How else but by this diagnosis can I explain the near crippling anxiety I am feeling this year? I have not even begun to consider the financial implications of sending a child to university. The numbers petrify me. A complicated family arrangement means that I have some assets in another state, but they are not liquid, and I don't know how to declare or otherwise deal with them, so I procrastinate. And I procrastinate. In this I am not unlike my senior.
Money or its lack aside, because I've pushed it away, I watch the stress worm its way across my senior's face: the winnowing down of a bigger list of schools into a smaller list of schools, the teacher recommendations, transcript requests, the score reporting, the organizational finesse (never his strong suit, organization) required to handle the logistics of all this on top of enrollment in several AP courses (his choice, not mine). I want to cry for him, and for me.
Mostly, though, I want to take my son by the hand and ask him if he wants to play with Legos. Or maybe have a mid-morning snack. Followed by a blessedly long nap. And this time around I will take my nap when he takes his.
I don't need advice. This is hard, and I understand the reasons why. Here, consider this: I am in the unenviable position of nagging my kid to complete paperwork the goal of which is to remove him as an occupant of our home. Then ask yourself: Is it any wonder that I can't quite catch my breath? Yes, the diagnosis is clear. And the treatment, well, I suppose that's clear enough, too. The treatment is time. Try as I might, I cannot view this year as anything other than a year to be endured, which layered on top of the anxiety makes me grieve, for the year that might have been, the year that was, if only in my imagination.