Hanging on for Dear Life.

Another edition of You Asked for it.

So, no secret here. I sent my baby boy off to Radford University last month. It was actually much easier than I expected to leave him there, walk the two miles back to our car (if you have been involved in college move in day, you know what I’m talking about) and drive away.

I think it was easier because I spent the entire previous year mourning that day in advance.

Some thoughts to (maybe) help with the transition:

1. They are going to want to make all their own decisions. Let them think that they are. Continue working your momma magic in the background.

2. I hated the thought of senior year beginning because I knew how quickly it would pass. The Wild Boy was over Senior year in August. The August before senior year began.

3. I purchased every bit of spirit wear and senior related items I could get my hands on. The Wild Boy’s response? “Meh.” If I had to do it all over again? I would buy every bit of spirit wear and senior related items I could get my hands on. I was determined to Be There and Be Present for every. single. thing. And, I was.

4. Don’t be sucked into the crazy that is the emotions of a teenager in his (or her) senior year of high school. Seriously. The Wild Boy was surly, angry, huffy, loving, huggy, smiling all in the span of a nano second. I tried to keep up and respond accordingly at first. Big. Mistake. It made me surly, angry, huffy and hurt my feelings. It took me a few months to let it go. We were all better for it when I did.

5. Grades are important. Perfection is not. I wanted The Wild Boy to go out with a bang. He just wanted to make it through. (See #2 above.) So I kept up with his grades and nudged (and pushed) when needed, but in the end…he really wanted to be successful, also.

*welcome to Susan’s fantasy world*

6. Invest in several cases of good quality wine. You’re going to need it. Not that I condone self-medicating with a bottle glass of wine, but it just might help you get through the initial months of hearing your Senior mumble, “see ya” (if you’re lucky) as they slam the door on the way out and you and your spouse sit in the living room looking at each other and all you hear is the deafening silence. By the time May rolls around, you will finally be accustomed to it (and to the stranger you spent years passing on the stairs as you both dashed off in different directions, with different kids.)

7. Be prepared for your husband to respond quite differently than you do. Case in point. My Man squelched his emotions by purchasing vehicles. And learning to ride a Harley.

8. Focus on getting everything together for the dorm room. If your Senior is a boy, you will have to. If your Senior is a girl, all you will have to do is be prepared to shell out big bucks.

9. Don’t expect to hear thank you, I’m sorry, I love you, I’ll miss you, you’re the best parents ever, etc. If you don’t expect to hear them, you will be beyond jubilant when you actually do hear these things (and you will. Eventually.)

10. Enjoy every single second. Securely store every bit of it in your heart to pull out and remember come September. When it is just you, that stranger you are married to and a big fat glass of wine sitting in the living room watching the Nats play, wondering where all the years went, talking about your aches and pains and lack of sleep and “the good old days.”

Bonus hint: Don’t follow your son or daughter too closely on The Twitter or you just might read
he or she posted something like, “just signed up for skydiving.” Trust. Me. You don’t want to have to read that and try to live out the next few months with any semblance of normalcy that might involve sleep or calm or less than a bottle a night of cheap red wine as you await the inevitable Go Pro video on Facebook.

Also. Be prepared to text your freshman child things you never thought you would. Such as, “please stop referring to your RA as a ‘commie’ on The Twitter.” 

P.S. About a month after move-in day, you will discover that you can now spend lots of quality time together with your spouse doing whatever you want to do. I will let you decide if that is a good thing…or not.

Good. Luck.

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It’s Not My Plan.

This is post number two I have started today. Post number one will eventually make it’s way back to the forefront and, as a teaser, it is Part Two in my You Asked for It series and has to do with kids. That totally narrows it down for you, I know.

If you are still hanging in there reading, I have, sadly for my family, been in serious reflection and frustration mode. Possibly, those should be reversed in order…frustration and reflection. Something has been tugging at my heart and my brain cells lately and I just could not reach out and bring it into clarity. Until this morning.

For the past 25 years or so I have not been living. I’ve been surviving; existing; getting by; making do. Any and all of the cliche terms apply here. I’ve been reactive and not proactive. Defensive and not on the offensive. You get what I’m saying by now, I am sure.

So. What to do about it? My first inclination was to do what I love to do best: Take. Control. Oh to be able to control it all…how wonderful life would be! Or so I convince myself into believing at times. It cracks me up that I am always the first to say to My Man, our Darlings and anyone else who will listen, “it’s not our plan…it’s His plan.” *gag me* Don’t get me wrong. I one hundred percent believe that it is truly God’s Plan;  that He is The One in Control. Then what does that make us? Chopped liver? *I love liver and liverwurst…anyone else?*

We are not mindless, powerless, robots totally controlled by God. Or our circumstances and the acts and mindsets of others, for that matter. We have a brain. We have resources. We have feelings and abilities and can decide for ourselves whether we blindly allow ourselves to be drug along the path our problems and circumstances take us or, whether we ask and seek and learn and decide for ourselves how we will respond, even if we can not physically control how it all plays out.

I totally believe God has been thumping me on the head with this truth lately: I have been more of an audience to my own life than a participant. Absolutely I have been there with my kids, doing what needed to be done, but I always felt like it was all spinning and I was running from plate to plate, giving it a quick touch to keep it spinning and then dashing to the next spinning plate. Ugh. It just hit me: trying to do it all, be all, please all. I just don’t think that is what we were created to do.Or, at least not what I was created to do.

And I have to be honest with you here…it hasn’t let up. Even with three adult children. I still feel like I am running from thing to thing, never catching up.Which is why I am so certain that this is not the way it is supposed to be.

So. Again. What to do about it all? First things first. I am focusing on me for a bit. No, seriously, this time I really am doing it. Focusing on my health (it’s totally out of control); my eating (ditto); and the things I need to be doing. Not necessarily the things I want to be doing. Does that make any sense at all to anyone? Cuz I’m really struggling with what it will look like.

I’ll let you know.