~my thoughts about life~

Monday, June 15, 2015

Son #1 Update

The fancy ride he drove on the last day of school!
Sixteen.  Driving.  Attitude.  Job.  Pimples.  Growth Spurt.  These are all words that presently describe my tall, gangly teenage son.  Do you realize how hard it is to scold someone when you are inches from their face, on your tiptoes, and craning your neck to look up at them?  Once or twice, I've actually broken into laughter as I've tried to yell at the little boy who is now towering over me.  It's comical.  At last measurement, he was 5'8".  That was a good two months ago so I'm sure it's 5'9" by now.  And he just broke 120 lbs.  He is his father.

The teenage years have been somewhat of a struggle with Son #1.  He truly thinks he knows all there is to know about life and that I don't have a clue.  Yeah, he's normal.  We've had our share of smart-mouthing, arguing, disrespect, and everything else that goes along with being a young teen.  Looking back on the worst of it, I can now say that we learned a lot of life lessons through it.

Son #1 has always been a great student.  He has always been in Honors classes and is more motivated than a lot of kids his age.  He isn't always on task, however, and has made some blunders in the recent past.

Around here, our high school students are given the opportunity to enroll in college classes for free.  They have to get a minimum composite of 18 on their ACT and have a GPA of 3.0, I think.  My kid's GPA has been between 3.7 and 3.8 so we didn't have any worries there.  There was one more ACT offered before the school year was out so we planned on #1 taking that.  He missed the deadline to sign up by a day.  I was pretty ticked.  I also felt somewhat guilty for not remembering myself, but it was in the midst of all my Spring stress and it was his responsibility anyway.  Fortunately, we found out that we could register late and pay an additional fee.  I've already mentioned that we're struggling financially right now so that late fee wasn't something I was too excited about paying.  But I had to.  So, all was good. 

To take the ACT, you now have to upload a photo of yourself.  The guidelines and restrictions are pretty strict and I didn't have anything on file that met their requirements.  So we planned on taking the photo later, when his hair looked better.  This was still in the midst of my busiest time of year and I forgot.  ACT sent a reminder email a couple days in advance but #1 hadn't been checking his email.  That deadline passed also.  I lost it.  We paid EXTRA for him to take this test and I was staring at a letter saying that his registration has been cancelled.  No money back.  I was a raving lunatic.  We are now out the testing fee, the late fee, and the thousands of dollars lost on tuition because #1 has now twice dropped the ball. 

In desperation, I immediately picked up the phone and called ACT.  I explained that we missed the deadline for submitting the photo.  She explained that there's nothing she could do.  I begged and pleaded.  I explained that this was his last opportunity to take the test before the deadline to sign up for college classes.  She sympathized with me but said there was still nothing she could do.  I asked if there was any other person I could talk to.  I desperately asked her to try to do something.  She asked me to hold and went to talk to a supervisor.  I prayed.  Honey, I prayed and prayed the entire time I was on hold.  I begged God to allow someone to have compassion on me.  When she came back on the phone, she spoke softly and said that this has never been done before, but they were going to let me upload the photo late!  I started sobbing into the phone!  It was so embarrassing, but I told the woman that she did something that I would remember for the rest of my life!  I don't know how they worked this out for me, but I was the most grateful person on the face of the earth! 

I immediately went to my computer, cropped out a picture of Son #1's face from a family picture, and uploaded it.  I didn't care if it was grainy, I didn't care if he had changed his hairstyle since then.  I wanted it done!  I texted him at school and gave him the good news.  I was still furious at him for forgetting again.

Test day came and went.  He thought he did well and we were both confident he could score an 18.  Results would be mailed but you can also check results online.  One day, I noticed his login information lying on the desk, so I signed on to see if I could find out when results would be posted.  They already were and he scored a 21!  I was thrilled and sent him a screen shot at school.  He texted back saying that he was sick to his stomach.  I asked why because he scored several points above the minimum.  He explained that, although his composite was high enough, he didn't make the cut in English.  I didn't realize there was also a minimum for the English portion of the test.  He missed it by one point. 

I called the guidance counselor at school and she said she didn't think the college would overlook his English score.  She gave me the name of someone at the university.  I called and asked if there was any hope.  No, he said.  The English minimum was mandatory.  So now, three things have happened to hinder Son #1 from getting into this program.  I just couldn't understand why things kept happening.  I asked the guy if there was anything that could be done.  I gave God the credit for getting us over the last two obstacles...I knew He wasn't going to leave me stranded here.  The guy said there was one more residual ACT that would meet the deadline.  It was in two days.  A residual ACT is offered by a particular school and the results are only accepted by them.  They are non-transferrable.  Since it's a residual, you can register up until the day before.  Hallelujah- there was still hope!!!

I went online myself and registered #1.  I was tired of giving him chances.  I texted him at school and told him to cancel any plans for Saturday.  He was taking the ACT again.  Since there wasn't any time for test prep, I googled English ACT test prep and made him take all these practice tests. 

On Saturday, we dropped him off bright and early at the college.  An hour later, I got a phone call from #1 which about stopped my heart.  He was flipping out because the facilitator said you can't take this test if you've taken another residual in the past 30 days.  I knew that but didn't feel the need to share it with him.  He took a national test, not a residual.  The instructor had to listen to him make this call to me because the test booklets had already been passed out.  He was a nervous wreck now and knew his future depended on his ability to settle down and take this test. 

Fortunately, the results from a residual come back a lot sooner.  He got a 21 again and his English went up by a few points!  He was still disappointed in his score because Math & Science both dropped.  I didn't care what it was, as long as he met the requirements!

OK, the story is still not over.  I know it's getting long.  There was one more thing he had to do.  He had to fill out his college application.  The deadline was the day after he received his scores.  I nagged and nagged him to do it.  "I KNOW, Mom!" was his answer.  The boys were leaving Friday night for a weekend trip with their youth group.  Hubby & I had to go somewhere so I left them packing for their trip; they were driving to the church themselves.  The last words out of my mouth were, "Don't forget to fill out that application."  His answer:  "I KNOW, Mom!!!"

Late Saturday night, the boys got back and started telling us about the trip.  Hubby casually asked, "You filled out that application, right?"  My idiotic son covered his face with his hands and said, "Oh my gosh!"  Yes, he had ONCE AGAIN missed a deadline!  This is the maddest I've ever been in my entire life.  I screamed.  I yelled.  I lost my words and couldn't even speak.  I was absolutely furious!  Even though the girls were in bed, I slammed his bedroom door and told him I did not want to speak to him.

I stormed downstairs and went online.  I was hoping that, by some chance, the application was still online and they wouldn't notice the time stamp on it.  I filled it out myself.  It took 5 stinking minutes.  I couldn't sleep that night.  I could not figure out why my son was being so careless.  This is not how I raised him. 

Two days later, I signed onto his university student account.  I had to create the login information when I filled out the application.  I made the password "MYMOM" just in case he was admitted.  Every time he logs onto his account, he'll have to remember who made all this possible for him.  His Mom.  It said that his application was pending!  I got my hopes up once again.  Maybe God is taking me the long way through this valley for a reason.  Do I not trust Him?  Do I not think he's capable of performing miracle after miracle on my behalf?  I did some more praying.  I spoke in faith and told God I trusted that He wanted to work this out for insignificant, little me. 

The very next day, I logged on (password: MYMOM) and discovered that his application was accepted!!!  I cried!  I danced!  I took a screen shot of it, just in case!  I called Hubby so elated that this had all worked out! 

I still give God 100%  of the credit.  None of these things were possible without his intervention!  It also taught me a lot about trust, determination, persistence, and faith.  It taught Son #1 a lot about fear (of his raging mother), procrastination, and adulthood.  I am sooooo glad this is past us, but I have to say that the lessons learned were invaluable. 

Son #1 is signed up for two classes in the fall and I am simply elated!  I even got a great hug out of this entire process and he told me he really appreciated me!  Worth it.

1 comment:

Linda said...

Really frustrating, right? You definitely went the extra mile(s) to get this done. I know we all step in to try and make things happen when they're this important, but too bad you couldn't have just let son struggle with this by himself and then deal with the consequences. I always think it's a challenge to figure out how/when to let them fail because of their own choices...Being a parent is not for the faint of heart, that's for sure.