Bryon was sleeping when the email came in to check my application, so Collin sat on the chair with me, and literally held my hand while I checked. When I immediately started crying, he didn't know what to do, so started hugging me, and started crying too because he was as sad as I was. He told me, "Mommy, when you are sad, I'm sad." Then, he said, "Mommy, I wanted them to say yes for you too!"
Without my boy, I'm not sure what I'd have done today. Once I stood up, to go wake Bryon (he agreed that any school news was grounds for waking him, even on midnight shifts), Collin ran to the garage to get me a Coke, because in his panicked, must-make-Mommy-smile-state, he figured that would make me happy (since I love Coke!). Then, when that didn't work for more than a second, he ran to his room and started furiously coloring and writing. He wrote me a poem/song (I think he might know it from somewhere that I'm unfamiliar with?):
Things will change
Things will change
So even thoe [it] is sto[r]my
ther[e']s 1 thing
He also drew me a lovely hot air balloon, with my whole family inside, lifting my spirits. Seriously. I can't make this stuff up.
All day, he sat with me, held my hand, and generally made me smile whenever he thought I started to get a cloudy look in my eye. We watched a movie together, ran errands, and I'm glad I had my best little buddy around on this "snow" day with no snow. This afternoon, when he determined, out of the blue, "Mommy, I think that there's nothing to worry about, because you still have two schools to hear from...and, they will both say yes." I realized that while this was a terrible blow, I'm glad I got it now, at 34 with my (almost) 6 year old son as a buffer.
So, the blow: GW was the most competitive program that I applied to. They are a private school, with a reputation on par with Harvard and the like for English alone. The Med/Ren department is leaps and bounds out of the park compared to anywhere in the country. It'd be like me, as a runner, deciding that if I really try, I could qualify for the Boston Marathon next year. Sure, it's possible, but incredibly unlikely.
As such, the rejection was not unexpected, but devastating nonetheless. It means I do only have two left to hear from, and two more shots. Most people apply all over the country; I'm limited. I had three shots. For example, I have a friend who applied to ten schools. Ten. She's been accepted to three, and rejected from a few, and wait listed on a few, to give you an idea on odds. So, applying to three is a very big gamble, especially when the three you apply to include two of the top schools in the country (GW and UVA).
Alas, I'm still waiting, but it's the beginning of the end. I feel ten times worse than this morning (before I knew), because now I know what a rejection actually feels like, and because the waiting feeling is still there, only even more amplified now. So, not only am I still waiting, I'm also sad. It's a surreal feeling to know that you are out of the game, and still in the game at the same time. And, it's terribly terrifying to imagine the very real possibility that what you really want to do with your life may not happen, at least not this year.
In case anyone is wondering, this is what a $75 application fee and countless hours of application time and worrying gets you. A form letter, that you have to login to see: