Friday, March 09, 2007

Courting Katie

Katie is 16, and a sophomore in high school. She's still more that two years away from attending college, but she's an honor student, she's active in extracurricular activities, and she's well-read and well-spoken. She's a good catch for any university.

All of which adds up to the thousands of recruiting letters and brochures she receives every day from every university in the country. She's a hair away from needing an administrative assistant to sort and catalogue them all. Every state university, every private university, every religious university (go ahead...I double dog dare you to apply to Liberty Baptist). I know what's coming next; like a cloud of locusts on the horizon, the plague of recruiters will abandon the letter writing campaign and move up to the phone calls.

And I can see her wheels turning. "What would it be like to live in Chicago, Philadelphia, Boston, Seattle, San Francisco, etc.?"

The eternal parental struggle is on!

"Have you considered SIU?"

"Mom! I don't want to go to SIU. Maybe the University of I smart enough for the University of Chicago?"

"You are, but we're not rich enough. How about the University of Illinois? You'd be close to Uncle Matthew and Aunt Katie. They'd feed you when you were broke."

"How about Harvard?" she says.

"How about Southeast Missouri?" I counter.

Wherever she ends up, I can see that this is one of the steps to adulthood. To picture yourself on your own, and consider what it takes to get there. To weigh and discard options...and hopefully pick one that's a good fit.

And I'm a mixed bag of pride and worry and excitement and sadness. We're transitioning together, Katie and I. What would it be like to have a daughter in say, Boston, and a son in Tucson? What will it feel like to not be raising kids?

When they're toddlers, you dream of the day they're independent. But when that time finally arrives, it's a struggle not to grab hold of their ankles and hold on while they try to walk out the door.

Quick, Carrie! I need a grandbaby!


Kwach said...

I'm still rooting for Washington University in St. Louis. No particular reason except that I really love the idea of one of our kids going to "Wash U."



Anonymous said...

Send to San Francisco. I promise to take her out to dinner in North Beach once a month. Besides, then you two might actually come visit me.

You know who this is, you phone call non-returners!


It's enough to make me want to go to Camp Pelosi, damn you!

Ev said...

We're not phone call non-returners; we're phonophobes, and you're being insensitive about our disability.

Asshole. :-)

Good to see you though. Maybe you should drop by more often, instead of pretending to actually have a life and stuff.

Ev said...

oh...and I know you. You want to go to Camp Pelosi and try to weasel sex out of her.

I know you're secretly turned on by tweed. Sicko!