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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A rambling list of new things.

So I gave up on last week’s New Thing and have moved on to a New, New Thing.

Just kidding. But really, I know you want to know how the New Thing is progressing. Fine and dandy, actually. I’m not here to chat about that this morning, however. Today…a list.

Just for you, Di.

1. Beach week is fast approaching and I still have 50 pounds to lose. That would be 25 pounds each day so…I’m guessing this year is a no-go for the big weight-loss bikini reveal at the beach picture. Maybe For sure next year. *I promise…you will not have to see me in a bikini unless it’s that pic I just ran across from when I was 18 and even then…nope*

2. I’ve really, really had to loosen the old control reins/umbilical cord on The Wild Boy since graduation. As he reminded me a zillion few times, he will be doing what he wants in just a month or so anyway so what’s the difference now? Yep…that comment brought loads of comfort to my controlling momma bear personality.

How I long for those days, these days!

3. In other news, I’ve enrolled as a full time student at Radford University and am awaiting my dorm assignment. Already got my roommate lined up and his initials are BJS.

4. My Man and I are seriously ready to be empty-nesters. He keeps putting the ladder up to My Girl’s bedroom window and Her Guy keeps taking it down and putting it back underneath the deck. Clearly The Big Boy is never leaving either. Why would he? He has the dungeon to himself with all the amenities a twenty-something needs…a bed, a fridge a comfy chair, big-screen tv and X-Box Live.

Always a bridesmaid…but a stunning bridesmaid at that. Trav is okay, too, I guess.
We are so ready for this next stage…we adore our Ella Mac! Thankfully, she lives right next door.
5. I’ve hit that really awkward stage. Semi-menopausal with teenager tendencies. You know what I mean…when I can actually remember how old I am I try to forget by cranking up some Oldies (from the 90’s) and pull out my yarn bag to work on my crocheting.

6. I am loving shopping at Costco these days. How did I never really discover this mecca of good stuff until now? We would purchase the occasional cake now and then, but really it is just now that I shop there regularly. My other fave shopping place is Trader Joe’s. Mercy. Every time I shop there two things happen: 1. I find tons of new items to try and 2. I get into an altercation with someone driving the wrong way in the one-way lane in the parking lot. Seriously, why do people do that? And more importantly, why does it infuriate me so? I guess I’ve always been a rule-follower at heart. Except for rules that were clearly made to be suggestions like the speed limit, curfew and the number of items allowed in the express check out. But going the wrong direction in the Trader Joe’s parking lot? Capital Offense, baby, and I am always one four-letter word short of making a citizen’s arrest.

Okay, Di. I hope this satisfies your love of my lists and will hold you over until the next one. I will check in with y’all Beach-side.

Wednesday’s Ramblings.

Several significant things occurred this week. The hallway, forever-to-be-known-as-the-yellow-bathroom was completed. A post will be coming on that soon. The only thing missing is the mirror over the sink. Which I’ve already decided is going to be too small now. But, for the sanity of my husband and the sanctity of my marriage, I am going to Let. Ride. *for now* I am obsessed with the new bathroom. The tub is a soaking tub. Twice as deep as the old cast iron tub *which had to be broken up with a sledge hammer to get out of the house because it weighed hundreds of pounds*

For the first time ever, Ducky called Timothy McGee, “McGee” instead of Timothy. I had to rewind a number of times because I was so taken aback. Thankfully, I was still reeling from an earlier scene where Gibbs was running through a parking garage. I KNOW. Again. I am obsessed. I was never a huge fan of Jenny Shepherd, by the way.

I almost cut my thumb off tonight. I mean, it was This. Close. Like my heart pounded and I felt nauseous when I realized how bad it would have been if I had actually had my thumb a couple millimeter’s closer to where the knife embedded itself in the counter. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.

As I predicted, The Wild Boy spends a whole lot of time soaking in the new tub. He has always been my tub boy. When he would finally agree to get out of the tub, his fingers and toes would be shriveled up prunes and he would literally be shivering because the water had gotten so cold. But he always had a big grin on his face. This is the child who also shoved 10 Hot Wheels cars down the tub drain.*tub obsession*

It’s official, The Wild Boy is committed to Radford. I just ordered the Radford Highlanders flag for the front of the house so he has to go. *$29.95*

I am officially organizing as part of Lent. I know that Lent is about giving up things. I’m giving up disorganization and stuff. Unfortunately, I am at that point in organizing where I have made a bigger mess than there was before I began organizing. Why does it happen that way? I still think it would be easier to just roll the dumpster up to the front door and heave-ho it all out. My mother won’t let me do that, however. But I haven’t seen her up here helping go through all of this crap yet, either.

I’m back at the acupuncturist. Well, I’ve been been once. I’ve had to reschedule three times this week due to snow and the bath remodel dudes having to reschedule. Speaking of which, our bath remodel has also resulted in a new microwave over the new range because our 20 year old microwave finally gave out. And when the plumber was hooking up the new dishwasher, he discovered a leak. He fixed said leak. And another leak showed up. After taking everything apart and reconnecting, he determined the sink is rusting away and the faucet is deteriorating. I suppose that’s fair…it’s been 15 years, after all. So we went to the Home Depot (hate that place, by the way) and picked up a new sink and faucet tonight. I’m not sure where My Man is pulling all this money from, but I can tell you ALL the trees in our back yard are completely bare.

Tonight The Wild Boy used the term “foo manchu” whilst describing his (rather sparse) facial hair. I love him. I just don’t know what I’m going to do when he heads to Radford in August. August 22 to be exact. One hundred seventy days. My gut hurts just thinking about it. So I’m busying my mind with decorating and painting and reorganizing…beginning with My Girl’s room *we have paint picked out already…a robin egg blue*

A bathroom teaser

Also…These:

They are my current love language. *Don’t tell Thomas the Acupuncturist. Or Susan D.*

The One Where My Baby Turns 18.

My first words to him were, “There are two before you. But you are the Prince. For one year. Then you are on your own.”
He interpreted that as, “I rule. All bow down to my wishes.”
He was right

.

He didn’t sleep for the first three years he was on this Earth. Just as we were ready to turn him back in for a new model, My Man headed off to the War College, The Wild Boy and I came to an understanding. Sleep returned to our household and he was content to sleep back in his own bed when dad came home for visits.
He wanted to play football and bugged me until I relented because I was convinced that he would get hit once and never want to play football again.
Hitting was his favorite part of the game and he complained until the last day of his Senior year of football that he should have been a defensive player so he could block instead of a wide receiver.
He is a true Wheeler/Smith in that he loves animals; has a wicked, sarcastic streak; when he loves, he loves big. And when he is hurt, he is hurt big.
He was putting words into sentences at age 1.
He was running around the house at age 1.
His mother was one exhausted 30-something.
He was the funniest kid. I hear rumors that he he still is, but for the last 4 years or so, his interaction with his father and I has been pretty much grunts and stares from his side.
He was born on January 30. 
His mother was born on January 31.
He was the best birthday present I have ever had.

Feeling a Tad Overwhelmed.

So I am consumed with all of my stuff these days. Consumed with wanting to get to work on it, clean it out, get rid of it, etc.

But The Holiday Season is upon us. Senior Football Banquet is tomorrow night. I have tons to do at work. A crowd of family is coming to my house for Thanksgiving. I’m feeling a tad overwhelmed.

I always do this at this time of year. I think my obsessing about Christmas is my coping mechanism to make this Season more joyful. Even I had to read that sentence a couple of times to make sure it made sense.

My mantra for 2013 was, “Just Say No.” So, how did I end up being in charge of all of these things? I have a people-pleasing problem would be what some of you will say. I think it’s more a selfishness problem. The things I took on have been all about The Wild Boy…helping with Football Spirit Wear; being in charge of the Senior Football Banquet; being on the board for FCA at West Springfield High School. I am really trying to eek out every last second of Wild Boy teenager stuff before these days are gone.

Please don’t get me wrong. I’m not complaining about that. I am actually complaining about letting my house and accumulation of stuff get to this point. But, the light is at the end of the tunnel. I told TWB last night that the first week is head’s out off to college, I am gutting his room. While that really isn’t going to be the case (mostly because My Girl jumped in and said, “I thought we were doing my room first?!”…and we are), I am taking a stand and taking back the house. Chances are, TWB will be back in four years, just like his brother and sister who don’t seem to be making any plans to move out on their own anytime soon. *Secretly, I’m okay with it…shhhhhhhhh.* At least until My Man retires in two years and we figure out the What Next. My mantra for 2014 will be “Just Say No” and mean it. And also a few other things that my Quiet Time has me thinking about letting go/changing.

By the way, I’m not ignoring your suggestions about what I should write about this month. I am actually saving your suggestions for January when I will be planning out my writing and getting more serious about it. I hope. I think. No, I am going to.

Thank you, all of you, for being so encouraging and supportive. When I end my posts with “love you guys” it is because I truly do.

Love you guys.