When we took Younger to Rolla to register for classes, he had to participate in math placement testing and parents had to be entertained in the interim. So, current students performed skits for the waiting parents, one of which suggested we not make any big changes in the house the first semester or so. The students still needed the safety and security of home being the same when they returned.
Which had me thinking back on a recent conversation with Elder . . .
“Since you will be staying in Columbia this summer,” I approached my oldest child carefully, “I think we may move Younger into the bathroom upstairs. You would have to share it on the weekends you are home.”
And Elder, who only visited once every three weeks or so the last two semesters, looked at me and sincerely pledged, “I plan to be home a lot this summer, Mom.”
Yeah, don’t make any significant changes the first semester.
Or the first year.
Or second or third . . .
Younger has been awaiting this day since kindergarten.
He perches on the edge of independence, testing his wings, checking the nest and its safety still remain behind him, gazing at the expanse and its possibilities spread before him.
While I resist the urge to stuff him deep into the recesses of the nest where he has no chance to fail but, therefore, no chance to succeed, either.
Life changes today. Yet stays the same.
Like every yesterday.
And every tomorrow.
Younger graduates next Thursday.
We finally received his graduation announcements Tuesday. So, I guess we have to decide if we will hand those out the day of the actual ceremony or save them for the party.
Missouri S & T expects Younger to prove he’s actually received his immunizations. But I can’t remember the name of the medical group we visited during his first year and apparently, only some physicians submit immunization records to the state database.
We received an email that Younger had to complete more forms and watch more videos for his summer job or his funding might be DELAYED. We have until tomorrow at noon. They sent the email yesterday. And he has finals this week.
I am grading essays from four college composition classes while preparing Blackboard for my summer classes. And I’m working a couple days a week at the local army installation.
Meanwhile, rain is in the forecast next Thursday. And, if it rains that Thursday night, we’ll get six tickets to somehow distribute between grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins, and friends. And three of the six tickets are for us — me, my husband, and Elder. I’m not good at math, but this does not appear to be adding up.
And I am realizing that I really can’t dig my heels into the ground and stop the world from spinning, so that next Thursday never comes.
Someone should have installed a set of brakes on this ride we call life.
Younger was sick and missed school on Monday. So, on Tuesday, as we drove to school, I told him, “Since you only have two weeks left, you should probably not miss any more days.”
“Wait. What?” His head turned towards me. “When is my last day?”
“Next Friday,” I responded, drily. “Less than two weeks.”
As odd as it sounds, considering he has always been in a hurry to finish each school year, he has never counted down the last few days. He always liked “to be surprised.”
“Oh.” He considered my information for a moment. “Then I should be studying for my statistics final.”
“Younger,” I chided, exasperated. “I have been telling you that you only have a few weeks left. Why is this a surprise?”
“I was ignoring you.”
At least he’s honest.
Maybe not the genius he claims to be.
This summer, Younger will work a forty-hour-a-week job. So far he has asked:
“Do I have to talk to people?”
“Can I wear shorts?”
“But it’ll be hot, why would I want to wear jeans?” (He’ll be in an air-conditioned office.)
“I have to be there at what time? And for how long?”
This is the life he has been awaiting since kindergarten.
“College,” he corrects me when I remind him of that fact. “I’ve been waiting for college.”
Now, I have a few questions . . .
I ordered Younger’s graduation announcements on February 12, the very first day the website offered them. And I still have not received them.
So, I contacted the local representative. After several emails, he could only tell me the announcements had been shipped.
So, I contacted the organization. And the lady assured me that the latest they would be shipped was May 13.
I took a breath and very calmly replied, “He graduates May 17. Please tell me you won’t wait until the 13th to ship the announcements.”
Uhhhh, well, we should probably expect them in two to three weeks.
I don’t yell at the little people. I’ve been the little people. Often, I still am the little people.
But one of these days I’m likely to strangle me a big people.
If I can ever find one.
A few days ago, Younger and I were sitting in the car in his high school’s parking lot when I smiled slightly, sadly, and said, “You’re almost done with this place, Younger.”
He was quiet for a long moment, staring at the brick building stretched before us. “It’s a lot sadder than I thought it would be.”
Yeah, I know.
I think we all want easy. Easy to love or easy to hate. Easy to keep or easy to discard. Easy to stay or easy to leave.
But most things have both sides. And we tend to focus on one until the other is the only side showing.
Then we know, really know, that nothing is ever easy.
Growing up is hard.
For all of us.