Sunday, July 29, 2007

On Becoming a Tick Mark, and Other Tales

My son sent me an e-mail.

For someone who once claimed e-mail was dead, for a kid who grew up on MySpace and Instant Messaging, this is huge. HUGE.

It gets better.

Attached to the e-mail were two Excel spreadsheets. The first details his monthly expenditures once he starts college, starting with that enormous bill called tuition right down to details like Saturday night dates.

He plans on sending us monthly reports.

I suspect certain details will go unspoken.

The second illustrates his financial plan for funding all four years of his college education. He detailed his scholarship, federal grant, student loan and committed income from Dad-Who-Would-Be-Outlaw, his adoring grandparents, and, of course, moi. Detailed right down to anticipated dates of receipt.

We all now know exactly where we stand. We are no longer his loving relations. We’re tick marks in The-Man-Named-Bill's financial plan.

My financial plan when I started college? Grants, student loans and cocktail waitressing (Great tips. Cheap drinks).

Ya gotta admire Bill’s persistence.

He didn’t get into the film program at his first choice college. But he got a scholarship. So he’s going anyway. Plans on relying on chutzpah to eventually get into the film school.

And his job at the theatre production company became impractical when they decided to move their operation to San Diego.

Does he sweat a drop? Nope.

Calls the Dean of the Film School, actually gets the man on the phone (which is apparently a rare feat), and procures a list of recommended work-study programs that will better position his application for film school next spring.

Sounds a whole lot more strategic than wearing short skirts and peddling cocktails to businessmen.

I suppose I ought to start writing about something other than my son. I really thought my life would turn once he graduated from high school and went to college. That I’d find all kinds of other interesting things to write about like…well, like writing.

I know people think I’m proud of him. Which I am. But this is something more.

Bill fascinates me. Utterly fascinates me.

He fascinates me the way most of us find certain movie characters fascinating. Or certain film stars. Like Humphrey Bogart. Or interesting people we meet when we’re traveling.

I feel like I'm in the middle of a great of novel with a fascinating lead character. The kind of book that gets me so wrapped up that I can't put it down. Up till 4 in the morning reading. Poring over every word to make sure I don't miss a subtle plot turn or a single nuance of character development. Can't wait to find out what happens in the end, but more importantly, can't wait to find out what happens next.

August 21.

Bill starts college and the next chapter begins.


Anonymous said...

You know, I find your son very inspiring.

Keep up with the stories...

Mindy Tarquini said...

My kids fascinate me, too. And I loved reading this post.

Adam Hurtubise said...

Encore! Encore!

That post was terrific.

Unknown said...


You guys are awesome!

mai wen said...

Your son definitely fascinates me because going through the applying and financing Grad School by myself without mummy's help has completely stressed me out. While I took out many school loans to finance my Undergrad, I'm afraid my mums did most of the leg work and had me just sign on the dotted line.

He's so independent and confident, and I'm so so jealous! I've got maybe 8 years on him and strive for what he's already accomplished for himself personally!

Good for you momma! Hope I can raise my future children as well. :)

Plantation said...

He's most special. Takes after his mom. Hope you're doing well

Anonymous said...

It's nice to see that Justin (or Bill...) is doing well. There's nothing better than pursuing your passion, and he certainly seems very passionate.

You probably didn't think I checked your blog, did you? Every once in a while I look it up on Google because it's kind of fun to see what one of these "bloggers" is writing about - a blogger that I know in real life.

Elizabeth Krecker said...

Mai Wen, you're so dear!

Plant, it's great to hear from you!

And Patrick...WOW!! I had no idea you were stopping by from time to time! I'm totally touched. And for all of you who enjoy stories about my son, Patrick is another amazing young man. Be sure to check out his web site at:
And after you've seen his beautiful site, shake your head in amazement because Patrick is but a few years older than my son.

And I'm really glad you all enjoy stories about Bill. 'Cause I can't seem to write about much else lately.

mai wen said...

I checked out and wow, your family has some good genes! :)~ It's a really awesome website, really well designed and I've worked with a lot of website designers in my previous job as a Project Coordinator. It looks very sharp and professional.