BulgingButtons

Not bad for a fat girl


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Thank You Lego

This morning my eighteen year old and I were doing some holiday preparations. I asked him to set up his model train around the Christmas tree, as a nod to Christmas past. He agreed and pulled it out of his closet.

While he was in there, he stumbled across a bin of old legos. He brought it out to the living room, and sat down on the floor with me. One by one he removed partially built (or, more accurately, partially destroyed) models he’s created over the years. There were so many of them.

4da2dc554379966dbb8cd16d4be335a9I recognized the pirate ship from Pirates of the Caribbean, and some of the Star Wars vehicles, but there were quite a few that didn’t look as familiar. “Oh, that one’s from the Mars Mission series,” he would say, or “that belongs to the police set.”

We sat together for a while and looked for specific parts to rebuild a wing, or replace a cannon. It was nice. Really nice.

Someday I hope he has a child in his life who enjoys these legos as much as he has over the years. Someday I hope he gets to experience the simple, yet profound, joy of watching and helping a young person build something special.


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My Fifteen Minutes of Fame

A while back I wrote a back-to-school blogpost that was later modified and run by Scary Mommy. Scary Mommy is a huge website full of content for moms who may sometimes feel like they’re hanging on by the skin of their teeth. I can relate.

Well, that article generated quite a buzz, and it ended up being shared several times, on several different websites internationally. It was particularly popular in Greece, for some reason. I’m not really sure why, and I wouldn’t even know whom to ask.

The reason I bring it up is that someone visited the blog recently through the Scary Mommy link. Hooray! I was able to see what they saw, and came across my author page along with the article. I was so glad, because I thought I lost that link forever.

In case you’re interested, here it is: 10 Back to School Supplies Money Can’t Buy . I know it’s the wrong time of year, but what do you think? The article generated a huge positive response, but there were a few angry comments saying I had no business telling people what to do. My intent was never to scold or come across as all knowing. I know parenting is difficult. I also know, from years of experience working with hundreds (thousands?) of kids that so often what they need most from their parents are things money can’t buy.

It was nice to see that old article again. It reminded me of my fifteen minutes in the spotlight, and it gave me hope that maybe somewhere somebody was taking my words to heart and spending a little extra time loving on their kids.


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And Then There Were Two (Universities, That Is)

The whole process of selecting and applying to colleges and universities has been a daunting one for my son. There was so much information to wade through, and so many factors to consider. There were applications to complete, essays to write, recommendations to request, and more. It was a strenuous process, to say the least.

The tallies are in, and there are two universities in the running for my son’s heart, mind, and tuition. Today is April 5, and decisions have to be made by May 1. You might think it would be easy, but you would be wrong.

In-state vs. Out of State

It would be nice to have him nearby, at the local university, but I think he might miss out of something by not striking out on his own, away from his high school comfort zone, both in terms of geography and friends.

On the other hand, the other university is SO far away! I would see him far less, and each visit would cost hundreds of dollars. Still, there’s something to be said for striking out on your own.

Cost

Both universities have offered him scholarships and financial aid packages. They’re fairly comparable, but the in-state university has the added bonus of being, well, in-state. They’re both public universities, so they offer reduced tuition rates to residents of their respective states. Obviously our in-state university has a huge advantage here. Between the aid package and the savings we’ve managed to cobble together over the years, he could earn his bachelor’s degree there without any significant (or possibly ANY at all) debt. Wouldn’t that be something in this day and age?! The other university would require some loans from all three of us (him, me, and his father).

Climate

Okay, maybe it’s just the mom in me, but baby it’s COLD out there! Out in the midwest, that is. Yesterday when I looked up the temperature it was 36 degrees! It was 89 at our house, with bright sunshine.

Now I grew up in the Great Lakes region, so cold and gloom are nothing new for me, but my boy is a sunshine kid. He claims not to mind, though. And he DID visit the campus in December. Still, brrr!

Campus

By this I mean the feel of the campus. Does is seem like a place you might like to spend the next four years of your life? Only he can tell that one. Sometimes a place just feels right, you know?

Energy

This is similar to the campus one. What does the energy of the place feel like? Do you get excited thinking about it? Or is it just a place to punch in and punch out? It was clear to me after his December visit that the out of state school had a great energy for him. His eyes lit up talking about all he had seen there. For me that was enough. Ultimately, though, he’s the one who has to make the decision.

Making the Call

Time is ticking and he has to reserve his spot at one of those universities soon. I know he’s torn, but either way he’ll get an excellent education. I support either decision. I just hope he chooses for the reasons that make the most sense for him and his future.