And so, it begins. We packed up the car and we were off on our first college tours in Boston. I felt so much excitement for my son Max. He’s 17 years old and is engrossed in finding the right college fit for him. He has a long list, and we are going to do our best to tour the East coast and show him as many colleges as we can.

All my husband Seth and I have heard about from Max is MIT and Cornell. I knew those needed to be our first two stops. Max is very interested in doing data science. He loves science, math and computer science. He is going to put those three fields together and build himself a wonderful career one day. He is already working and has his own website helping business owners. I could go on and on about my son Max, but I won’t bore you. He impresses me and inspires me. How did we get here? That is the question that my husband kept asking me all week.

We arrived in Boston and my heart started racing. If you know me, I am a suburban girl through and through. We got off the thruway and I watched my husband attempt to navigate the streets of Boston to get to our hotel. We made it to the Marriott, and I took some deep breaths. At that moment I knew I would never want to drive in Boston! My husband earned some major huge marital points for doing all the Boston driving.

We took an uber to MIT and I imagined leaving my son there. We sat in a presentation and took a tour, and I watched Max’s eyes. I had no doubt that Max would love MIT. Do I want him around the corner from home? Yes! Do I want the very best for him? Yes!

To see your child light up is one of the best things you can experience as a parent. The statistics of 4% of 40,000 students getting into MIT did not make me very happy. How do I talk to Max about the odds while not dashing his hopes and dreams? Do the 40,000 kids applying to MIT have Max’s credentials? I had to be realistic and encouraging. Do I think he would be the best MIT student? Do I think that he is a good fit for MIT? Yes, and yes. I have no control over if he gets in. That is where stress enters. I was trying to just enjoy the tours and enjoy the process.

While we were in Boston, Max also wanted to see Harvard and Tufts. I wanted to fit in Northeastern, but we didn’t get there. I think we are going to have to go back to Boston!

We left Boston with a very happy kid. Max’s excitement was contagious and all I felt was joy for him. “We have a lot more schools to see,” I reminded him.

February break college touring continued to Cornell. The drive to Cornell was interesting. We felt like we were in the middle of nowhere as we were driving there. I kept saying, “This is a great school closer to home!”

Other than raining the entire time, Ithaca is absolutely beautiful. Our tour guide was amazing, and Cornell really has so much to offer their students. Another fantastic choice for Max. The bonus to this tour is I saw Ella falling in love too. She is a freshman, but she was soaking up these college tours. She dreams about going away to school! My babies!

Seth kept saying to me the entire week, “How did we get here?” I was so perplexed by myself. The only thing I was feeling was excitement and joy. I love exploring new places and I loved the process of trying to find the right college for Max. It’s not just about Max finding the right college for him, it’s also about being accepted to that college. I can say with 100% certainty that any college would be lucky to have my son. I see how hard he works and how much passion he has for learning.

The college mail keeps flooding in as we go over our options. Exploring Pittsburgh and New Haven is next. There is so much touring to do. All my friends tell me that he won’t know where he wants to go for sure until he visits all these colleges. Max doesn’t agree but he is going to humor me anyway.

My friend teaches at UB (down the street from us) and was telling me all about the research and programs at UB. You mean there is a good program for him down the street? Are you telling me there is a Presidential scholarship that he can apply to? Twist my arm!

We arrive home and unpack and unwind after a long, wonderful week. Max is more confused than ever (normal), and I am feeling really good about the week that we had. I go to bed and the feelings begin. I feel tremendous panic at leaving him at college. Here it is. I was wondering where it was. I felt so many good feelings the whole week. I didn’t recognize myself. There were no tears. Who is this woman? Well, here she is, and she has arrived! I woke up and told my husband about my panic. He looks at me with this knowing look. He was probably wondering where this woman has been all week. Well, she has arrived. As I type this all I feel is joy and pride as my excitement for my son continues. An hour from now I may cry. That’s okay. It’s going to be a roller coaster of emotions and I am honored to go on this roller coaster ride with my amazing son.

I want us to all remember that motherhood brings us more emotions than we ever knew we had. I go up and down so many times in one day. My daughter goes from being sassy to sweet in a manner of minutes. I am riding the wave of motherhood. I am excited for this next wave. I will feel happiness, sadness, fear, excitement, and everything else you can think of. Max has tackled every new journey with success. I have no doubt that this next journey is going to be an amazing one for him. Moms, feel all your feelings and know that you are not alone!


Laughing, Learning, Loving,

Rebecca Greene, LCSW-R


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Whinypaluza Notes:

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