Thursday, January 14, 2021
This may not appeal to all of my readers, but I think I will enjoy having this to look back on. I understand if you click away today.
If you are interested, grab your cup of coffee!
You may be in a different stage of parenting. You may be past this stage or you may be very far from this stage. This stage came too quickly for me! I found it helpful to read perspectives from moms with older kids.
Also, with twins and no other children, I have always felt the pressure that I only get to do each stage once. One thing I know for sure is that every kid is different (even with identical twins) and every parent is different. There really is no one size fits all when it comes to our experiences with our kids. The older I get and the more I learn the more I realize that I do not have all of the answers. I used to be Mrs. Judgey McJudgerton about parenting. Um, I got knocked down a peg or two and really try not to do this anymore. In addition, I have been working with teenagers for more than 27 years, but that still does not make me an expert.
Last spring, we were thrilled when both of our kids decided on the same college because of their close bond and because it would just be nice for us -never having done this before. Also, have you ever sent a kid to college during a pandemic? Now, I can say I have! Mason chose to get a random roommate and Jack did, too. They were assigned to two different dorms. Jack’s random roommate bailed on him, so he ended up solo.
They moved on campus in August and came back home for the end of the semester on November 20. I am not going to lie and say it was easy for them; the Covid stuff sucked. Even the in person classes were hard because they had to wear masks and had to be seated 6 feet apart, but that is the same for all the kids who got to do in-person learning. Mason only had one in-person class. The rest were online. Jack had more in-person because of his music classes. Basically, everything was different and not how college should be. The college went above and beyond; they really impressed us.
Despite the Covid stuff, they did great and were very self-sufficient. In fact, I felt like I hardly got to talk to them. I knew this was a good thing. We both needed to acclimate. One never once came home to spend the night from August – November and the other only came home one time. I think they were told not to leave campus much due to Covid. We did see them for meals sometimes, but we spent very little time with them for those months.
Tom and I got used to the empty nest; we actually had a lot of fun from August until November. We used our boat, we ate on patios, and spent more time talking to each other (ha!), I think. I was also really busy with school and learning a new job, basically, with being a virtual teacher to start the year. It also took lots of time for me to learn my new schedule.
In mid-November, I was very nervous about their homecoming. I was giddy; I was just a bit anxious about our re-adjustment. They would be home from November 20-January 6. I wanted to respect the young adults they are becoming. I wanted to give them space to do the rest of their classes and their final exams. I prayed about it. I told Tom my plan. I also talked to them right away and told them my plans to let them continue being the young adults they are.
Mason was so happy to eat my cooking and it made me happy!
Jack was being silly and telling Mason and I a story.
Mason and I enjoyed reading by the fire a couple of times.
We got Thanksgiving food from a bbq place and I missed the homemade sides, especially, but it was a nice day. We had a fire and Smores for Thanksgiving dessert! The kids were pretty busy after Thanksgiving with finishing up their classes. And, I was still teaching for 3 more weeks after Thanksgiving. I offered to go teach from school if I was bothering them and Mason told me that I was top priority and they would adjust to my needs and not the other way around. Awwww.
We did not do many activities outside of our house. I knew they were really happy to be back with the comforts of home. Jack, especially, was very worried about the virus and I would rather have him that way than being reckless. We did enjoy our art walk – the light show in the woods that we went on after Thanksgiving.
We went to the large flea market.
They are wearing the same jackets but those were weeks apart!
We celebrated with my mom.
We had a lovely Christmas Eve together and Christmas Day – just the four of us. We played games and watched shows and a movie. They picked out really thoughtful gifts for each other and Tom and I.
We had a nice surprise and got to see my high school friend and show his son around campus.
And, they had their first week of classes online at home and I left them a note. It was kind of nice to get to see what their second semester schedule would look like!
I did not ask them to jump back in to chores, but after the first week or so I noticed that they did what needed to be done – dog stuff, taking out trash, cleaning up, asking me if I needed help. It was heartwarming. So, moms of little ones, keep on teaching the chores and it will pay off!
We got all of their favorite take out – Shiraz Mediterranean, Mi Tierra mexican, pizza, and more. But, I mostly cooked and I cooked up a storm; I made all of their favorite meals.
The best bags – Ikea from Amazon:
Well, now they are both back on campus after two negative Covid tests! Jack was able to change to Mason’s dorm because his dorm was not as nice. Now, he is below Mason in a private room(he still preferred that and he can practice his music) and they can visit each other. You are not allowed to visit beyond the lobby of another dorm. It’s a small thing but it’s a big thing for our family.
Our winter break with them was better than I could have imagined. I saw so much maturity and growth. We had some great conversations. I got so many hugs! I got so many “thank yous”. My heart is full. I miss them, but I am so excited for what they will accomplish this semester. The college hours are already piling up – Mason now has 45 hours at the end of semester one and Jack has 32 hours at the end of semester one. They both had good GPAS – good enough to keep their scholarships – ha! I am sure I have forgotten some things but that is enough for now!
If you are still here, thank you for reading!
If I can answer any questions, let me know!
What stage are you in with your children?