So as we drove away from Montana – having left our firstborn in a strange state, a strange land, a strange room, with … well … strangers – and as I had lots of time to stare out the car window at scenery like this:
I had plenty of hours to think about things like why sending your child to college was so emotional.
I mean, there are the obvious things, like you don’t get to chit-chat as often, you won’t be privy to all the daily goings-on of your child’s day, you won’t get to have your interesting discussions at the dinner table any more, he won’t be around to make you laugh. There are the good things, like you won’t have to wash a gazillion socks anymore, you won’t have to buy mountains of Cheese-Its, and you get a little real estate back in his/her room, which you can use however you like now. Continue reading →
Well, we’re back from Montana, with my oldest child safely dropped off with all his worldly belongings, including a new comforter, a few snacks, a ukelele, and a football he decided to take at the last second.
And you know what? It wasn’t so bad — I wasn’t the emotional wreck I thought I’d be.
I think talking about his leaving, musing about it, and writing about it really helped me get a lot of the sadness out. By the time I got up there (and especially after I saw all of his dorm mates dropping their stuff off and immediately taking off toward the Clark River with inner tubes), I was so excited and happy for him. I just couldn’t wait to let him get started, so Superman and I could hear about all the new adventures he’s going to have!
I think it also helped that we brought the younger kids along. They were a lot of fun, and they kept reminding me that my job as a mom isn’t over — I’ve got another several years of all their craziness! The drive home felt like we were starting a new phase, but almost like we rewound the clock about three years — now Rene is my “oldest” at home, and she’s the age Ricky was three years ago, so I get to redo sophomore, junior and senior year.
I’ll post a little more about it — plus more photos of Montana — in the next few days. For now, it’s back to work, back to registering the younger kids for junior high and high school, and on to Phase II!
Throw rug, check.
Wastebasket, desk lamp, electrical cord, ethernet cord, lightbulbs, check.
409, Febreeze, dish, cup, can opener, laundry packets, laundry bag, toiletry bag, extra boxes of contacts, backup glasses, good calculator, desk supplies, desk organizer, check.
Handling all this emotionally. … hmmm …
Everyone keeps asking me how I’m handling Ricky leaving. I think everyone knows how close we are, and how he’s my first, and he’s my heart, and he’s my friend, and he’s always been the most like me, so we’ve always had a special bond.
But when people ask, I usually tell them something like this:
“Well, I still need to get a mattress pad, and we were looking for a longer ethernet cord, and I wanted to find some Cold-Ease…”
But I don’t think that’s what they’re asking. Continue reading →
I received a heavy, 11×14 package the other day and smiled when I saw the return address: “Jimmee P.,” it said. From Washington.
Jimmee P. has gone by many names in my lifetime — J.R., then James, then back to J.R., then Jim, then Jimmee P. — and he’s had about as many personalities to go with each name. Strangest thing is, he hardly remembers any of them.
I met him as J.R., in high school, when Superman was introducing to me to all his friends in our early days of dating. Even though Superman and I came from the same circles of friends, pretty much, he had this other group of three friends that was separate: J.R. among them. These were friends he’d made in football his freshman year, and he spent many summer days with them after football practice, goofing off with impromptu tackle games, spending time competing with the bench press in the weight room, learning to shoot BB guns, and ditching class — when class started — to sneak off and see movies like Rambo and anything with Arnold Swartzenegger in it. These guys had testosterone soaring through their veins.
When Superman and I started dating, though, there wasn’t much place for me in this small band of friends, and he hung out with them less and less. Although I met them, they tended to treat me as somewhat of a foreign creature. They would look at me as if I were some delicate gecko in a terrarium — one wrong move and I’d flee. So they rarely spoke on the few occasions Superman and I would stop and chat with them — only smiled politely and made small talk (very small) — and when Superman and I would leave, they’d all look relieved. Continue reading →
I’m pretty sure that one of the reasons my husband and I have been married so long is because of Diet Coke.
Not for the usual things – not the caffeine, or the bubbles, or the zero calories, or even the fact that it’s always cheap and available.
But for the fact of how it’s served in our house. …
Superman and I are both addicted to Diet Coke. We’ve been drinking it like fiends since we were teenagers. The caffeine rush in the morning has always been my caffeine rush of choice (I never acquired a taste for coffee); and drinking it in the afternoon has become simply habit. We’re so terrible about it that we actually make plans ahead of time for how we’re going to have Diet Coke on vacation, to avoid our caffeine headache – Will there be a refrigerator? Will there be a vending machine close by? Who will go get it? Should we bring our own as we travel, or buy it there?
(I’m telling you, people, it’s bad. …) Continue reading →