Spelling bees to college visits - the life of a mom of a teen

November 10, 2011|Lisa Prejean

Just another week in the life of a mom with two busy teenagers ...

Monday: Drive to Bowie, Md., with a carload of kids for a district-level spelling bee.

Spend the drive home pondering how the same person can spell welterweight correctly and yet miss the word propelling. It is the easy words with double letters that seem to trip up my daughter. Note to self: Perhaps we should spend more time studying those.

Tuesday: Try to calm 16-year-old as he prepares to take his driver's test.

"You've got this," I say confidently. Then I proceed to tell him about my driver's test. I got behind the wheel, glanced at my evaluator and smiled, encouraging him to make eye contact. He wasn't going to give me that assurance. He stoically faced straight ahead.

I burst into tears. I guess the pressure of the moment had become a little too intense. How embarrassing to have to wait to take your test until you can gain your composure. It doesn't get much worse than that, does it? And yet, I passed the test.

"Well, Mom, that makes me feel better."

I had to stop and analyze his statement. Did my story really make him feel better or was he being facetious? Hmmm. I'm going to choose the former, for the simple fact that he did indeed pass his driver's test.

Later that night he reminded me that he is able to drive alone in the car or even take his sister places if I need him to do that.

"Oh," I said, trying not to show the stress that statement caused.

Wednesday: Practice, practice, practice day. Before school? Run-through for the National Honor Society induction. Remind son to bring violin. After school? Junior high girls basketball practice. Remind daughter to bring basketball shoes —both of them. (Not that we've ever forgotten that we have two feet so we need two shoes ....) For him, drama practice. Bring signed permission slips and costume ideas.

After practice, grab a quick sandwich and head off to special music practice at church. Remind son to bring music.

Later in evening ... pack suitcase for college visit.

Thursday: National Honor Society induction. Dress nicely. Bring violin. Bring music. Go to classes, take a few tests, hop in van and head to Cedarville University in Ohio. This is our first college visit. In a way, I'm glad we're starting now in his junior year, but in a way I'm sad because in two more years he won't be here day in and day out. Who will listen to (and understand) my corny English jokes? Sigh. Hopefully I won't burst into tears at the admissions office.

Friday: Campus tours, financial aid information, attend a few classes. My son will be going to engineering and architecture classes while I'll be going to English classes. Guess who my husband wants to follow? I can't imagine why he wouldn't want to learn more about research papers and British literature. Those are the classes where bridges truly are built.

Friday night and Saturday: Soccer, soccer, soccer. While my son attends a campus soccer clinic, my husband and I will explore campus, chill and relax.

After this week, I think we'll need it.

Lisa Tedrick Prejean writes a weekly column for The Herald-Mail's Family page. Send email to her at

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