Thursday, February 5, 2009

College, Eh?

I am a dreamer, big time. Or at least I used to be. You wouldn't think so, considering I am such a moody, cynical, unsympathetic bitch to my friends and family. But deep down in me, there are remnants of the girl that desperately wanted to study fashion in London, or live by the beach for a year and learn to paint. The reality is I ended up at a Southern Baptist college in Texas, studying Education, leaving my dreams behind. I don't know if I was "steered" in that direction by my parents or if I just chickened out and didn't have the guts to go for it. I guess it's all for naught, as my life kind of fell apart and reassembled itself into something new and wonderful on its own, anyway.

So of course, this issue is coming full-circle for me and it is scaring the hell out of me. My beloved Moody Teen has finally decided that he does, indeed, want to go to college, after years of planning on running an international car theft ring, instead. Yay college, right? Well, not so fast. He wants to go to college in Canada.  Now, don't get me wrong... I have nothing against Canada, except for the fact that we don't live in Canada. In fact, we live very far from Canada.

And here's where the dreamer in me rears her ugly head. I desperately want to find a way to make this work. Am I insane? Am I indulging my son in his unrealistic flights of fancy? There seems to be so many potential pitfalls, mainly concerning his health. The medicine, the breathing treatments, the chest PT, the exercise... If he doesn't keep up with all of it, his health would rapidly (RAPIDLY) spiral downward. 

So would I be sending him to his death? That sounds awfully melodramatic, grim and morose, but is it the truth (or am I just being melodramatic, grim and morose)? He's going to have to take on all of this at some point anyway, unless he lives at home forever, and that's not much of a life. But at least he would be alive, because I would make sure of it. 

I have to say, that on his ski trip, he did pretty well. He remembered most of his medicine (the really important stuff, anyway). We gave him a pass on his treatments, which I think was good for him, mentally. He needed a break. He generally doesn't volunteer to do any of this on his own, but he doesn't balk too much when we pull out the nebulizer and say, "Ok, it's time...". But bottom line: He has a ways to go in the responsibility department.

Lots to think about. Am I crazy? Should I just shut this down now and insist on him staying local? He's already had one dream taken from him, I am not sure I can bear to watch another die.

28 comments:

Kristina P. said...

Wow, what a tough situation!

I would sit down with him and see if it's workable and write a pretty detailed plan on how to make it work.

namaste said...

My input only.... go for it. Let him go for it. See what happens. I have a 21 year old stepson who has had many "dreams" come in and out of his life. When he was young(er), I was always pointing out the negative and holding him back. He started to blame me for his "dreams" not becoming reality. A few years ago, I started supporting his dreams and ideas and what I've found is that when I do that, it's in his hands. I offer up suggestions when asked, and ask open ended questions that I hope will guide him to thinking things through but other than that, I'm just there. He's an adult (he even was one at 17) and our goal (I believe) as parents is to help them become productive, good standing, questioning, moral, beautiful adults. It was scary, but so much better to live this way. Also, I have to say.... so many of those ideas he's come up with (and some are truly insane and I walked away wanting to cry, scream, run, hide, jump off a cliff - but instead put on a brave face) pretty much fizzled. But not because of me, because he made the decision. So, that's my input (in a comment/post - likely my longest ever) ;)

Debbie said...

I could sit here and say "go for it" to you. But, in truth I sat down with my seniors and said, "you can go anywhere within 350 when it is on my dime. When it is on your own money, go anywhere." That was the best I could do:)

♥georgie♥ said...

Wow this is really exciting! You have to at least try, right?
make a plan of action...
my beans tell me they are never moving out....I dunno if thats a good thing or bad thing
;-)

Missy said...

From somoeone who has always had a Dream Squasher in her life, let him go! I was so "steered" the wrong way and have always wondered what could have been! And, I know it is much easier to say than to do...

CaJoh said...

It may be too soon to tell if he will be going there for college. Make sure that you visit a lot of schools. That way you have a backup plan if he's not accepted in the college in Canada.

jill jill bo bill said...

Have him take some college classes while he is still at home in HS so he can have some idea what it is going to take when he is on his own. Do I agree that he should live his dream? Absolutely!!! But guide him while you still have him at home so you can help if needed. Think of it like riding a bike: he wants to learn how to ride one, so you hook up the training wheels, then take them off while holding on to him, then finally letting him go. It would be much harder to learn to ride if you had no idea how to balance.

Girl Friday said...

My first response is to tell you to let him go. GO!

But also, go with your gut. You are the mama. Whether you believe it or not, you do know best.

Bee and Rose said...

I like Kristina P's idea. Work together on a plan. He may change his mind when it comes right down to it! Trust yourself and trust him:)

Brenda Jean said...

Oh Deb, I wish I had some awesome wisdom for you, but since we are so much alike I like you, can see both sides and have no idea. Big help I am. I read the comments-- all make so much sense. I can ask a couple questions. Why Canada? Do they offer something no where else does? Is there no halfway thing to work out?

angie said...

I think that if he wants it badly enough, he'll take care of himself. I hope my kids don't want to move far away though. How does mama bird function?

Beth said...

One of my best friends was diagnosed with Lupus while in high school. She went far away to college (probably not Canada far, but not a car trip). Her parents had her complete a chart everyday and mail it to them at the end of the week. In return, they would mail money, etc. You might be able to do something with email.

I understand wanting to help your child with a dream. Sometimes living a dream will inspire more maturity than you thought possible.

Good luck with this tough decision.

Beth said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lee the MWOB Queen said...

Oh Deb - my heart breaks for you on this. After reading both posts, I am out of words. I think you will end up supporting this dream of his - but you will have a wonderful heart to heart with him because ultimately he will have to take responsibility of taking care of himself. He is obviously such a fighter and a dreamer and from all the stories I've heard in my life, those two things actually count for a lot as far as beating the odds.

More to come....

Straight to Your Hart said...

Got any good deals on a car for me??..just asking..

College is a huge step regardless of where they go...crap, I am taking that step now with a family..yes I was held back several grades (slow)..JK. It's something that needs careful and thoughtful open communication. Something that sounds like you share with your family

If all else fails, I'm running a "herbal" operation here..in need of some smuggling help (there's a reason I was slow,cough,cough)..LOL

A Hug and a Prayer being sent your way!

Eudea-Mamia said...

Oh Deb.

Bottom line - you've taught him well. He will learn quickly enough that the life he wants to enjoy in Canada will only be there IF HE takes care of himself.

That's a huge step, for both of you. I think the ski trip should offer you some comfort. He stretched his wings a little, rebelled a little, and came home just fine.

Easy for me to say when mine are only 6 and 3, but you know my thoughts have already gone to "what then..."

Damn Canada. Why did you have to be so f%$#ing charming?

dana wyzard said...

Well, I was here to tell you that "a card is on its way to your house" but read your post and was brought up short. You could pull the nazi mommy routine and say that "It's my way or the highway since it's my money" but logically, Canada has socialized medicine and you have to be a Canadian to get it. You have a LOT of checking to do regarding what health care would even be available to him! As Americans, we always figure that it will be there when we need it.

There are a lot MORE things to do that are NOT in Canada that what IS in Canada. He has time to change his mind and you have time to find OPTIONS.

sorry mommy.

Wendyburd1 said...

Oh tough choices...couldn't he at least go somewhere in the country? How IS medical care in Canada, as good as it can be HERE? Because taking his meds mostly is not as good as taking it regularly, maybe a US doc would be on his case more?

You should sit and have a serious conversation, if he is unsure he will do this ALL on his own, maybe a college in the state would be better, he'd have his own life, but you could check up on him more easily??

Tiaras & Tantrums said...

oh the momma bear in me screams no way . . . but the mom in me says yes - oh dear friend . . . I feel for you. Perhaps in a couple of months he will change his mind . . . as so often happens with teenagers

Sera said...

That is certainly a tough call. I honestly don't know what I would do. You are such a good mama. :)

Harlene said...

I'm with the others here, help him plan, listen, encourage, and maybe get on a mailing list for a school closer that has the same attractions as why he wants to go to Canada. Maybe have someone anonymously send a coed calender from school closer to home his way too.

I'm a dreamer as well, although my kids think I'm way too practical, they have no idea the plans I gladly put on hold for them.

What is the attraction to this school in Canada anyway? Sometimes they have a good reason, not often at this age, but sometimes. My oldest leaves for basic training in 2 weeks. It's not the path I thought he'd be on by any means, but I am at peace with it now and excited for him. I've not seen him so motivated and focused on things before this. Isn't that one of the best parts of being a parent? Helping someone else fulfill their dreams.

I'm thinking of you all the way to chick fil a...

Wifey Dessert said...

man that is tough!! its cold in canada first off :)

I think that you should have alot of communication about it! and put alot of things in writing and do alot of explaining and talking and I am sure that the best thing will happen for everyone!

And pray!!!

Denise said...

That is such a hard choice. My oldest is thinking of going far away to college too and the idea scares the heck out of me. And he isnt sick. I cant imagine the battle your going through. Maybe if he can show you that HE can do everything he needs to do NOW, while he is still at home. That will prove to you that he is able to do them up in far away Canada.

Lindsay said...

The mom in me is screaming along with you. It would be very hard for me to allow my daughter to travel so far away for college, illness or no illness. However, the dreamer in me reminds the mom that you do only get to live once, and you don't want to live regretting the choices you didn't make. If he wants to go he needs to research the heck out of it and truly understand responsibility, because otherwise Mama Bear will be on a Canadian plane in a skinny minute to jerk his boot home.

Just my thoughts :)

TuTu's Bliss said...

I'm in the go for it corner but that is easy for me to say. I would lay down the law though especially since your footing the bill.."Alright mister but the second you slip up it's home you go" Parents lay down the law on grades, drinking etc so I think meds and self health is a fair demand. Hugs, Jen

Alyssa said...

Lovely blog!

Soxy Deb said...

Wow Deb. My first wuestion would have to be how old is he? Is there still time for that responsibility to grow before he would be heading off to college? As you stated, at some point he will have to take care of his own life and health. You know your doing everything you can to get him on the right path but then you have to let him go into the world alone. Knowing you've done your job to help him get to that point.
It's a tough thing to do though, and with his sickness that will just make it harder. But there will come a point where he'll get it. He'll know he has to do for himself and he will. If you let him.

Martinezvkgi said...

That is such a hard choice. My oldest is thinking of going far away to college too and the idea scares the heck out of me. And he isnt sick. I cant imagine the battle your going through. Maybe if he can show you that HE can do everything he needs to do NOW, while he is still at home. That will prove to you that he is able to do them up in far away Canada.