It always amazes me how life can move crazy fast. It seems like just yesterday Aubrey left for college the first time, and a blink since she came home at the end of the first semester. I knew she’d be going back eventually, but that doesn’t mean I’m that much more ready than I was the first time.
Oh, I know I said that I’d be fine this time around, and I will, but she is my buddy, my best friend, and one of my most favorite people in the world. The older she gets, the closer we get. She’s slowly let me see the grown up, decision making side of her…you know, the side that doesn’t necessarily coincide with what Mom would prefer. We generally agree on most things, although she tends to hold a grudge much longer and more viciously than do I.
This time around, going to school is HER decision, not something I pushed her into (which everyone accused me of, in spite of Aubrey saying she wanted to go). She has spent hours filling out forms, talking with advisors, registering for courses…all without my constant nagging (constant being the operative word, of course). I did help with her FAFSA, since I had to write the exceptions portion; the part where we can state any excessive expenses, like this year’s $20,000 in dental bills. Our dentist’s office staff said they would write a supporting letter if she needs one. Considering she is paying for this entire thing herself, she needs the lowest estimated family contribution she can get.
Fortunately for her, she has perfect credit. Fortunately for her, she lives with an accountant dad and a mom who is insane about building wealth while young, which is why she has perfect credit. Between her student loan payments and her credit card that our bank offers to college students (that she pays off completely every month), her credit report was full of beautiful green OK boxes under each month. That will be super helpful when she has to take out a private student loan for the excess over her government loans. Yes, the accountant dad thinks it is a BAD idea, while building wealth mom thinks it’s a good investment. The decision is up to her, since we are willing to pay for community college, but she feels very strongly about her school, and now that she KNOWS it is a fantastic education, she doesn’t want to go anywhere else.
Since Aub has everything she needs for college already, now the hard part is getting it back up to New England. We have to figure out what needs to go and what can stay, and we’ve decided to drive. I’ve long promised her a roadtrip across the country, so this is our chance. With the right music, ritual stops at Starbucks, and my Nuvigil, we figure we can drive about 800 miles a day, with a couple of stops along the way for touristy things. She wants to stop in Memphis and Nashville (yeah, Nashville is going to be at least two days, I’m sure). While we haven’t really discussed much about what she wants to do in these places (besides a whole lot of portfolio work along the way, which means a LOT of work for me), I’m sure Graceland will be on the list. I draw the line at going to Dollywood, though (especially since it’s not on the way), in spite of the SkyZip attraction. She’ll just have to find another place to fly!
We’ll be staying with my friends Leigh and Bill once again, as they are always willing to graciously open their hearts and home. Leigh suggested that instead of driving through DC, that we go straight up to CT and then we can take the train down to DC for a weekend. Considering we’ll have an entire apartment in a tiny station wagon, that sounds like a much better plan.
We still have a lot of iron out. We don’t even know when we’re leaving, and of course, all of these plans could be blown to hell depending on her financial aid. Actually, that’s not true. I’m sure we’ll be driving up there anyway, it’s just a question of are we driving up for school, or to move her permanently?
In the meantime, there’s a lot going on, starting with tomorrow! It’s Fiesta time, and it’s been at least six years since Aubrey’s gone to Night in Old San Antonio. It’s the one thing she’s asked to do before moving, and there’s only a four day window. Since my birthday is Thursday (44!), we’re going Wednesday night. I’m sure I’ll be dying on my b-day after a night of fighting through the crowds, but it is my favorite Fiesta event and I’ve been saving up my energy. I know we will have a blast, and hopefully she’ll meet someone cute…entirely possible in a crowd of 22,000 people, right?
A lot to do, and I know I will blink and we’ll be in CT, but in the meantime, I’m going to try to live in the now and take each day as it comes. Hasta mañana!