1. The first text messages and phone calls are the toughest. Ours were full of homesickness and general feelings of discontent. I responded with lots of encouragement and “give it time” type messages. As each day passes, the number of messages will decrease. This lets me know that she is too busy and engaged to text me. Only one “I. hate. this.” text yesterday.
2. To stave off those feelings of missing her too much, I used that energy to purge her room and bathroom. We discussed this before she left, and I had her blessing. I get happy feelings when I pass by her room now. Before I would just quickly close her doors so I didn’t have to look at how disastrous it was!
3. Teach your kid how to order stuff online. I didn’t realize this was a skill in which she was lacking and that she would need. All textbooks are ordered at CNU as there is no bookstore. Billing address is not the same as mailing address and will cause your order to be declined. Also, account number is not your banking account number. No one will ask you for that.
4. Connectedness is both a blessing and a curse. I am glad that Sam can get a hold of me at any time for any reason. But I also think it makes the transition harder when you can text your friends from home only to hear that they are also homesick or even worse they are having a rocking good time and you aren’t! (Not to sound like a grandma but) when I went to school you had no choice but to get out there and meet people. What else were we going to do? Write a letter? Sit at a pay phone?
5. I read a great article about this very topic. Two quotes in particular hit home for me. “The very best thing about your life is a short stage in someone else’s story.” I think this is so true. Her story is just beginning, and I am so excited to see where her life takes her. “Well, 18 years is a window that closed too quickly. But, my son, those days have been the greatest wonder and privilege of my life.” Indeed.
The whole article can be found here –
I have been thinking a lot about transitions lately. We spent the weekend with some friends and their lovely toddler daughter. Watching her lovingly tuck monkey in for a nap and listening to her chatter naturally made me reflect on how quickly my children have grown up and the many stages they have gone through to get where we are today. Bright and early Saturday morning the kids had a swim meet, and they lost to a team that they typically beat. That team is faster and stronger than in years past. I talked to several parents about the cycles the swim teams seem to go through.
The most profound transition is happening right now with Samantha. She is straddling the line between adult and kid. Too young to have a drink with the adults (at least for this mama!) during our family vacation and yet feeling too old to play with her siblings and cousins. Not still in high school and yet not quite in college yet either. She is an eighteen year old with the weight of the world on her shoulders. As I mentioned previously, she has to have surgery on her wrist. She is in chronic pain and worries whenever she bumps it or tweaks it in some way that she is causing further damage. She cried when they said surgery would likely be in December because she is frustrated at not being able to do the things she would like. At the lake, she wasn’t able to participate in the water sports, and since it was so rainy, she didn’t even go on the boat to tan since the sun was largely absent. She is excited about heading off to college and yet also nervous about making friends and being successful. And then of course she worries about her dad. He is her hero and inspiration. We talk about the phases of Dave’s treatments, and she has the same concerns and questions we all do. Questions to which we don’t have any answers. I couldn’t be more proud of the way she has handled all of these challenges. She is working, spending tons of time with friends, hanging out with her siblings, and helping out around the house. Her maturity, grace and generosity outshine most people I know. My eyes will be brimming over with tears and my heart expanding with pride when we drop her off at CNU in just over four weeks. It will be a long drive home into our new normal.