Will our son get accepted to his first choice? Will any college want him? How far away will he go?
The answers to the first two questions are easy: 1. Eff you Stanford, and 2. Yes, of course, so eff you, Stanford.
The response to the third remains to be seen and, as a result, brings the kind of purgatory which is more religious in nature: "a state of punishment" where you are made "more pure through suffering". This suffering has nothing to do with the endless applications or SAT scores. This suffering, which is never allowed to spill over to the surface but instead must simmer silently, is brought on by the most unnatural thing you will ever do: letting go of that which you want to hold on to most tightly, your son or daughter.
Our son was the ugliest newborn. Ever. His skin was a titian tint, from a liver that definitely needed a few more weeks in the uterine cooker. He was so skinny that my friend revealed to me, thankfully not at the time but years later, that she secretly went to her mom in a panic over his plucked-chicken appearance. Making his scrawniness even more glaring was his gigantic head, an infantile Mardi-Gras float if there ever was one.
But it didn't matter. Like the episode of the "Partridge Family" where Keith Partridge thinks the discordant girl he is smitten with is the best singer in the world, we fell in love. Instantly.
And as he grew, physically and emotionally, we were not only in love, but my husband and I realized we really like this kid. Then we were blessed to add his little brother to this mix who, we truly didn't think possible, we love and like just as much.
Now, like the Partridge Family, we have a group that really works together, and the truth is we are not ready to let our first born off our multi-color familial bus. But we know that we don't have a choice. Our son has expressed -- both outwardly and through a natural, emotional distancing -- that he's ready for a solo career.
So, we wait. And together my husband and I keep our fingers crossed that when all the college decisions are in that we only need to drive this bus far enough away that everyone is left singing "C'mon Get Happy".