At the risk of sounding ridiculous, is anyone else freaking out about the possibility of their kid actually getting IN to the BS they’ve been dreaming of… and then having to actually LET THEM GO!? Parents of BS kids, how do you deal with not spending their birthdays with them? How do you cope with not seeing them for weeks or months? Does it get easier? I know it’s an amazing opportunity for my kid, and I know I’m being a little presumptuous here, but I want to be prepared. I think I’m going to need to be medicated on M10. LOL
I think we all had these panic moments…and sometimes still do! Mine really didn’t get bad until close to move-in day…my DS and I are very very close, so I think it shocked many people that I was so calm. Especially since we live over 2000 miles away!
I didn’t even cry until about 2 weeks after drop off…my daughter had to make a book covered with ephemeral items…she showed me her finished product and on it was a sticky note my son had written when he was going out for a run…super simple, but so him. I lost it. Bawled like a baby.
I’m not going to lie and say it’s all cake and balloons…but he FaceTimes several days per week…and every time I see him in his element, it makes it easier knowing this was the perfect decision. I see such growth in him in areas I never thought he’d expand…I even see more appreciation from him for his family & home.
He comes home holidays…I went up Parent’s weekeand we are going up again on President’s Day weekend. I think the longest we’ve been apart is about 6-8 weeks. I miss him most after immediately I see him & get to spend time with him…it’s more apparent then the void his absence brings to our family. But then we settle back in to routine and almost nightly FaceTime sessions. And again I see how he’s flourishing and it’s all worth it.
Go ahead and freak out…we’d worry if you didn’t! But I think you’ll find that it ends up being easier than you expect.
When my older kid told that she will apply, my husband was opposed to it. He told her that no way with three kids in house he is gonna pay for her. But daughter kept insisting and recruited her siblings to let her apply. She did and when need based award came, we were surprised. Last year second daughter also got into. Now my husband has changed of heart, and he ask my third kid and asking him to apply.
We went from a no way family to yes yes family. After all we have to let our own kids make their own choices. What do we know about future.
@infinityprep1234 when DS first asked me, he was 9…I think I actually shouted the word NO :)) now DD is researching schools…sigh
With our oldest we lived on the west coast when he broached the subject of BS in 8th grade. As a public school educated west coaster the idea of BS was unheard of to me. We had struggled to find good academic fits for our kids as they are all PG. They had attended parochial school, online school, homeschool, public school and magnet school. Our philosophy on education had always been we wouldn’t stand in their way of learning.
So, when he came home from an assembly at school and told us he planned to apply to PEA, we used the same line, “ we won’t stand in your way”. If you apply, get accepted and get FA then of course we support your decisions. Of course- we never believed all that would happen. So March 10th, 2010 all our lives changed dramatically.
Fast forward 8 years later and I can’t imagine having done it any other way. The BS journey has been a crazy ride for us all. It led all 4 kids to attend, me to move across the country (couldn’t stand being so far away) so many memories for all. Our youngest graduates in 2019 and our families BS journey is coming to an end. Now to decide who to follow to college… (halfway joking)!
For us, birthdays have been the hardest. We haven’t celebrated our son’s birthday with him since he was 14. He’ll be 21 next week, the BIG one, and we won’t be there yet again. We always celebrate when he comes home for spring break, but it’s not the same. Especially this one.
As for freaking out about getting in, I was the odd parent here who was praying her kid did NOT get into his first choice college. Of course, he did. You just deal with it. Remember, it’s all about them, not us.
March 10 was a little bit hard, but I knew how badly he wanted it and so it was hard to not be excited with/for him. Drop off day 3 years ago was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. We hugged goodbye at the student center and he walked - alone - across the quad to the new students meet-up place for orientation… I watched him walk away from me and the urge to scream, “No, stop, WAIT!” was almost overwhelming. But he has thrived, and we LOVE watching him in his element…a “BMOC”, as his adviser likes to tell us.
His sister, 8th grade, has applied for next year. She’s our baby and, well, I would love for her to stay home and go through high school sports and prom and drama with us here. But, alas, it isn’t about me, and it’s what she’s wanted since she was 7. I’m not sure how it will play out. If she gets in and goes, I’ll join you for a drink on March 10…and again on Aug 26.
You get used to it. Think of The Wizard of Oz: When the kids are gone, everything is in black and white but that seems normal, but when they are home, everything is in Technicolor and you realize how much you were missing.
Look at it this way…will be easier when they go to college
@twinsmama BEST. ANALOGY. EVER
I understand the angst, I have my fair share of it too. But I suppose for me, my level of anxiety about my son being far away is not as high as others since I went to boarding school myself. It was a life changing experience for me, so I feel very comfortable knowing that our son will have an experience of a lifetime if he goes. Looking ahead I think his birthday will be the hardest, since it will not fall over a break period. I also look at the alternative – sending him to a private day school that is a 40 minute drive each way. He could easily spend 90+ minutes on the bus in the morning, and in the evening we would still have to drive to pick him up after sports or theatre practice, etc. That situation is less than ideal, and would end up costing us 2/3 of what full freight would cost us at a BS once you add up tuition, bus charges and mileage and gas to pick him up each night.
What keeps me up at night is the financial commitment that we’re going to make if he gets into his school(s) of choice on M10. Today’s average BS tuition is 3x what it was when I graduated 25 years ago, and that is an extraordinary amount of money for any family. Even though we have resources to pay and have a strong commitment to providing a top notch education, I would be lying if the figure did not give me pause. Regardless of whether a family is FP or on FA, it is a significant sacrifice for any family to make (unless maybe you are some kind of celebrity and worth 8 or 9 figures)! The money parents spend on BS means giving up savings that would have padded your retirement, or remodeled a section of your home, or provided a much needed new car, etc. Even the logistics of taking time off work to transport back and forth because breaks start on a Friday and end on Monday – it all adds up! All these things run through my head, but in the end I am rooting for him to get in on M10 because I know that is what he wants, and that it is the opportunity of a lifetime for him.
And if “transport” means flights, the financial burden is even heavier.
^we changed our credit card to a southwest card, and have been racking up miles…so far, almost all of DS’ flights home have either been covered by those miles earned, or SWA gift cards we got for birthdays & Christmas.
I agree those panicky feelings are normal, then you go to the revisit days, and you start to think of all the wonderful opportunities and you take one step forward at a time. It does feel bad (thankfully she didn’t tell me in real time) that she cried herself to sleep that first night in Nichols (girls dorm) on the third floor. Birthdays really are hard, but when we looked at BS we agreed not to look further than a 2 hour driving distance from our house. We were willing to give them up, but only so much. The umbilical cord could only stretch a 2 mile radius. Lucky for us, in the Boston area, that included most of the schools on our list. We didn’t look at Cate or Thatcher or Lawrenceville. As it turned out both kids are on the West Coast now for college, and that’s soon enough for us to be so far away.
When my oldest one was 4 or so, she had left her blanket at home. We had gone to a vacation spot almost 2 hours a way for the weekend. She couldn’t sleep without it. Of course, when we discovered it upon arrival, I turned right around myself and traveled the 2 hours back to get it and another 2 hours back to the hotel.
I guess I was thinking of that. If DD forgot something she really needed 2 hours was about my limit, but I knew I could go down and back in one day–if ever she forgot something…like forgot to give us a hug and a kiss or forgot boo boo again at home and needed it.
Do FA packages include $ for travel?
@dramakid2 so many similarities in our story. I went to BS too and DD has grown up knowing how impactful that time of my life was and how much I would want her to experience the same. We had her in a local private school that was a 45 minute commute each day up thru last year and that really affected her ability to participate in ECs and it definitely affected her sleep pattern. She was a zombie most days and slept in the car all the time. Luckily we found a great online school to enroll her in this year which has solved a lot of those issues and if M10 doesn’t work out in her favor, she is happy with the program she is in now to use as a solid plan B.
Some do, others don’t. Two years ago, we had an opportunity to compare FA packages of 7 schools. You can PM me if you want specifics.
Freak out. Do it. Go through all the emotions. They are warranted and it is your right.
Our D is a senior at a top BS. It was her decision to apply and to go. We were strongly opposed. Eventually gave in based on the opportunity. She has been intensely challenged and has risen to the challenge. She has loved every minute-mostly the freedom to make her own way. She is a school leader, an athlete, strong academically and considers her school her home. She has great college offers with more to come, we expect.
Knowing how much she has grown and how much she has loved it, I still can’t swear we would do it again. It does mean giving up being a significant part of their lives, of making memories, of sharing moments, of imparting values. She turns 18 in ten days…and we won’t be there. Their daily school schedules are way too full to be interrupted.
Her middle school learning partner-they were on their own elevated track together-stayed behind at the local school, has been the big fish in a small pond, and with his outstanding statistics, all being relative, was admitted early to Harvard. One and done. Boom. And he stayed home. We can’t take back the time we did not get to share with our D She will soon leave for college and as our 4th child, we know that is the final launch. Don’t feel badly about freaking out and wondering if it is really what you want. It is still your decision too.
It’s absolutely ok and normal to freak out about letting them go. It’s hard! Everything leading up wasn’t bad, The researching, M10, the decisions, and the countdown to her leaving really wasn’t tough, but it hadn’t quite sunk in yet. I even held it together during move-in and orientation day, and when I got to my hotel that evening I was so emotionally, physically, and mentally exhausted I just went to sleep. That next morning though, just as my plane took off, I sobbed. I was leaving her and heading home across the country and that is what did it for me.
Birthdays are difficult and she just had her sweet sixteen and not being there with her made it a rough day. The most difficult time for me though is sitting down to dinner and missing all of her activities. I’m a single Mom and she is an only child so the dinner table is a lonely place and I don’t have any other kids activities and events to occupy my time.
That all being said, I would not change this path if given to do over again. She has flourished in her new environment, grown into this amazing young woman, and is receiving an education well above what she would here at home. She has made life long friends and “sisters” and her school has become home to her! This experience enhanced her independent nature and challenged her to grow and it’s shown me how strong we both are and it’s pushed me to take my newly found free time to go back to college and get my degree. I wouldn’t change any of our decision, though I wouldn’t mind living a little closer!
@RuralAmerica I love your post, so much! Best of luck to you as you pursue your degree. You and your daughter’s story reminds me of Gilmore Girls!