My second child is now in the homestretch of his senior year. Since I just did the whole graduation thing with another son last year, you would think I would know what I was doing. But you would be wrong.
You see, this senior is about as different from his older brother as one could get. They are both boys; I will give you that. I suppose they are both tall, though the younger towers over his brother by a good three inches. And they do share the same two parents who are not even close to the younger’s 6’4″ stature. The similarities end there.
The things that worked for graduate number one don’t necessarily work for soon-to-be graduate number two. Apparently, they need different pep talks, which is a tiny bit inconvenient because I already had my lectures all lined up and perfected. It’s a good thing for all parties involved that I am highly adaptable and can revise my plan at a moment’s notice.
In fact, I have been practicing the art of offering sage advice to my senior son at all hours of the day and night. If he doesn’t respond, I repeat the same thing again. And again. He is overflowing with gratitude for my newly acquired talent. I have never received so much heartfelt thankfulness in my entire life.
I’m sure my thoughtful suggestions are sinking deep into his brain, but I cannot be entirely positive about that. He may or may not frequently fall asleep while I am in the middle of a sentence. But I don’t take it personally because he sometimes opens his eyes and sits straight up a second later while mumbling something that sounds like, “Yes, Mom, I agree.”
I’m glad we are on the same page.
For your reading pleasure, I have compiled a list of things I obsessively say to my senior. I hope you find them as helpful as he does:
- Have you finished that honor’s college application yet? You are pushing the late consideration deadline.
- What? You only have the essay to write? Well, I am an expert at editing essays. You’re welcome.
- You don’t like red pen all over your essay? OK, maybe you should find another editor.
- So what college are you going to attend?
- You haven’t decided yet? OK, well…
- You have a full-tuition scholarship to ASU. That’s a great option. Can we pay the enrollment deposit and get that ball rolling?
- And what about the housing application?
- Oh, we must pay the enrollment deposit before we can access the housing application?
- Time’s a-tickin’.
- Wait. When did you get so old? And so tall? How’s the weather up there?
- No. You can’t have the car when you leave home. Your sister will be turning 16, and we need her to drive.
- You want to buy your own car? That is fine, but you must have $5000 saved for your mission before you can even start saving for a car.
- And owning a car is expensive.
- And you can use public transportation.
- Because you will be a poor college student. Welcome to the real world.
- Look up from your phone every once in a while and talk to the people around you.
- Have you finished your online French class yet? You won’t be going to college unless you get that done before graduation.
- You’re still working on it? Well, you might want to work a little faster.
- It’s after Midnight. Why are you still on the computer? Go to bed.
- Have I told you that you are a GOOD kid? Thanks for being so awesome.
- Focus, child! That essay won’t write itself. (Squirrel!)
- Don’t be stupid, and all of your bases will be covered.
- Dr. Pepper is not a food group.
- Washing your sheets from time to time is a really good idea.
- You get to make dinner tonight. I don’t care if you would rather not. You will soon be grateful for the practice.
- Your backpack does not belong on the couch, boy!
- I will miss you when you go. Come back and visit sometimes.
- Read your scriptures. Say your prayers. Attend the temple. Do your part, and the Lord will do His.
- Don’t text and drive. Ever, ever, ever.
- Finish high school strong. Don’t check out early.
And one more thing, dear son of mine, I love you to the moon and back.
I may sound like a broken record, but I do not doubt he will soon miss my wise and helpful daily suggestions. That is, after all, what a mother is for.