BulgingButtons

Not bad for a fat girl


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South of the Border

download.jpgMy kid and his friends have gone on Spring Break south of the border. These college students have piled into a van and taken a road trip, something that millions of college students have done for generations. This time is different, though. This time it’s my kid.

He’s a good kid. Actually he’s a great kid. He has good friends, makes good decisions, and hasn’t gotten into any trouble in his life. Okay, so there was the writing on the table in first grade incident, but that was a long time ago, and he insists he was erasing what the other kid wrote. I kind of believe him. He works hard, studies hard, and keeps his nose clean. His friends, from what I can gather, are similar.

Last year these boys took a road trip to California for Spring Break. They camped in Malibu. I didn’t even know you could do that, but you can, and they did. This year they decided to go international, with a trip to Mexico. It didn’t take long to get there, they left this morning and he already checked in. Of course we went online to see the place where they’re staying. It looks nice. Steps from the beach.

I’m glad he has friends. I’m glad they’re going on adventures. I’m glad he’s in a lovely place. But, truth be told, I’ll be even more glad when he returns.


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Some TLC for Mom

Today my mother had surgery. Maybe I shouldn’t tell you that, after all she’s very private about her affairs, but I don’t think she’ll mind. 

The surgery was done at an outpatient surgical center located about twenty minutes from her house, which is located about 2,000 miles from my house. I just came downstairs from helping her drink a cup of water through a straw. You see, there were a few other people who could have, and would have, taken her today, but I was the one who got to do it.

My mother knew this surgery was coming and she consulted with more than one doctor, both in her home state and mine (where she spends time each winter). Ultimately she felt most comfortable with the doctor who did today’s procedure, so she scheduled it for my fall break. I love visiting my childhood home and family and friends, but this time I kept my calendar clear. This time it’s all about Mom (although I did manage to squeeze in a quick visit with a wonderful friend last night).

This is really the first time I’ve been able to care for my mother in the ways that she’s cared for me numerous times over the years. She was there when I was in my twenties and told her not to come when I got my tonsils out. I was so glad that she didn’t listen. She was there when my son was rushed off to the NICU right after birth. She knew he would be alright, and he was. She was there when my marriage fell apart and I wasn’t sure what to do. She listened and put me in touch with someone who helped me form a plan, then she helped me put that plan into place. 

I know my mother hates being dependent on anyone, so to me that makes it even more of a privilege to be here for her, even if she doesn’t need much. 

I’m reminded of the time my grandmother had her gall bladder removed. She was a widow and lived alone. After her surgery she came to our house to recover. She slept in my little girl bedroom with the pink shag carpet and eyelet curtains, and I slept on the hide-a-bed in my mom’s study under an old army blanket. My mom put a small tv in my room for her, and together we watched Bobby Vinton. I’m glad my mom was there for her, too. 

Mothers and daughters take care of each other, but when things go according to plan, mothers do the heavy lifting. They wouldn’t have it any other way.


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Back to the Dorm

Year two of college is starting for my kid, and today is his move-in day. Some observations about this event:

  1. I know what to expect this year, so I have far fewer nerves (yes, it’s all about me!).
  2. He knows what to expect, so he packed less stuff (not that he had much last year).
  3. His father and I are taking him together, just like last year, in spite of being divorced for many years. I believe this is a good thing for all of us. He’s still our son and we’re still his parents. This transition, even if it isn’t the first time, is still kind of a big deal, and experiencing it all together validates that fact.
  4. I’m hopeful that I’ll handle year two of him being away better than year one. Year one found me a bit down in the dumps, teetering on the edge of depression. I don’t want to go back there. Yes, I know he’s close by, and yes, he’s been great about staying in touch (weekly dinners and everything) but something about him being out of the house just unsettled me. I’m hopeful that I react better this time around.
  5. I’m excited for him. He’s got this. He’s ready to go back and he’s ready for classes to begin and he’s ready to be more independent again. I’m happy for him.

The building he’s moving into is brand new. It’s built to house 1,600 students. Wow. I’m looking forward to seeing it in person, so far I’ve only gotten a sneak peek from the local news station. The kitchens on the floors are nicer than the one in my house, but I don’t see him using it much. There’s a fitness center in the building and 3-d printers and all sorts of other amenities. It’s a far cry from Gilbert 105, my first cinderblock-walled dorm room. Still, that old building was a wonderful place to make memories; I hope his new home is too.

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