Are You Like Me? I am That Mom

Paige and Marni Trinity University Parent Perspective

by Marni Jameson –

Let me introduce myself. I am That Mother.

Twice now, I have been that caricature of a parent sending her child off to college as if her child’s life depended on it. And, well, actually, not to be too overwrought, it does.

I have been that frazzled but determined, sentimental but stoic, clingy but progressive mother who badgered, questioned, steered, challenged, coddled, prodded, provoked, cajoled, broke down, cheered, edited, counseled, and generally, as my daughters put it, “got all up in their grill.”

I pretty much consider that my job description.

See, the act of sending a child off to college puts moms like me in a constant state of contradiction. In the space of five minutes, I would go from, “How could you leave me?” to “Aren’t you in college yet?”

The college experts say that is normal, but what is normal about having your kid up for sale, in a deal where you hope the right college buys so you can pay?

When my oldest daughter, Paige, who graduated from Trinity in 2015 with a B.S. in Biology and English, started her college search, we made lists -- make that spreadsheets -- of test dates, application deadlines, and color-coded-coast-to-coast college visits. We revised them weekly.

My daughter would make her college list, and I would cross off a few names. Her father and I would add a few names that she would cross off. And her college counselor would edit down the list and add a few more names. Often these were colleges we had never heard of.

Paige at Trinity U
One of those was Trinity University.

“Paige would be a great fit,” he told us, when we both said, “Trinity?”

“Smart kids, low faculty-to-student ratio, lots of opportunity for undergraduate research, strong in both arts and sciences, a substantial endowment, super alumni support, small but not too small, and in a great town.”

We weighed other factors like cost, weather, housing, distance, diversity, culture and above all, whether I thought the place would be any fun to visit. (Wait till you try the Mexican food.)

As we ruled out other contenders -- too impersonal, too intense, too social --Trinity kept hitting our sweet spot.

In the end, we had a choice of schools. The decision was easy. I still remember the moment on Christmas Eve when Paige received a red package from Trinity tied with a white ribbon that said, “Say Yes.”

I jumped up and down.

Magic Stones at Trinity University

Once Paige started her college education, she changed her career aspiration from veterinarian to playwright to Broadway singer to botanist. At Trinity she was able to discover, develop and explore all those interests, and grow as a scientist, a writer, a singer and, most important, as a young woman.

Today, Paige works full-time as a digital media editor at the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy at Rice University, where she is also a graduate student pursuing a master’s in bioscience and health policy. Although confident with an undergraduate degree under her belt, she remains a tad anxious about what lies ahead. But I know that whatever that may be she is ready.

Still, I will continue to badger, challenge, cheer, counsel, and generally, “get up in her grill,” because I am That Mother. And I bet, you are, too.

About Marni

Marni Jameson is a nationally syndicated home and lifestyle columnist, author, speaker, and mother of two college-age children who is alive to tell about it. Her most recent book, “Downsizing the Family Home – What to Save, What to Let Go” came out January 2016 from Sterling Publishing. She lives in Winter Park, Florida.


  1. We were lucky Paige found her way to us!

  2. Thank you, Marni, and I'll definitely check out your book....very timely for me.