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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Feelin’ the Strain.

Big happenings at church today. My preggo bff, Jen, had a little episode during Sunday school. Just got the word that she is fine and at home. Also just got some commentary on the event from eye witnesses. When she and her hubby scooted out of class, I caught them out of the corner of my eye heading for the door. A minute later, I turned around to look…just in time to see her start to go down and her hubby catch her. Apparently, bff Jill and bff Lori saw the same thing because, word has it, in an orchestrated move, the three of us jumped up and high tailed it…perfectly in step…to the door. While the two of them got Jen settled and comfy, I ran into my office, which during Sunday school hosts the er, eldest class of Sunday school students. Pushed my way through them reaching for the only cordless phone in the building (cell phones work intermittently at our locale). While folks tried to get Jen cooled off (dizzy, sweaty, clammy, trying to catch her breath) I was dialing my good buddies at 911. When I finally hung up with them…paramedics were on the way…I turned around and a long time friend was standing there. She touched my arm and said, “you were remarkably calm and did very well with that” I told her that 1) it wasn’t my husband, 2) it wasn’t a child of mine, and 3) because it IS someone I love…I should be breaking down any moment. I waited until they hauled sweet Jen off in the rig. By that time, worship had begun. I was seated next to bff and birthday girl, Beth, and just felt it coming…I had to get out of there and have my mini-breakdown-moment. So I did what I always do…called The Man who was somewhere near Annapolis heading to the girl’s volleyball tournament. He has seen me in this condition a lot lately. I felt better after talking with him. I did come home and take a nap. A long one. Jen is home and apparently very, very hungry. Her bp had tanked and then over compensated in the opposite direction, according to her hubby. We’ll keep an eye on her a bit more closely for the rest of her pregnancy. I was so worried about her. One of the down-sides to loving those around you!
On a different note…I ripped this off from a blog I was visiting today…can’t even remember which one. I thought it looked fun and I tag YOU to copy and paste from me and put it on YOUR blog.
So here we go:
Current Book(s): He Speaks to Me by Priscilla Shirer. The book is awesome. I highly recommend it. I want to have it read before we begin the bible study on March 3.
Current Playlist: It’s been All-Travis-All-the-Time on my iPod.
Current Shame-Inducing Guilty Pleasure: People.com. I thought I had broken that horrible addiction!
Current Color: Browns and raspberry together.
Current Fetish: Comfy sleep pants and my fuzzy slippers.
Current Drink: At this very moment…I have a yummy cup of tea going in my favorite tea cup and saucer…the only way I drink tea…although I drink my coffee in a big old fat mug. Go figure.
Current Food: Grits, grits and more grits. What’s up with that? Which reminds me…I’m outta grits at the office.
Current Wishlist: A new crock pot. My life just rocks…doesn’t it?
Current Needs: A menu makeover. We eat the same stuff all the time. And I need food in this house.
Current Triumph(s): Recognizing my need to immerse myself in God’s Word. Every. Single. Morning. Without. Fail. And I’ve been doing it.
Current Bane(s) of my Existence: My husband coughing at night. And when he’s not coughing, it is because of the cough syrup with codeine which makes him fight in his dreams all night long. Last night, and you can ask him, I hauled off and whacked him. It was a reflex reaction. That’s my story…
Current Indulgence: Girl Scout cookies. Until I am literally getting sick of them.
Current #1 Blessing: My oldest child. I’m so going to miss him when he heads off to still-to-be-determined-college in the fall…I just can’t get enough of him. I find myself just staring at him. Hanging on his every word. (Tearing up as I type that.)
Current Slang or Saying: Oy.
Current Outfit: Cords, sweater set, fuzzy slippers.
Current Excitement: Dinner out with the girls tomorrow night at my new fave Italian place. Can’t wait!
Current Mood: Reflective.
Current Pictures:

Where did the time go from my little linebacker on the left to this big amazing young man on the right? I know that God has a huge plan for him. He loves God mightily. We had an awesome conversation in the car on the way to church this morning about college, how liberal the environment is, and even being involved in a Christian religious organization on campus…will probably still be more liberal than he’s used to. God, knowing what He is doing, placed this child in a government class where the teacher has just come out of retirement. He did so, because he felt called…felt CALLED people…to come back to this particular high school…not the high school he taught in for 20 years prior to retirement…to teach THIS particular government class…THIS particular year. And my son is in it. And the teacher’s reason for coming out of retirement? He felt that the high school seniors heading to college over the next few years (which includes my oldest this Fall and our middle child Fall 2009) will be blind-sided by the ultra-liberal, anti-Christian, atmosphere they will find themselves in on most campuses. He, Mr. K., wanted to make sure they got both sides of it, and were prepared and able to make their own decision. After the first day of class, my kid came home complaining about the ultra-liberal political agenda of his government teacher. The same Mr. K. who is actually ultra conservative, come to find out. I am loving my child being in this class. It is a lot like a college class. They talk of current events every day. There is no right or wrong side. They are encouraged to speak their minds, respectively of course. It is usually my child and a small handful of students against the rest of the class and my kid is thriving. On the first day, Mr. K. grabbed the flag off the wall and said he was tired of the Bush administration and he was going to go out in the parking lot and burn the flag. He turned and headed to the door, encouraging the class to come with him to exercise their constitutional rights. A bunch of them jumped up shouting with glee. My child jumped up to tackle the teacher and wrestle the flag out of his hands. Now THAT’s what I call a high school government class.
I think my kid is going to be all right.

Good Golly!

It has been 17 days since I posted a comment! I have been busy reading everyone else’s blogs, posting my own comments to them, but the thought never crossed my flighty little head to post on my own blog!

(long sigh)

I’m afraid this is just the beginning.

You see, I am a mother experiencing her first child going into his

SENIOR YEAR OF HIGH SCHOOL.

Man, is there a ton of baggage that comes with THAT realization! Here is a sampling of my thought process lately…

The obvious/clicheiest…

WHERE DID THE TIME GO?????

And then…

Have we done our job in raising him to love Jesus and put Him first? I believe we have. Have we taught him that the only other thing you can count on AFTER Jesus is your family. I know that he knows it.

Have we instilled in him a good work ethic. LOL. Well, he loves to work. But school doesn’t fall into the category of “work”. Volunteering does. Helping others does. Working at the bike shop does. Mowing lawns for our single, woman neighbor does. So…I guess we pretty much did okay there.

Have we taught him to be a leader and not a follower among his peers? Definitely. He has never been one to follow the latest fads or to follow his peers into (real) trouble. One of the main reasons he is hoping to get into CNU is because of the President’s Leadership Program.

As I’ve worked through all of these things, I am actually becoming excited at the thought of going through this time with him. I plan to take a ton of photos, and spend as much time with him as he will allow me to! He’s pushed away from us (and by us I mean his dad) which has absolutely KILLED The Man. Even as he has recognized that it HAS to be this way, is SUPPOSED to be this way…it’s still hard for The Man to swallow. But never has The Boy pushed US away…he’s just pushed away a bit to allow some room. Some freedom. Some space to expand who he is. It’s pretty cool.

I’m excited to go through this first real step into adulthood. Getting into college. He’s already been accepted to LU. But his first choice is CNU. Marshall was deemed too far by his trying-not-to-cling mom.

The Boy and His Clingy Mom
Germany, 2003

And he has, surprisingly, agreed.

So, I imagine that this next year is going to race by. The end of July is upon us. Volleyball camp starts Monday for My Girl. Football camp for The Little Boy. In two weeks The Boy heads to Colorado with his Best Bud to spend two weeks in the mountains…fishing, riding ATV’s, hiking, repelling. Doing all of the things that FREAK ME OUT because I’m not there to “protect him”. Please, Jesus, watch over The Boy and his Best Bud. They belong to You. Please protect them. Amen.


The Boy and Best Bud

Once The Boy returns from Colorado, he’ll meet with his yearbook team (he’s Senior Editor), get his wisdom teeth out and his Senior Year will begin.

I’ve already asked The Girls to give me some grace…I’m The Connector. The one who keeps us connected, in touch, and informed about each other’s lives. I may need some connecting myself. But it’s okay, it’s just one year.

Unless I start thinking about The Boy’s sister, My Girl, who is exactly 11 months and 1 day younger than him…