We’ve been a little lax about preparing for Hayden to go college.
I’d love to blame it on her being our first born, and how new we are at this whole college thing, how we don’t have any idea what we are doing or supposed to be doing, so we have naturally fallen a little behind, but I think it may have something more to do with the fact that she is only SIXTEEN years old and still my BABY.
Denial. De. Ni. Al.
I mean, it’s not like we haven’t seen it approaching. She was a junior last year and she did all the junior year milestoney things that juniors do in their junior years: she went to the prom, she took her SATs, she got her braces removed from her teeth. For the past year we’ve made impromtu stops at various schools; driving around the campuses to check them out, engaging in conversations about whether or not they are located in areas that she can see herself living. We’ve attended college nights and a couple of open houses. We’ve added terms to our vocabularies.
Common Application. FASFA. Admissions Requirements. Student loans vs. parental responsibility. Financial aid. Merit Scholarships.
We’ve added those terms, but, beyond that, we have ignored them, more or less, completely. Those are things we have to worry about in the upcoming months. Not this month. Never this month.
Denial came up and slapped me in the face today.
We’ve had a couple of college visits this week. Real, actual, college visits with deadline discussions and personal tours where I found myself asking a thousand questions about the schools and the buildings and the programs and the meal plans…when all I was truly needing to know is how they plan to take care of my little girl; how am I ever going to be able to leave her on her own?
This is it. In twenty-nine days Hayden starts her senior year of high school, and we begin the countdown, the last year of having her home with us, safely under our roof, every night. I’m simultaneously so excited for her and sad for me (and Steve, and Anna). I know this is her time to soar, to go out and make her mark on the world, and I truly can’t wait to watch who she becomes, but I am SO NOT READY to let go of her.
I know we aren’t the first or the only ones to ever go through all of this. I know it is normal and necessary. And, I even know we will find ourselves on the other side of it someday, but damn if it doesn’t still suck now.