That Last Tuition Bill

It started twenty years ago, paying tuition for Carter’s school. When she got that first acceptance letter to Westminster School for young children we were thrilled. Paying that $1,000 for a whole year was money well spent. Her first two teacher, Mrs. Smith and Mrs. Pyle were the most excellent introduction to school Carter could have ever had.

I will never forget our first parent teacher conference, sitting on those tiny chairs, knees up to our chins. Mrs. Smith excitedly told us that Carter was better than any student she had ever had in twenty years of teaching in one particular skill. We held our breath, please be math. “Cutting with scissors,” she told us. What were we thinking? Two year olds don’t do math.

We were not surprised by the cutting with scissors since we did a lot of arts and crafts at our house, but we took it.

Today, I got the last tuition bill for Carter’s undergraduate education. She is on a five year program, but will finish in December, saving me one semester’s bill. It is should be a happy day, the last big check of many years of big checks, but I am a little sad.

Carter has loved college. She excitedly educated me on some of the more interesting things she has learned and classes that inspired her. She has worked 20 months at Bain Capital while at school, learning so much about the bigger world. I think her equally valuable learning came as a student leader in the Explore program, the place Northeastern places undecided majors. Carter has been a TA and Coordinator for that program since her second year, even while at Bain, helping other students find their paths and passions.

I am thankful that Carter will just be in school and only working in Explore for her last semester. Working full-time while going to school full-time is just too much working and not enough fun. She certainly took after her father in the work/school life balance and nothing like me in the school/throw some parties life.

As soon as the parent portal is back up and running, as it crashed with all the parents looking at their bills, I will pay that last bill. It might be tomorrow. I thought I would be more elated about finishing paying for school, but 20 years of doing that is a hard habit to break. Great job Carter. Finish strong.

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