We aren’t even three weeks out of school yet and already I am feeling the pressure for next year.
Maybe it is the email blasts from the three schools. CRCT score pickup, Meet and Greet times, ACT Princeton Review courses, Hawksfest and parking decals. And, of course Emma isn’t really out of school as she is taking a PE course over the summer and is constantly doing the homework for it. She wears an electronic monitor that records her heart rate and then she downloads the information from her workouts into the computer. That information, along with the regular coursework (projects, tests) gets sent to her teacher. She is doing well, but she is a diligent student. There is also the fact that the course cost me $275 and I told her under no circumstances is she to get anything less than an A. I guess that may sound mean and tiger-ish, but if I have to pay out of pocket so she can stay in chorus during the school year, there was no other option. She had already decided that on her own though, to be honest.
We leave for North Carolina in a few weeks for Emma to take a tour of two universities there. She will begin taking the SAT and the ACT in earnest (meaning the scores will really count this time) in the fall. The PSAT is the real deal for her this year, and the potential to even be close to NMSQT could mean big things for college applications. AP scores come back in a few weeks, legalized gambling is what it is. Betting $90 now to exempt hundreds in tuition costs later. Lucy will begin the process in just two months to study at Yonsei University in Seoul, Korea next year, going through interviews and applications through the Comp Lit department, making sure to exhaust all scholarship opportunities. Abigail will be in high school, will most likely join the swim team, and thus begins the grades that will be recorded for every university to see. She’s got the PSAT too, but just for practice. Mollie will take the SAT or the ACT for the first time in late fall, early winter for practice and admission into Duke TIP. Lizzie will be in 5th grade, all of her ITBS and CogAT testing will be important as it determines her placement in middle school. Bennett will take standardized tests (whatever they are this year, since apparently CRCT is gone) and Mary will be at the beginning of it all, submitting to evaluations and placements.
*Calgon, take me away!*
These are the things swirling in my head, the things I think about constantly. Reevaluate. Speculate on. Retreat and try a different tactic if the situation warrants it. There is a certain anticipatory intensity associated with all of this, an underlying excitement and dread. Potential energy, if you will.
Potential energy that is currently lying on my couch watching useless reality shows because they swam a 2 hour, 6am practice this morning and they have another 2 hour practice this afternoon. Trying to get them to put all of this together is the hardest part. Understanding that what the left hand is doing, although completely separate from the right, is just as important. Swimming. Community service. Church activities. Schoolwork. Test scores and summer learning programs. They all go hand in hand, rungs of the ladder that they build themselves to climb to the top.
Sometimes I wonder if it is easier to focus on these practical things, the schedule, the grades, the scores, instead of the fact that the kids are growing up, up and away. Husband and I guide and nurture, answer questions and help them make decisions all so that they can eventually move away from us. I am excited for them, but sad for me at the same time.
Hopefully, hopefully … husband and I will reap what we’ve sown one day and be able to sit back and see them make a difference in the world or even in just one person’s life. Make something good happen for someone else. That and for them to be happy doing it, fulfilling their own dreams by helping others.