If you take it really seriously, parenthood is the most challenging job you’ll ever have. The hours are long and the pay stinks. It requires the most emotional investment and the greatest patience. And no matter how well you do it, there will always be that nagging little voice in your head wondering, “Should I have handled that differently?” But parenthood is also the most rewarding and important role you’ll ever play. And the good news is that we're all in this together...

Sunday, November 4, 2012


The essay is done, the common app is in, the transcripts and the letters of recommendation have all been sent – my daughter’s application for early decision into college is DONE! I thought we would both feel this huge sense of relief. And yet…

I do, actually, feel relief, even though I had relatively little input into the proceedings. My daughter owned this from the get-go. She knew where she wanted to apply, so little advice was needed there. And though she wanted to occasionally bounce ideas off me, asking me to read bits and pieces of the application and essay and offer ways to edit and trim, the whole process was totally self-generated. She didn’t want to talk about it unless she had some specific need or question. She said all the talk about college just ramped up the anxiety factor. Wisely, she avoided the subject with friends, too, trying hard not to buy into all the drama inherent in the process. Other teens have told me they always appreciate parents who don’t talk about the subject too often, dreading the onslaught of friends and family who keep asking, “So, where are you applying to college?”

But now that all is said and done for the moment, with the flurry of activity and focus behind her, relief in the accomplishment of surviving the application process is supplanted by feelings of helplessness – there is nothing more she can do at this point. Then there’s the anxiety of waiting. Me, I’m second guessing myself, wondering if I should have done more, been more proactive, suggested some ideas for fleshing out her supplemental material so that the admissions office would know every wonderful facet of what my child can offer their school…

December 15 can’t come soon enough.

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