He Practically Became That Fish in Water.

For spring break, I took Dylan on a road trip to start looking at colleges.

I know it’s early, but I couldn’t wait. (Note that Dylan probably could have waited a decade.) But thus far, Dylan’s college experience had been limited to the handful of colleges around our home – and there are so, so many more out there for him to see!

So we headed out with a very brief itinerary. Over the course of three days, we saw 5 colleges.

During our first stop, at a small college of about 1,300 students, we hiked all over campus. We saw students carrying instruments, and followed them into the music building. We saw a classroom where the musicians were all blowing – and chasing – bubbles. It looked like a lot of fun, in my opinion. Then we walked through the student union.

Dylan kept fixing his hair. “I feel like we shouldn’t be doing this,” he said. But he seemed interested.

It was a nice place, and it gave Dylan a feel for the smaller, liberal arts world. Then we visited an enormous college – much larger – which Dylan said was okay. He was much more interested in the football stadium than any of the other buildings.

And there were lots of other buildings.

We saw another large university, and stayed overnight. Without really much thought, and without much discussion about its attributes, Dylan really seemed to like the third college.

“I just feel like I should be here,” he said, quite sincerely. He was at peace in a way that I rarely saw, except when he became obsessed with watching a fish in water.

He practically became that fish in water.

We saw a few more schools, but after that one, the others were a let-down for him.

He started asking questions about how he could get into that college. What did he need to do? What were his chances of getting in?

Dylan would gladly give up if I told him he had no chance.

But he does have a chance – a good one.

“You’re lucky,” I told him. “You’re brilliant. You’ve got an IB program in high school. And you get pretty good grades. All you have to do is do your work and turn it in.”

And now he has a mission. He has a focus – a goal – a light at the end of the tunnel.

“Can I apply now?” he asked. “Like after 8th grade?”

“You’re not a prodigy,” I said. “You’d have other problems if you were – so just relax and enjoy high school. And just turn in your work. Besides, we have lots of other colleges to see before you apply.”

We had a great trip, just the two of us. Dylan is funny and kind and delightful to be around. He’s got a super heart and a wild wit. And I adore him – for those reasons, and so many more.

It’s wonderful, just being able to relax and enjoy that for a change.

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