I saw this coming so I can’t go around acting surprised. Yet, this production is all-consuming and daunting. My ability to focus on these tasks will have an effect on the outcome. Still, I am behind and am running hard to catch up. I have control in one piece of this process, and I cannot fuck up.
And, oh yeah. I am a single mother now, virtually unemployable and always under-employed, so my sons father and I are learning to work together through this project.
(Of course I have the dishwasher’s guts on the floor because I am replacing a valve in the water pump. I am my father’s daughter, and appliances always need attention when you are least likely to have the time. Figures…)
Man-children, four grades apart in school. One a senior, the other an 8th grader. Two Class of 2010 sets of issues. Shadow-visits. Interviews. Essays. Lots and lots of essays. To get each to the next level of their education requires a small army of experts.
My role is to advocate, point out those unique but often overlooked assets, and keep track of deadlines which are on different paths and make no sense when compared each to the other. I use color-coded files and spreadsheets. I exert parental authority by issuing edicts on when I need rough drafts.
Friends with daughters describe how well their girls take up the cause. There are still gender differences in regards to organizational skills and multi-tasking.
When you commit to prep school, there is no turning back. You do whatever you can, make whatever sacrifices you must in order to support your choice that school is more important than home ownership or more grad school for a parent or…vacations. I won’t be seeing Austria again for a while.
Is it worth it? What if you spend all this money, and your kid wants to be a carpenter? What if he ends up like his parents and devoted to some discipline of the performing arts, and can’t make a living on music alone?
The real goal is a lifelong passion for learning. A parent can’t get attached to a particular outcome. Faith is involved.