It never gets any fucking easier.
And so it goes.
Hello Fringelings! Lots of life since I last posted. Still adjusting to life without Big Senile Dog, Little Incredibly Dumb Dog is continuing to have a hard time, searching for her buddy.
I just said goodbye to Nerd Child. You’d think with the years all this would get easier, wrapping up summer, saying goodbye to the boys, school starting up again…but it doesn’t. For me, anyway. Some people say the first year is the hardest, but I disagree because after the first year, you know just how much you’re going to miss them. Supporting each boy’s desire and decision to go to boarding school wasn’t easy, but the school Man Child attended was great for him, and the school Nerd Child is attending has him happier than I ever knew was possible to be in high school. This is a big year in Fringeland. Man Child is in his senior year of college, Nerd Child is a junior in high school (though they don’t call it junior year in his school, all the boarding schools have strange and individual terms for the grades), and Art Child…Art Child begins eighth grade tomorrow.
Eighth grade means insanity here in New York. High school admissions. For those unfamiliar with the pomp and circumstance of city schools, entering high school isn’t limited to the “usual” adolescent stress of worrying about getting lost in new hallways and remembering where your locker is. It’s a process. There is no zoned high school for us, so even limiting the choices to public schools, there are tours and applications and interviews, portfolios and auditions. Because being a young teen and parenting in the city isn’t stressful enough. So yesterday, in preparation, I approached the crate. Then I spent an hour and a half sorting through and tossing out all the junk we no longer need. I thought I did this after Nerd Child’s high school admission rounds were finished, but apparently not. From what I found, I hadn’t tossed anything since I cleared out after Man Child’s college admissions.
This is my super system for school admissions. Sure, the savvy moms use Excel spreadsheets and apps, but I’ve got a crate. The above pic is what’s left after clearing out. The latest high school books from the Department of Education, a notebook I’ve used for notes and tracking since I began this fun eight years ago, a notebook from Nerd Child’s high school process (excellent tips that are still applicable from the admissions counselor of his middle school), and acceptance letters and packages (those I could find, anyway. I know several are missing). Because mama pride. All this experience, I’m more relaxed, right? Nope. This will be the first time everything is riding on the public school admissions, and Art Child would like an arts-focused school, so much will be new again. Three different kids, interests, and abilities means different school choices. Crap!!!!
New Yorkers, of course, believe this is the best and only valid way to have their kids in the best schools, and have the best college options later. Oh bullshit. Colleges around the world–even those “top,” Ivy League colleges–are filled with kids who didn’t go to the “top” NYC schools. And I’m having an ongoing panic attack thinking of many of those not top NY public schools that kiddos are assigned to when they don’t make their choice schools. Can’t I just go back to the beach and stay there, eyes closed and iPod in my ears? I may not have done anything fabulous or gone on vacation, but I will miss this summer.
I did have a couple of pieces of good news last week. *drumroll please* The larger apartment came through. Oh. my. God. I have no idea how we’re going to get it habitable and still have enough money to eat this year, no idea how we’re going to get packed and moved without the boys here to help without my back literally breaking, but it’s going to happen. Even if I have a stroke from the price quotes I’m hearing for painting and floor installation, it will happen. Even if they don’t fix the toilet that’s currently doubling as a fountain, it will happen. And luxury of luxuries, a second toilet, a little half bathroom. Two! I’m so thrilled by this the
first second third thing I did was go up and scrub that toilet. The first was sweeping, the second was bathe Little Incredibly Dumb Dog, who was gray and sneezing after spending a few hours up there with me. The thought of moving into an apartment that won’t immediately be covered in a layer of dog fur is…strange. Maybe not bad, but strange. (the little one doesn’t shed)
Another bit of good news. I had applied to be a mentee through the WoMentoring Project, and received an email from the agent I applied to for mentoring, and yes! I/Astonishing was chosen. What, specifically, will this mean for me and Astonishing? No fucking clue, but it won’t be bad, and could potentially be fantastic. Actually, being chosen is already fantastic. Funny, because when I wrote the essay for the application, I was thinking about all my application essay experience–writing parent essays for kiddos’ school admissions. And I’ve written many, many of those, each school has their own special set of essay questions. Hmmm, if I never earn a dollar for my fiction, maybe someone will pay me a dollar for admission essays. (Kidding of course, that would be unethical.)
Last week Mrs Smitholini and I celebrated thirty years of friendship. I suggested matching tattoos, but for some reason Mr S didn’t care for that idea. So we went to see Wicked. Just Mrs S and I, like two grownups, a perfect show to celebrate friendship.
So as the season gets ready to change, changes in Fringeland. Good stuff, nerve-wracking stuff, life.