Wednesday, March 30, 2011

and good news ends the day (lyn)

At five pm we sit down at my computer together.   (Alexander decides to nix our original plan).  First we open Cornell’s link and his likely letter is confirmed.  He’s in.  Seeing it again doesn’t lessen the thrill.  Then we open Dartmouth.  “I regret to inform you.”  Next is U Penn.  Another no.  Alexander is sad.  At six Alexander tries to get on the Duke site.  It is overloaded and he can’t.  He tries  for 40 minutes and then he has to leave for a rare dinner with his father.  “Call me the minute you hear,” he says as he walks out the door.  I finally get through a little after seven, and this one begins, “It is with the greatest regret…”  I call and tell him, and he says, “OK, thanks.”  His dreams for Duke gone.

I eat a solitary dinner of salmon and worry about my baby.

Around nine he comes home; I’m in my bedroom and call out to him to come in.  “In a minute,” he shouts back.  “I first want to go in my room for a second and cry a little.”  I understand.  He knows his options are good, but his #1 and #2 choices (Duke and Penn) are no longer possibilities.  He deserves a good cry, but my heart breaks for him.

A few minutes later he comes flying into my room.  Not with tears (he was kidding about those) but with a huge smile, wearing the Cornell t-shirt I bought him last fall but that he wouldn’t wear.  He is so happy.  “Finally,” he says, “I can wear the Cornell shirt.  I know I’m going to love it there.”  I remind him of the fact that we still need to hear about aid, and he smiles broadly and says, “I know.  I know.  But I’d love Vanderbilt too.” 

Later I hear him on the phone screaming (literally) when he learns of a good friend’s acceptance to Harvard.  His excitement for his friend seems no less exuberant than his own joy when he first got a likely letter from Cornell.

I see my son handle his first major disappointment with dignity and grace.  I am so proud of Alexander.  So while the day doesn't end with the good news we'd hoped for, it ends with very good news indeed.

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