Thursday, August 30, 2012

Skydiving and College Apps

Anticipating an event is more exciting and more anxiety provoking than the actual event itself. That's the premise behind building suspense in movies and books. And it holds true in real life as well. The difference is that in fiction, the author will do everything she can to make you feel tense about the upcoming event, whereas in real life, we do everything we can to remain calm. My Pilates teacher often says, "Strengthen your core. Maintain your balance." I try to take that notion into everyday life. I dream of being one of those zen-like individuals who doesn't get rattled by anything.

My twins are seniors in high school. They are turning eighteen this weekend, and to celebrate, they're going skydiving. Yes, I will be watching as two of my three perfectly healthy children jump out of a perfectly good plane. For some strange reason, this is not bothering me. I'm actually excited for them. They've been talking about skydiving for ten years now, and they're finally doing it. So I'm psyched for them and praying for good weather.

What is freaking me out is that they're applying to college. Do you have any idea how much there is to do to apply to college these days? It's so much more complicated than when I did it. I thought I'd be able to stay out of the process. I thought if I repeated my mantra, "They will find their place," enough times, I would sidestep the parenting stress I've witnessed with practically all my friends who've gone through this before me.

Alas, last night I couldn't sleep, and today I spent a good portion of my morning making a seven-page to-do list for my kids. I'm worried they won't finish their applications on time. I'm worried they won't get into their first choice schools. I'm even worried they won't be accepted anywhere. And then what? Community college? Looking for a job in a terrible market? Living at home? Oh man, I can't even go there. Clearly, my core is weak and my balance is off, way off. I need to breathe. I need to stay calm. I need to picture my kids jumping out of a plane, screaming from the adrenaline rush, laughing like crazy, and floating safely back to earth.


Elizabeth Fama said...

Hmm, I don't want to worry you, Brenda, I go.

So my husband, who is a sailplane pilot and instructor, who soloed at 14 and got his license at 16, and who flew 800 hours of hang gliders in graduate school before he married me, would never let our children set food in a skydiving operation.

Brenda Ferber said...

Well Beth, everyone has their hang-ups. :-)