Wednesday, June 22, 2022
I don’t know if this will appeal to all of you today, but I know there are some readers who are wondering about this stage of life that I am in. Some of you are close to this stage and some of you are beyond. You may have some wisdom to share!
First of all, I have said this many times, but this bears repeating. This is MY blog and not my kids’, so I try to really think about what I share from their lives. I also took this policy with social media when they became teens. I asked permission before I posted anything and the answer was usually “no” – ha! Most of my Facebook memories that pop up about them are from before age 13. They are not big into social media and never have been and I respect that. If I had started this blog earlier, you would probably have seen too much of my kids! Ha!
So, my twins are 19 and have completed two years of college. Without telling each other, they both decided on the same small liberal arts college 20 minutes from home. As a parent, this was a huge blessing to have them on the same schedule and to have the knowledge that they can help each other. Also, sending kids to college at basically the beginning of the pandemic was stressful. So, having them together and close was so helpful.
Don’t overlook colleges nearby because it makes everything easier – moving in and out, illness, getting to see some events that they are in, etc. I do wonder if they will feel they didn’t spread their wings enough, but there is time for that after graduating, too. We did feel that it was important for them to live on campus, but we knew that they could live at home if we had the need at some point. They have never roomed together and were in two different dorms most of the time, by the way.
Also, they did not have a car on campus the first year but then we bought them a car to share for their second year. They have to communicate with each other about using the car, which I think is just fine.
They moved back home for this summer mid-May and had about a week off before starting jobs. I told them to put all of their college stuff in the basement storage room, but to make sure it was all clean before doing so. I offered help, but they weren’t really interested in my help. I don’t go in their rooms. Their rooms are very messy and I hate it, but I also know that I am not going to drive myself crazy over it. They do not have food and drinks in their room, so that’s good.
They do their own laundry (and have for years) and it is both a good and bad thing. They take 3-5 business days to complete it and it ties up the washer and dryer. Tom also takes this approach, so go figure. I do my laundry and the house laundry and finish it in 2 hours. It’s not that hard!
They are pretty good about keeping their stuff contained to either their rooms or their basement hang out room.
I have noticed that they do more and more without being asked. They empty trash and recycling and put things away more than ever before. There is growth from the high school days when I had to constantly remind.
Jack is working at a dry cleaners with no air conditioning this summer and he says he hates it, but I think he would complain more if he really hated it. He can be dramatic. Sometimes he has funny stories to tell us or comments on the type of clothing he sees.
Mason is working outside (so no air conditioning here, either!):
So, Jack gets off work at 4:00 and Mason goes to work at 4:45. Mason has off on Mondays and Tuesdays and Jack is off on Tuesdays. They are sharing the car and it works out perfectly. They seem to appreciate the time they do get to spend together more, I think, because it is more limited than any other summer. They have a really nice relationship. I know not all twins do. Jack made sure the gas tank was full to save Mason time the other day.
I think this summer is building character. Neither of them have AC at their jobs and guess what…the AC in their car is broken, too! We are getting that fixed next week, though. I bought this little portable AC unit that plugs into a USB as a temporary fix. They said it doesn’t really work well.
I am a firm believer that we want our kids to have something to work toward and not to hand them everything. But, let’s face it – all American kids are spoiled to some degree. We have a lot in this country.
I also think they will be eager to be students again after their work experiences this summer. That’s not a bad thing. I still remember the switch from full time worker to full time student every August.
I started to write their work schedules in my planner and then I stopped myself. Nope – that’s on them.
I started to remind them when to leave for work and nag them about leaving earlier, but then I stopped myself and said nope again. It just makes them mad at me and then I get mad that they are mad.
Mason doesn’t get home until 11:30 pm-ish and I was waiting up when he first started, which was really hard for me. Jack told me that I shouldn’t because he is up anyway. I didn’t think I would be able to sleep, but I know Jack will come wake me if he is worried. And, of course Tom has no trouble not waiting up because MEN!
I had to realize that this summer we are not really spending a lot of quality family time, but we do have dinner twice a week on Mason’s two nights off – Monday and Tuesday. And, it makes the time we can spend together more appreciated.
I was also hesitant to plan my stuff for times when they would be home, but I realized that I can’t really do that.
Tom keeps the same schedule in the summer – up at 4:30 am, gym at 5:00 am, leave for work at 7:00 am. I love knowing that my kids are here asleep under my roof and I really love the quiet time after Tom leaves. He is loud! Ha! I try to go to workout and then get home before anyone wakes up, too.
Mason asked if he could spend the night with a friend the other night and I was thinking – you really don’t need to ask anymore, but it was sweet that he did.
Also, we went from 3 bathrooms to 2 because of our renovation project and it’s been ok. We decided to halt the third bathroom project while they are home because the disruption is a lot. I want to have it ready to go by August, though, with a goal of it being finished by winter break, at the latest.
So, it’s kind of a weird summer, but it’s all good. It took us a bit to find our footing with two more people in the house. I want our house to still feel like home to my kids and that is more important than every room being perfectly tidy all the time. I know that many kids this age start living in apartments and stop coming home in the summers.
I feel like I understand my parents more. You do get used to a neater house very quickly. You become more stuck in your routine after the kids leave the nest.
So, that’s where we are right now!