After almost a full year of being on college admissions overdrive, I’ve come to the conclusion that Tom Petty was correct: “The Waiting” is the hardest part.
Had you asked this past October, I would have said that getting my daughter to complete her applications was the most challenging of the admissions-related tasks. A few months before that, I would have sworn that convincing her to expand the rather small list of schools she was considering was the most arduous of my jobs. And this time last year, I have no doubt I would have told you that getting my girl to focus on grades and standardized testing was impossibly exhausting.
Now that this is all behind us, I can say with absolute certainty, that the period between December 6 and December 15 (the final week and two days before decisions were released) was by far the most difficult time of all. And that’s because all we had left to do was wait. And wait we did. I’ve never known time to pass more slowly—and I’ve been pregnant twice! If you haven’t experienced pregnancy yourself, I am here to tell you that nine months spent walking around with another human being lodged in your gut does not pass quickly.
But this felt worse.
And then, with the click a MacBook Pro trackpad, everything was good again.
I will never forget the moment that my daughter learned that all of her hard work had paid off. And I will always hold in my heart the memory of the two of us, her hands clasped inside of mine, jumping up and down and screaming in absolute joy. Her dream school said: yes!
And now, several months later, I find that time won’t slow the hell down. The universe is playing a sick joke on me. The days are flying by. In just a few months, my baby will be heading out.
My daughter asked me recently if I would “feel sad” when she is away at college. I responded that I would definitely miss seeing her on a daily basis and would also miss the pleasure (and that is exactly what it is) of her company. I added, making sure to stress every syllable, that as long as she is happy, I could never feel sad.
Now, I have to work on putting that into practice. And I better hurry… because time is flying.
I was named, in part, for the title of this poem. How appropriate it feels today:
Jenny Kissed Me
by Leigh Hunt
- Jenny kissed me when we met,
- Jumping from the chair she sat in.
- Time, you thief! who love to get
- Sweets into your list, put that in.
- Say I’m weary, say I’m sad;
- Say that health and wealth have missed me;
- Say I’m growing old, but add-
- Jenny kissed me!