlines than it is to tackle the feeling of loss that will surely surface.

But meanwhile, the process must go on. Our teen is using some days off in September to get organized on what is needed for each school, to see which colleges recommend interviews, and to determine if she wants to look at a few more options. It will be a heady mix of Naviance, essay writing,logistics and old-fashioned soul-searching.

Meanwhile, the countdown on standardized testing begins. October, SAT. November, another subject test. And then, not another No.2 pencil exam till APs in the spring.

As for senior year, classes and teachers look good. That driving permit should be in her hands soon. Flute lessons start again tonight and she's happy about that.

And I have made our daughter one promise. I may not be able to help myself on some of the nagging from now till the end of the year. But I will let her alone second, even earlier. She can take her January midterms without my hassling and complete her last few months of secondary school without Mom annoying her.

I trust her to do the right thing, and always have. It's just that my ability to keep the faith has gotten a bit porous during the run-up to the application process. I've apologized on this issue before, and will likely do so again in the next several months.

But in truth, I know that all will be okay. That things will work out just fine. And that my temporary insanity will recede.

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