allllllllllll gone

Just withdrew the last penny from First Son’s college savings account, and spent a bit of my afternoon at the bank depositing most of the last of his savings bonds, all in preparation for his final tuition payment.

What’s the sound of an empty penny jar?

I’m feeling a little wistful (all those years of saving!), and, happy for him because it means he’s almost done, almost a college graduate, but Gulp! as we hope he gets a job in this market. Especially considering he will graduate with maybe a few hundred dollars to his name, many thousands in student loans, no vehicle, no apartment, etc. etc. College seems like such a big step from high school, but this really seems like the first step into the Great Unknown.

When Only Daughter was 3 years old, VERY 3 (which has always seemed to be a harder age than 2 to me), First Son was 14 and suffering from puberty-induced testosterone poisoning. I remember watching them each struggle with an overwhelming need for independence paired with an astute awareness that they just weren’t ready for it yet, and puzzling over how much the same they were.

Now Only Daughter is trying to conquer her fear of the Back Handspring while I make sympathetic and encouraging noises: you’ve done them before, you can do them again; you’ll stop being afraid when you’re not afraid anymore; you’ll do it when you’re ready; if you decide to do it at the beginning of the tumbling run try not to change your mind in the middle. At the same time, I know for a fact that there is absolutely no flipping way (ha!) I could ever do one.

Friends of my parents had a pool when I was a child. I was a really good diver. The friend decided he was going to teach me how to dive backwards off of the diving board, and I would be all game for it until I went up and stood there, facing THE WRONG WAY. I never could do it. Too much about jumping into the unknown.


There have been a few times in my life where I closed my eyes and lept. In each of those cases I ended up in a much better place. No reason to believe, I guess, that it won’t work out that way for them, and wonder why, even knowing this, that it’s still so hard for me to take the next one, whatever it may be.

2 Responses to “allllllllllll gone”

  1. March 7, 2012 at 7:28 pm

    It’s got to be “do as I say, not as I do”, hasn’t it? I am very much the type to not take a leap into the unknown, and yet I can see how that approach could work for others. Interestingly, one of my children seems to have acquired my cautious approach, whereas another is always ready to jump, with eyes closed, into the abyss!

  2. March 7, 2012 at 8:09 pm

    4 years after graduating into the mess created by my parents lack of political action, my oldest has $798.81 left on her college loan.
    I Just hope that jar gets full fast.. the penny looks awfully lonely.

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