Tuesday, March 22, 2022

The Decision

Sitting in the end booth at Taco Mac, a local wing joint, we ate our final meal before the oldest left for his junior year of college. The youngest was sitting to his left and lamenting all the bad things about his senior year of high school.  Since Covid, honestly, even before that, he has not been the biggest fan of school. The isolation a high school kid felt, especially one with a mom who stuck to the quarantine rules, was no joke.  He missed out on so many of the normal high school experiences, but I digress. He was going on and on about his lame classes, how he was going to have two PE classes, one academic class, and then minimum day. 

My oldest piped up with, "Why don't you graduate early?  Lots of kids do it. You would just need Gov and Econ, right?"  "I guess," the youngest sighed, "Mom, could I do that?"  "I think so, we could ask the counselor." 

The conversation turned back to sports - what else with an all-boy family. We discussed LSU football in-depth, how well Joe Burrow was going to do coming off of his injury, and would the Bucs repeat. Some good-natured ribbing went on between the boys but the youngest seemed far off. He kept giving me the look... like he was thinking about something but didn't want to say it and needed me to tell him what to do.

Fast forward a few days and he brings it up again.  "Mom, can you reach out to the counselor?  See what I have to do to graduate early?"  "Sure, let me email her now."  The process was easy enough and he wouldn't take much to change his classes, he had to decide right away though.  They would need to get him into Gove/Econ ASAP.  So, long story short, after much deliberation or maybe just that teenager's "I can't make a decision" attitude, he decided to graduate in December.

Well, that put us on a fast track to college.  Applications were sent, acceptances were received and we began to scramble.  All while focusing on a new school year for the both of us.  I began to gather supplies, attempt conversations with the surly boy, who was questioning his decision at this point, and try and make a plan. FINALLY, he decided to go to the same college that his older brother goes to.  I immediately felt relief.  Whew, this baby of mine would be with his brother. 

Well, in typical teenage fashion, he grew more nasty and unsure as the end of the semester approached.  "Should I have done this?" "I am not sure I want to go here." "What if I don't go?"  "What should I do?"  These conversations were on the daily, sometimes multiple times a day.  One night, he called me to the basement and said he just couldn't do it.  He said I just am not ready.  He had great points - this is 8 months early, I am going from high school senior to college freshman in three weeks, I don't know what to do with my life... 

Fast forward four more months, and he is still here at home and hasn't decided where to go.  He still has the same concerns but knows another deadline approaches.  My college boy was home last weekend and ran into the roommate group that the youngest was originally going to be in. They told the college boy that they still needed a fourth roommate - they all assumed my youngest was in college.  We immediately told the indecisive teenager, who with a sparkle in his eye, began to reconsider this whole going to his brother's school.

Late last evening, he reached out to this group of high school friends who immediately were like room with us.  So, he signed up... he made the room request... and a decision was made to go to this college.  He had more spunk and spark than I have seen in a long time.  Let's just hope that this is his final decision... teenagers change their minds a lot! 

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