Lisa writes: I have a parenting confession to make. I have gone to one of my sons’ dorms and done his laundry. I have scraped every dirty sock and jersey off of his bedroom floor, carefully separating his debris from that of his two roommates which was all commingled in one large reeking mass. I then carried these teeming piles, along with every sheet and towel I could lay my hands on, to his basement and ran six loads of laundry.
I did this once on a Parents’ Weekend and, just when I thought I had lost it, taken my overparenting to a new level, his roommate’s mother looked at and me and said, “Too bad the boys don’t have a vacuum” and then proceeded to take a lint roller out of her handbag and roll their entire carpet on her hands and knees. I was stunned. Was I outparented or had I finally discovered the line I would not cross?
The time for making resolutions has long since passed but we are marking an anniversary- our first birthday celebration for Grown and Flown–and that gives us cause for reflection. From our first baby steps last January to today, we have learned much about blogging and media, met wonderful people who now inhabit our world, and above all else, come to appreciate you, our readers. Continue reading →
Our college kids. We love them, we miss them — and then, when they come home for school breaks… we are ready to kill them. At Grown and Flown, we have explored life through these tumultuous years as we help our kids ready themselves for the adult world.
Here are some things to remember:
1. They love us but they love their friends too
Don’t be hurt when they give you the hello and goodbye and head straight out the door to see their old high school buddies. Continue reading →
“You will miss me the most.” my last child surprised me by saying, “Because after I’m gone it is going to be really, really quiet here.” And there it was, the truth out of the mouth of a sixteen year old, a truth that summed up so much about parenting. There is something special about eldest children. We don’t love them any more than the others, but it is their very existence that changes us from self-absorbed young adults into doting parents. Speaking for myself, no one person ever transformed my life so dramatically. But my youngest son has a point, his departure will bring a similar, massive change to my life. My oldest child may have made me a parent but my youngest child will make me an empty nester. Continue reading →
While I trust you will be absolutely fine in your college dorm room these next few days with Hurricane Sandy heading toward shore, I cannot help but worry. You may be 22 years old but my instinct to protect you and your sister will remain undiminished throughout my life. Today it is the calm before the storm and we are prepared here at home. Unlike every other storm, this is the first time you have not been with us when the forecast has turned grim. A large swath of the eastern part of the country is in harm’s way and that includes you, dear. So, just in case you have not already thought of these things, please humor me – you are good at it – and keep reading: Continue reading →
Lisa writes: My kids shared a single bedroom. It was a big bedroom and they are all boys, so for our family, it worked. One of my greatest joys was listening to their chatter at night as they joked and laughed, ridiculed each other endlessly or, on a good day, helped each other with homework. Often there was the thudding sound of a ball banging against a hard surface and the inevitable crash of a desk lamp.
When the older two left for college, those joyous sounds were silenced. One teenage boy alone in a room, with an iPod and headphones can be very quiet….and then one day I heard it and for a moment it was all there again. I heard my youngest son laughing and chatting with his eldest brother—who I knew to be in his dorm room at school. Continue reading →
Lisa writes: September’s turmoil is over. Bed Bath and Beyond has been depleted, dorm move-in has been successfully accomplished, and classes are in full swing. As parents, we can stop worrying about the transition to college and plan the visit. If you live close enough to your college age child and do not want to wait until Thanksgiving to see them, well, it’s time for a little journey. Some schools have an established Parents’ Weekend or you might just be heading to school on your own…either way, here are some things to think about.
Bring food, after all they are teens, need I say more. If you bake, you are a goddess. If you can’t bring provisions, the grocery store makes a nice family outing.
In my informal poll, okay my Facebook page, there was a strong feeling that “Parents’ Weekend” was not really the best parents’ weekend, that the crowds and the staged events were not the optimal atmosphere in which to visit offspring. Personal opinion will need to prevail.
If you are going to take your kid and, perhaps, their friends out, book early, really early. You will be unpleasantly surprised how fast reservations for hotels and restaurants in a college town will fill up for Parents’ Weekend. I reserved a hotel for parents’ weekend the night my son picked his college, a touch neurotic you say? Continue reading →