BulgingButtons

Not bad for a fat girl


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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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Happy Birthday to my Boy

Today was the first time in years that I didn’t serve birthday cake for breakfast on this date. You see, that’s our family tradition, or at least it was. Today, however, my son woke up on his birthday away from home.Birthday-cake-clip-art-clipart-cliparts-for-you-2.jpg

Now he wasn’t far from home, just a few miles away in the dorm, but still, he wasn’t here. He turned nineteen today, and it was strange not starting the day with a little birthday party.

He’s growing up, and changing, and so our traditions are changing too. We went to lunch with his grandmother today, and that was a wonderful way to celebrate. Not the same, of course, but still we spent time together.

Frankly, I was pleased that he made the time to do it. After all, when you’re a college student so many things compete for your time and attention, and typically your mother and grandmother don’t top the list. He did it for me. I know that. I appreciate it.

My son has matured so much in the past year. The change from a senior in high school to an almost finished freshman in college has been remarkable. He’s accepted the change with grace. I can learn from him.

Happy birthday, son. I love you.


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Why I Am Still Up

It’s nearly midnight and I have to be up early for work tomorrow morning. I teach kids, so walking around in a fog isn’t an option for me. I have to be “on” from the moment I walk in the door to the moment the last kid is gone for the day.

By the time I’m done, I’m tired, not to mention the fact that I resist going to bed just on principle, so I regularly stay up well past a reasonable bedtime. I’ve been a night owl for a long time, and the idea of an early-to-bed routine just doesn’t make sense to me. Honestly, though, I should embrace an early bedtime. By the time Friday rolls around I’ve accumulated so much sleep debt from the week that I can barely function.

Tonight I can still function, but I’m tired and ready for bed. Why, then, am I writing instead? Because the boy isn’t here.

Not in the same sense that he hasn’t been here since August. That’s different. He was in the dorm, and I could tell myself he was safe at his home away from home. Tonight is a completely different situation, at least from my point of view. Tonight he’s at a friend’s house and he’s taken my car, at night, for the first time.

Yes, he has his license. Yes, he’s responsible (3.83 GPA folks, woot, woot!). But he’s out. This is new territory. I know, it’s a little silly. By the time I was his age I had been out late in my parents’ car many many times. Not him.

My son has always gone at his own pace, which he rarely alters for anyone. His physical development left us wondering at times during his babyhood. Would he ever learn to crawl, then walk? How about talking? Would he master that? And shouldn’t he have learned how to ride a two-wheeler by age nine? Would he ever get the hang of it? Yes. To all of it.

It’s no wonder that he’s doing different things now than he did in high school. We all go through changes as we grow up and move from one stage of our lives to another. It’s normal. It’s important. And it’s something that I, as his mom, need to stop fighting and learn to live with. As I do, though, I think I’ll stay up for a while, at least this first time.