Yesterday was my birthday. It was the day the dogwoods bloomed (they do it all at once, suddenly). It was also the postmark deadline for registration for the ACT.

#1 son plans to take it, but had done no part of filling out the form. So I was helping him before he left for school, looking up college codes, skimming through the questions on the first page to make sure I had all the answers, getting him to sign it, and I said I would fill in all those bubbles for him and get it sent.

It turns out that there is a whole “student profile” section. The first part had questions about the classes he had taken, which I was able to answer with some degree of confidence. Then there was a bit about his prefererred major. It happened that there are three subjects he has mentioned at one time or another. There were three spaces: likely major, first choice of career, and second choice of career. I put them all in. This made it look as though he intended to study linguistics in order to become either an art historian or a professional musician. Ah, well, there were no codes for either “drifter” or “itinerant folklorist,” his actual career goals.

Having made such an odd choice there, I decided to answer the next question — how sure are you of your major? — with a “completely undecided” sort of code.

Then we moved into likes and dislikes. Here I was trying to channel my kid, trying to imagine how he felt about taking inventory, measuring chemicals in test tubes, and running a political campaign. Every now and then there would be something I actually knew that he liked, and I pounced on those with confidence. Otherwise, who knows? I made him neutral on the subject of rescuing people. When I had no idea at all based on life experiences, I would try to imagine his hero Clint Eastwood’s reaction. Would he be cool with watching for forest fires?

It is possible that I should, at this point, have put a “yes” for the question about wanting help with personal issues, but I don’t think he would have. My son, that is, or Clint Eastwood. Either one.

It took me an hour.

Today I must take the boys to get haircuts (me, too) and buy clothes. There is also grocery shopping, housework, a stop to get ink for the printer, and possibly assistance with my husband’s car.

But then I will return to Erin. I don’t mean go to Ireland, but just get back to knitting my Fair Isle cardigan, an Alice Starmore design called “Erin.” I have a Netflix movie and a big stack of unread books, and hopes of a leisurely afternoon.