Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Conflictions

Excitement.  Amazement.  Overwhelmed.  Anxiety.
These are just a few of the emotions I’ve entertained this past week since we found out my son got accepted into an Ivy League school. 
When he first mentioned his desire to apply, I encouraged him.  What was I thinking?!  We don’t live any where near these schools!  While I knew he was bright and motivated, I knew it would be hard for him to get in.  In fact, I really didn’t think it would happen.  Prior to this week, we were working to decide between a couple of schools in Georgia where we live, for crying out loud
Of the five Ivy Leagues he applied to, he was wait listed for two, turned down for two, and accepted to one.
Now that one school has become the one.
Suddenly, I’m having to pull my head out of the sand making flight and hotel arrangements to some city I’ve never visited.  Heck, I haven’t even been to that state.
Now that the reality is settling in, I’ve been grappling with nearness of my impending empty nest.  Tears fighting for a chance to surface and a heaviness in my chest are ever present.
I’m not looking for pity.  Being accepted to an Ivy League school is the kind of stuff dreams are made of.  I’m proud of my son and I’m proud of myself for encouraging him to do his best.  Being a single mother wasn’t easy and I worried that I didn’t or couldn’t do enough.  Looking back, I think his independence thrived as a result.  So, hover mothers, write that lesson down for the books.
So, how did this happen so fast?  Is he going to be okay so far away from me?
As I gazed up to the sky, I noticed a young hawk coasting on the breeze.  Not far behind him was a larger hawk, presumably his mother. 
Like that hawk, I know the truth.  He is ready to fly.

52 comments:

Kristina P. said...

Seems like such a bittersweet time. You raised him well!

Jan said...

My two older kids live far, far away from me. It's been hard for me, personally, but I'm also proud because they are doing what they have to do and making it on their own. It's something that really should be the goal of every parent.

Now, having said that, would I just be pleased as punch if The Young One chose a nearby university and decided to live at home for another four years?

I would.

(((Beth)))

P.S. I've missed you, too!!

mo.stoneskin said...

And like the mummy hawk, you'll be flying behind him? Or is that me taking the analogy and destroying it? Either way, I'll bet that deep down you're proud. Right?

ChiTown Girl said...

Congratulations on a job well done! Your heart must be bursting with pride. Yeah, that's what that ache is...pride....

I've already shed a few tears thinking about my hawk flying the coup, and he's only a sophmore. I'll check back with you on the subject in a couple years. By then, you'll be an old pro at the empty nest thing.

K13 said...

What a sweet blog post!! I can only imagine all the thoughts and emotions you are experiencing. Exciting for both of you, yet bittersweet as well.

HUG!!!

I miss you!

Cristin said...

Awww... I'm proud of you guys!

My little one is shrieking her face off at the moment, fighting a much needed nap... but knowing how fast it whizzes by, that she'll be going off to college, like tomorrow, I'll enjoy the noise.

Michele said...

The first year is hardest on mother and son. I called every Sunday and my son had a hard time keeping his grades up. He appreciated my only calling once a week. It seems there are mothers out there that called their babies twice a day. Embarrassed their kids to no end.

insomniac ellen said...

Sounds just like my daughter letting go of her chick this past august. She became a mom at 16 and her son is now finishing up his first year at West Virgina University.

They are more like best friends, so it has been an interesting year of adjustment for them both.

You'll survive.

P.S.=we live in Philly, surrounded by Ivy League schools--but Main Line Boy chose WVU. Go figure.

sherri said...

Congratulations to you and your son! Well done!

Denise R. said...

Oh my.. I cant only imagine what you are feeling.. Well written, I feel proud of Mr Funny and at the same time scared.. I hope when i have children I one day fill this excitement/Amazement/Overwhelmed/ Anxiety feeling..

Good luck with everything.

SimplyDenisi <3

TechnoBabe said...

Great visual with the younger hawk and the "mother" hawk. My son used to call me "hawk eye" when I saw him doing things behind my back! And then he and I would laugh. Your son has had good training and preparation. I know you are happy for this chance he is being blessed with. He earned it and he will make you proud.

idgtm said...

He was motivated and independent enough to make it in. This wasn't handed to him, so he'll continue to work hard and succeed.

Everyday Goddess said...

It's great news, and very life changing.

Ain't life grand?

If you come to CT let me know!

Brian Miller said...

how very cool. congrats! he'll fly mom its what you have been working toward all his life. smiles.

lakeviewer said...

The greatest pleasure for a mom educator is to see her own flesh and blood accepted at such places! Good job, both of you.

SheilaC said...

Congrats to your son, that is quite an achievement!

You are experiencing now what I found to be the hardest part of motherhood.... letting go!

I knew that they were ready, and I knew that they would be fine.... it was ME I wasn't too sure about :)

HUGS!
SheilaC

only a movie said...

Wow Beth, Congratulations to you both. How exciting!

Wondering what state it's in, and if it is close by... ;-)

Maureen@IslandRoar said...

Oh, this gave me a chill! First of all, congrats to you and your son, you proud and wonderful mama!
I know how you feel about him going though; boy do I know.
But what a wonderful journey you're both starting on. It'll be more than okay, Beth. You've done real good! Now he flies.

sAm said...

Congratulations to your son! And I'm glad to know there is hope for a hover mom such as myself (it's too weird - I used that expression just today at lunch with friends!). Oh...and I have to tell you this story. I work at a school that has the same name as an Ivy League Univ. When I tell people I work at (nameofschool) they sometimes assume the University. Sometimes I don't correct them.

Kathy's Klothesline said...

How wonderful for you both. You must be a great mom!

Herding Cats said...

You are such a good mom - a mix of worry & concern yet still pushing him out of the nest. He'll be happy, he'll grow A LOT as a person, and he will come home to you so appreciative of all you do for him :)

Joanna Jenkins said...

What an accomplishment-- for your son and YOU. Ivy League -is big!

Tank gawd for Skype and cell phones-- they'll make the distance easier.

jj

Candice said...

Very bitter sweet for you I'm sure.

Just know that you've raised him right, and he is prepared to face the world. He won't be alone. You will always be there no matter how many miles are between you.

Congrats to your boy!!

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

Oh Beth, you must be so so proud. This is wondeful news. And yes, they do grow up way too fast.

My name is PJ. said...

Holy shit! Really! AWESOME! Congratulations! And that all happened with you being a single parent? Beyond excellent!!!!!

I love the metaphor with the hawks.

This was such a happy and inspired post!!!

Michel said...

WOW Congrats...no name dropping?? seriously??

on the bright side, just THINK of all the frequent flyer miles you are going to accrue...you may never have to fly coach again!!!

Matty said...

First off, a big hearty congratulations to your son. If he was accepted even to one, then he's well worthy and capable.

Remember yourself at that age? Yup, he's ready to fly.

Since I live in those areas, I'm curious where he's heading, and what his major will be.

aechempati said...

Congrats to your son and to you! That is amazing news! Being accepted to an Ivy League school is such a high honor.

I'm sure it will be hard. I went to a school only about an hour or so away from my parents and that was hard for my mom at first.

...I'm not making things easier, am I? It did get easier. For one thing, I missed her like crazy so I went home as often as I could. I know that may not be as easy for him, but when he is home, it will be wonderful! And when he has to go back, you know he's going to succeed.

Congratulations, again to your family! -Aparna

ArtSnark said...

congrats to your son! Sounds like you raised him right

A Free Man said...

Congratulations to the both of you! I'm sure it will be a bit hard to have him so far away, but it isn't an opportunity that you would want him to miss.

Sara Plays House said...

That's amazing! And what a testament to the parenting he's received. :)
I have several years left to go before mine fly away, but I know it will go by in an instant.
Have fun checking the place out!

otin said...

It is hard to let go. Changes that big in life are always tough on a mother. My mother still can't get over it and I am in my 40's. lol

Just B said...

This one gave me goosebumps. Wow! Very exciting (and expensive) stuff!

5 Kids With Disabilities said...

I think it is great that you son got accepted to a school he wants to go to. I hope you have plenty of money to pay! (Or maybe he got a scholarship.) My son got a full scholarship to go to Cambridge University in England. My daughter, however, was not so lucky. She wanted to go to a similarly prestigious school. She got in, and we now have a HUGE second mortgage on our house for the next 20 years. Not fun!
However, in terms of your young hawk ready to fly, their is nothing more rewarding than see one of your own grow up into THEIR own. You are past the diapers and the teenage years, and your son has rewarded all of your hard work by becoming a young man smart enough to go to an Ivy League College. Congratulations!
Lindsey Petersen

Nanny Goats In Panties said...

You raise him to do the best he can and then he does and then you go, Oh My God, what have I done? You've done a wonderful thing, that's what.

How scary and wonderful and amazing for both of you! Congratulations.

:)

itsmejane said...

oh you made me tear up!!

how many miles away will he be? that's my biggest fear with my baby girl- my one and only baby- that she flies far far away and i'm left..behind :(

hopefully it's a cool place where you can go visit for lots of 'shopping'. :)

congrats to your son!

itsmejane said...

oh you made me tear up!!

how many miles away will he be? that's my biggest fear with my baby girl- my one and only baby- that she flies far far away and i'm left..behind :(

hopefully it's a cool place where you can go visit for lots of 'shopping'. :)

congrats to your son!

geekymummy said...

congrats!

My DH went to U.Penn, then Stanford for his masters (and his parents lived in Europe at the time, so a long way way!), and it was a truly great start in life for him. Very best of luck to you and your son!

Smart Mouth Broad said...

Kudos to him and to you. You've done a great job and he is ready to fly. He's gonna do great and you'll have a new place to visit. :-)

AmyLK said...

congratulations! You have done a wonderful job of raising him. Now comes the hard part, trusting that he will remember the lessons you have taught.

Chief said...

I am so thrilled for you! ALl of the hard work pays off!

carma said...

great. now I'm all teary-eyed.

You've prepared him well. Congratulations! This is quite an accomplishment (for both of you)

Michelle Zive said...

What you said was so real. Three years ago my oldest daughter went to college six hundred miles away and I was wrecked. How dare she leave me behind? I thought I was supposed to be her best friend. But what I learned after many months and some deep self-reflection (I wrote a memoir about it...can't get anymore intense than that) was her moving away was the best thing for both of us. She was just a normal healthy adult doing what they do.

H.K. said...

Oh, I feel for you. It's a great moment to go away to college, but to have your child leave the nest is still hard.

Jason, as himself said...

Very exciting! Ivy League---big stuff!

My daughter is also going away to college in the fall--up north in San Francisco--probably not as far away as your son will be from you!

Congratulations, proud momma.

Jaime said...

that's a great accomplishment for him. i remember when my parents dropped me off to college, my dad gave me this card. it had two birds flying on the front of it. and on the inside, he said how proud he was of me and couldn't wait to watch me fly... i still have the card.

i guess it's a common analogy as parents watch their kids go off to school...

lakeviewer said...

Congratulations to your young man. He is truly gifted and deserving. Yes, you and hubby will have to find something to do with all that free time you'll have from now on. Will you miss him? Yes.
Will he miss you. NO.
That's how they fly away, slowly.

bernthis said...

mazel tov! chalk another one up for single moms!

Midwest Mommy said...

Wow, that is just awesome! Awesome!

pilgrimchick said...

Congrats to him for this accomplishment--but what a change that must be. Best of luck.

catsmum said...

congratulations to the both of you

Brenda Susan said...

Awesome post by one who totally MUST be an awesome mom! Wow, you should be extremely proud of yourself!! I mean really truly overwhelmed with your amazingness! seriously!

My sons had two parents and barely made it out of high school, in fact one dropped out before graduating.....so um...you are awesome!! Congrats!