Sending our kids off to college isn’t easy. They are homesick and we secretly miss their messy bedrooms and noisy friends underfoot. It can be a tough adjustment for everyone and, sometimes, the only thing that helps is a care package from home.
Some moms have taken care packages to next level amazing. Crafty boxes, witty sayings, and gorgeous, Pinterest worthy care package execution can make us non crafty moms feel like we suck at sending gifts from home.
But, not all heroes carry glue guns and have Pinterest crafty in their veins. Tennessee mom Jen Yamin is here to save us all from our care package creativity woes.
Recently, Yamin posted in our Grown and Flown Parents Facebook group about a truly unique care package she sent her son, Bryce. He is a sophomore attending Wittenburg University in Ohio, a campus that is about six hours from home. Yamin wanted to send her son a little bit of Valentine’s Day love from home but, she tells Grown and Flown, “The whole care package thing is new to me and it scares me to death because I’m not crafty!”
But, a box of Rice Krispies Treats changed all of that for her last week.
After seeing a commercial for Rice Krispies treats where a dad writes a message to his son before football practice on an individually wrapped Rice Krispies treat, Yamin had a sudden pop of inspiration and she snapped into action. “My son loves Rice Krispies treats so I thought it would be a perfect care package,” she says.
She brought boxes of individually wrapped Rice Krispies treat packages to her church and asked the members of the congregation to each write notes of encouragement to her son.
“Everyone I asked didn’t hesitate and all wrote intentional messages to him,” she tells Grown and Flown. The pastor, music director, youth group members and congregants of St. Timothy Lutheran Church all took the time to write personalized messages to Bryce.
When asked if she received a favorite message from her congregation, Yamin says that when a young 2-year-old parishioner put stickers on a package and gave his artwork a kiss before giving it to her, “My heart burst!” said Yamin.
Yamin tells Grown and Flown that sending care packages has a special meaning to her beyond the physical act of packing up treats and special items to send across the country to her son. “We have an older special needs son who did not attend university so Bryce is my first and last child to attend college.” She tells Grown and Flown that every care package she sends is bittersweet.
After Yamin posted about her ingenuity, thousands of parents liked and commented on the sweet simplicity of her Rice Krispies treats care package. Parents commented not only on how easy the project was but also the sentimentality of having the adults and friends who are closest to us reaching out to support our college kids.
“I spent years wishing I could pull off what others could pull off…it is so much more rewarding when you find what really speaks to you and share that love with others. This is a brilliantly original idea and you should be proud of yourself. And no doubt your kid will feel all the love that went into those thoughts and prayers. What a great lesson for all of us…just do you, not anyone else,” said a fellow Grown and Flown parent.
What’s so truly unique about this simple gesture is that it works for whatever group of friends and family you have around you. Did your daughter attend dance classes at a local studio? Have her former instructors send her notes of encouragement! Was your son heavily involved in Boy Scouts? Notes from current scouts and his Troop Master would definitely make him smile.
Anyway you look at it, Jen Yamin has reminded us that our gifts from home don’t have to be complicated, overly crafty or over the top. A simple note from home wrapped around a childhood favorite and packed with love will make your college student’s heart go snap, crackle and pop.