Back to reality, and even more so for some.
My eldest son is a junior in high school, with all the highs and lows of that year seemingly crashing down on him at once. He has his driver's license, a written agreement between himself and us detailing car usage and payments for insurance and gas, and the resulting increase in delicious freedom and frightening responsibility. He's already dealing with the financial and family consequences of a minor fender-bender. After I said Thank God you're OK and so is the other guy, I wanted to kill him.Instead, I had him deal with it.
He's always done just enough schoolwork to get himself a B+ average, despite our urging him to apply himself more and rise to his abilities and our expectations. Now, as he looks at colleges and sees how competetive the application process is, he's finally putting that extra hour into studying for math tests. He's almost 17, and is worried because he really isn't sure yet what to major in. Maybe Engineering. Maybe Management, maybe Computer Science, maybe Political Sceince. You don't need to make that decision yet, we say. And yet as we look at college applications, we see that if he does in fact need to apply to the college of Engineering at many of the universities he's considering. He's taking his first stab at the SAT this weekend, and my laid-back, laconic son is terrified.
I promise him it'll all work out, that decisions and results he makes at 17 are fluid, and not responsible for the rest of his life. But when the guidance counselor, his friends, the well-meaning mother of a friend he runs into at the store, and his parents all seem to be watching, pressuring, and tugging him along--I sometimes want to fold him back into my arms, pretend he's three again and Mommy can make it all better for him. But it's time for him to make his own dreams, missteps, and forays out into the world, and I can only step back and wave.