There is this great scene in “Parenthood” (the movie from 1989) where Helen Shaw, as the grandmother, relates a story about roller coasters. “Up, down, up, down…oh what a ride. You know, it was just interesting to me how a ride could make me so frightened, so scared, so sick, so excited and so thrilled all together.”
Our life has been a bit like a roller coaster the past few weeks. After Calvin finished the Fellowship interview at University of Arkansas, we started our wait of 11 long days to find out if he was selected. I’m not sure if it was a good or bad thing, but in December, we had scheduled wisdom teeth removal right during the middle of that 11 days, so we actually had something else to think about. Things like ice packs, NO STRAWS, swelling and relief that we didn’t have to do “that” again.
I had been keeping a running dialog in my head those 11 days about how could they NOT pick my son for a Fellowship and how would I help him with the disappointment if he wasn’t selected. There is always that urge to turn everything into a teaching moment, but I had decided we had enough of those growing up – we would just be disappointed for a while, pick ourselves up and go on. In addition to my dialog, we began receiving emails confirming the scholarships that college had offered Calvin, so I had the feeling that they were trying to let us down easy.
On the night before the big decision day, I went to my 26th and last public school Parent-Teacher Conference for my son. I, along with many other senior parents, found out that our kids were experiencing an extreme case of “Senioritis” this year. I had one teacher tell me that we were ahead of the game as my son was at least getting up in the morning and attending school, unlike some of the other seniors. However, I felt that “just attending school” wasn’t quite enough as I wanted him to finish well. Runners don’t run the 26 miles in a marathon just so they can just walk the last .2 miles; they dig down and try to find the energy to sprint to the finish. (At least that’s what my runner husband tells me.)
We’d been up about the interview, preoccupied with the wisdom teeth extraction, excited about the confirmation of scholarships that were guaranteed, (but troubled as well) and now concerned about finishing well. So, it was amazing when we came home from our semi-annual post conference fast food and waiting for us was an email congratulating Calvin on being selected for a Fellowship at University of Arkansas! Grandma knew what she was talking about. Life is a roller coaster!
Here is a link to the scene where Grandma describes the roller coaster ride. If you haven’t seen “Parenthood”, rent, borrow or stream it. It should be required viewing for all young couples starting a family. (Ashley, have you watched it yet?)