21 days? that can’t be possible

sidebar: i’ve been gone so long that i no longer recognise (my new fangled computer speaks the queen’s english and i find that rather quant.  eventually i might find it annoying and that’s when i’ll go about trying to figure out how to make it speak good ol’ american english) wordpress.  i’m not even sure how to work it.  but i’m sure i’ll get up to speed again – if i manage more than one post this time around.  end sidebar.  (i hope i’ve used the term sidebar correctly.  if not, oh well.)

so i was chatting with one of the kids’ teachers today and noticed a countdown on the wall.  a countdown for how many days of school are left.  if you guessed 21, you’re right.  which means 21 days until graduation.  c19’s graduation to be specific.  time keeps on moving right along, doesn’t it?

we have been preparing for it, sort of.  at least the school has.  we’re pretty lucky that the school takes care of ordering graduation announcements.

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because i haven’t been able to do much other than think about how all five us are heading to the states this summer and only four of us will be returning.  and that feels sort of impossible.  i know it’s all gonna work out.  he’s been accepted to university – his first choice (go him!)  and that school is close to family – and family is good.  but that’s only the first step.

we’ve still got to figure out the money.  the school gave an initial scholarship and yes, we’ve filled out our fafsa and it indicated that there should be some money for us – but should isn’t a very firm word.

and we’ve still got to figure out just how do we do this?  i know we’re not the first to do this, but it’s not really something someone can give you the play by play on because the experience is different for each of us.  (however, the tips i’ve gotten have been greatly appreciated. and knowing so many others have survived this transition makes it seem like we might, too.)

there are also the practical things like getting the stuff he needs for a dorm room.  making sure he has contact numbers for people he can reach in case of an emergency.  (not that his grandparents won’t do that, but it’s nice to have more than one number.)   and figuring out how he’s gonna make it without his momma. (that’s probably mainly my concern.)

but there are other just as important things that have to happen while we’re in the states.  a16 is gonna need to visit some colleges, most likely not her dream colleges, but we can see different kinds of campuses.  we’ve got some doctor-y type maintenance to see about.  and we’re gonna need to be sure we take time to just be a family.  which is hard to do when you’re couch surfing.  (we won’t exactly be couch surfing, but i feel cool saying that’s what we’re doing.)  we’re planning to get a good start on that – we’re gonna take a family vacation in japan before we head to the states.  but we also want to spend quality time with friends and family.   (each year that we are here i feel more of a need to work on the connections we still have in the states – and i’m really, really bad at it.  thankfully we have some amazing friends there who are very patient and determined to keep these relationships going.)

i keep thinking i’m going to get around to the actual planning of some of what needs to happen this summer, but i’m having a very hard time doing that because i want to be fully present in the here and now.  i have taken some baby steps – made contact and set loose-y goose-y dates for where we’ll be staying this summer – but at some point, preferably sooner than later, i’ve got to pencil in some concrete plans for this summer.

CU Boulder campus tour #1

c17 is starting 11th grade this coming fall – that seems impossible – and it’s fairly likely we won’t be back in the states before he graduates high school. so we figured now was as good as any to get in a few college tours. we started with the university of colorado boulder (CU). a good friend of ours attended school there and was more than happy to show us around. he also – very generously – drove us all up there. this required both of his cars and for him and his lovely wife to drive.

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CU has the prettiest campus i’ve ever seen. nestled right into the rockie mountains with lovely open spaces and beautiful buidings. and the 80 degree weather at the end of june is certainly nothing to sneeze at.

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we told him that it’s not likely we’ll see a prettier campus this summer. and he wasn’t really sure what he thought about it – since he’s not really in college mode just yet and this is the first campus he’s seen. we’ve got plans for 4 or possibly 5 more campus visits. we’re hoping that that will give him something to think about. and just in case he does decide on CU and i decide i need to go with him – i scouted out a few houses i could stand to live in.

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