Friday, August 27, 2010

The Long and Winding Road

I received the first desparation call today.

"Mom, I'm lost and I'm twenty minutes late to class"

Bless her heart. She wanted advice from her directionally challenged mom who hasn't been on that campus in 30+ years.

"Should I go on to class anyway?"
"How am I going to find my way?"

It was wrenching. She was lost and there was nothing I could do about it.
"Ask someone for directions." was my only solution.
It's not like we didn't prepare her for this:
Walk your route out the day before classes.
Take your map until you don't need it anymore.
Ask before you leave one building how to get to the next.

We had given our best advice and strategy.
Now it was up to her.

As painful as that little incident was today, it reminded me of the truth I've learned on this parenting journey:
"You prepare them the best you can, but the rest is up to them"

There have been a few other times when I've had to stand by helplessly and watch (while I wanted to cover my eyes) as these young adult children made choices that I didn't think were wise, beneficial, or practical. Sometimes the outcome was a figurative train wreck, other times just a mild bump in the road. But it was their path to walk and their experiences to learn from. I couldn't do it for them.

And so she will take a few diversions here and there and while she does, I'll pray that she remembers the map, asks for help, and eventually finds her own way.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Pros and Cons

It's only been a week since our last little bird has left home and our nest has been empty. These are the things that I miss already:
  • indulging in a bowl of mac & cheese because she already made up a batch of it
  • a few of my favorite shoes
  • someone to go to Walmart with me at 10:30 pm
  • watching trashy TV shows she picks (while doing my moral motherly duty of pointing out how bad they are)
  • watching Disney channel
  • her guacamole
  • a second opinion on wardrobe options
There's got to be an upside to empty nestdom (just made that word up I think) so I'm making a list:
  • Cleaning the house then watching as it mostly STAYS that clean and picked up
  • Downsizing--Clearing out the house (from college boy's cast offs, college girl's unwanteds, and 30 years of collections) then selling it off or hauling it off for someone else to enjoy
  • Smaller loads of laundry
  • Buying the kind of orange juice I LIKE (medium pulp with Calcium)
  • Going to sleep when i go to bed vs. staying awake until I hear the garage door open and close
I'm sure there are other advantages we will discover as time goes on but for now I am grateful for Skype,
and Verizon.....just so I won't miss her tooo much.

Monday, August 16, 2010

The Long Good-Bye

571 miles
8 hours, 46 minutes per MapQuest
2 vehicles loaded with all the worldy goods an 18 year could own
102 degree heat
1 dead car battery

Other than that, things went fine...
smooth check in
volunteers to help unload vehicles and carry her stuff to the room
room re-arranged once or twice...or twelve
good bye lunch over so-so Mexican food
good-bye hug in parking garage
a small catch in the breath, a little tear from the eye,
and then she's gone.
One last look over her shoulder as we drive away.
On to our new lives...
and another 8 hours and 46 minutes on the road

Friday, August 6, 2010

We're Going to Need an Intervention

It is crunch time. 1 week, 1 day until I send my heart away.

We are washing, we are packing. By we, I mostly mean me.

I've never been very good with spacial relationship puzzles, but I'm pretty sure that what takes two regular size bedrooms to collect & store, may not fit into one half of a 10' X 13' dorm room. We may be bringing something back.

But it won't be her.

And it may not be these either.

The Princess and I have enjoyed sharing the same shoe size since she entered high school. Most of the time it has worked to our advantage and only on a few occassions did it cause conflict. That's about to change. We need to sit down and negotiate who gets what.
It will be sad to see them go.
All of them.
But especially the girl.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Happy Birthday Mom!

I would like to wish my mom a blessed day today on her 77th birthday. She taught me how to mind my manners, keep a clean and orderly house, how to set a proper table and how to show hospitality. Because of her job at the public library, I knew the Dewey Decimal system way before my time and loved checking out piles of books to read every week. I endured piano lessons because she never got to take them as a child but am now glad that I did. I wished I'd been more attentive when she tried to teach me to cook or told me to stay out of the sun. She never was one to take the limelight but was content to work behind the scenes and do whatever needed to be done. As a pastor's wife, many things were expected of her--sometimes she was stretched out of her comfort zone (she drew the line at camp counselor) but she gracefully stayed true to who God created her to be. She cheered me on in my endeavors yet never let me get too big for my britches.
I love you mom!