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Feb 20

Senior Spring

We aren’t there yet – we’re still stuck in the doldrums of winter. But spring is coming and there are little hints of it all around. For us, this year, it’s going to be senior spring. When Jessie finds out what colleges she gets into, what the financial aid packages are, and decides where she’s going to go.

She’s applied to 21 colleges/universities. And while that sounds crazy (and in retrospect, I don’t know that she would do it again), it’s happening and so there are a LOT of decisions coming up. We’ve already heard from UMass Lowell and Amherst, Simmons and Wheaton. And unofficially the College of the Holy Cross (because she’s a finalist for a merit scholarship). She’s gotten into all of them – and while I’m sure she won’t get into all 21 colleges, each one seems like such a huge accomplishment.

And each one takes her closer to growing up and out of my house.

I can rationally be thrilled for her, so proud of her, and excited about her future. I can rationally know that I absolutely want her to achieve all of her dreams and know that moving away is the only way to do that. I know that. I feel that.

But I’m also so incredibly emotional about this whole thing. The idea of her not being around is huge and hard and I’m feeling all the things about it.

She found out about Wheaton and UMass today – and it looks like Wheaton is giving her a TON of aid. I was so excited for her, but then went to hug Marc and burst into tears for a few quick minutes. It’s so real – she’s going to get enough financial aid to make this possible for her. Which I knew, intellectually, but still having it actually happen is… a lot.

It’s hard to articulate what I’m feeling. It boils down to I’m just feeling a lot. A lot of pride and love and hope and mourning the ending of one of the best parts of my life. It’s not that another stage isn’t starting with her, it’s not even the ending of the overarching time of raising children (because I’ve still got a 14 and 10 year old). But this time of raising my oldest is ending, and it’s a lot.

So I break down, periodically, and at odd times. I cry really hard for a few minutes, suck it up and move on. But today, when I started crying, Marc came over and hugged me, and Lizziebeth came running to be of service. Julie came in to hug me and Sam crouched down to put his cheek on mine, so I wouldn’t feel like all of my kids are growing up all at once.

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