When Simple File Folders Can Cause A Parent To Freak Out A Little

Before the boys came along*, Jim and I had big plans for how our family was going to “be”. We would have a couple of kids, thoroughly enjoy the heck out of them until the day they turned eighteen, and then they were out. OUT.

When they were little, they would ask for things that we were not going to give them. Just to name a few?

*a television in their room
*a cat
*another dog
*a Christmas tree

We used to tell them, “When you grow up and get your own place, you can have *insert denied item here*.

“When’s that?”

“When you’re eighteen. Then you’re outta here!”


On their birthdays when they were between the ages of about six and ten, they’d announce to anyone who’d listen that “It’s my birthday today! Only twelve years left, and then I’m out of the house!” (No joke.)

It was all in good fun, really.

Until the last couple of years, when I suddenly realized that seriously, my kids are going to be out of the house one of these days. Sooner rather than later. I have almost completed my job as an in-house Mom. Looking back to who I was before these boys “came along”, I know there was not one iota of expectation that I would get to this point and feel…sad. All of these years, our family experience, our boys who have “come along” so very nicely…well, let’s just say that I’ve experienced tremendous growth as a person because of my kids. They’re great people. I adore being with them.

And THAT is why, my friends, I am totally freaked out by this crate of file folders, because they represent a major step, our next step with the Older Boy.


*Insert crazed shrieking here*

*Isn’t it funny when people use the phrase “came along” when referring to babies being born? It’s like, rather than actually being pushed through the birth canal via a totally uncomfortable experience, they just happily skipped through the hospital hall, stopping at the correct door, knocking, and announcing their own arrival. Anyway, you know what I mean.



  • ThisFullHouse

    Oh…my…gosh…yah, my oldest is a freshman in high school, so I’ll be in your shoes, before too long…minus your super organizational skillz, of course!!!

  • Movie Maven

    Right now all the College flyers and letters are just going in one big shopping bag. Josh is a sophomore, so this will be us next year. Yipes!!

  • surprised mom

    I’m almost waving my oldest goodbye. She’s a high school senior and has been accepted at a school many miles and hours away from us. I am SAD. The youngest is only a freshman, so she’ll be home. Yeah! But, I know how time flies . . .

  • Dea

    :`( I don’t even want to think about it. It’s hard enough seding my younger one to Kindergarten, I can’t even IMAGINE college….


  • Lindz

    Go older boy! I applied and was accepted to THREE colleges only two of which my parents would pay for me to go to. Call me greedy but I went with what they’d pay for. Way to be on the ball with that there crate 🙂

  • Melisa with one S

    Liz: The folders weren’t my idea. The first college admissions rep that we visited (who happened to have worked with me at the health club when my son was about 8!) suggested it because of the explosion of catalogs and flyers that suddenly appear out of nowhere. I love it! If only the rest of the papers in my house were this organized!

    MovieMaven: yep, that’s where I started! 🙂

    Surprised Mom: OY! If you can figure out a way to slow time down, let me know!

    Deanna: I know. I couldn’t have imagined it either…and then suddenly, it’s HERE! EEEK!

    Lindz: You were lucky, dude! I hope you thanked your parents up and down for that! (I know that your graduating and now teaching is probably thanks enough: you’ve done well!) Older Boy (and Younger Boy) will get some help from us, but it’s not a free ride for either of them…

    Diva: I KNOW! Basically we’re casting a wide net and he will whittle the list down to 3-5 choices by fall; those are the schools he’ll actually apply to.

  • WeaselMomma

    You mean that wasn’t what your birth experience was like?
    Your doc must not have given you the ‘good drugs’, lol.

  • The Microblogologist

    I chose Benedictine for my undergrad because they have a great reputation for science majors (and others too probably, I didn’t pay attention to other stuff), they gave me a scholarship and they are ~15-20 minutes from home so I commuted and saved thousands on room and board. I moved out of my parents’ house when I was 22, I don’t think Mom was ready for that! She has her 23 and 24 year olds still at home, hopefully she won’t get her 26 year old back but with this economy…

    I’m going to make a wild guess that ISU is IL State, you should have him consider Iowa State, then you can come for a campus visit, aka come hang out with me =)!

  • Melissa

    Ack! I wish I was as organized as you are…my life would be so much easier.

    And how can you possibly have college age children…it’s just wrong I tell ya.

  • Mags

    🙁 I can’t say that I know how you feel b/c I don’t have children of my own, but I can say that I hope the sadness passes quickly!

    Just think about all of the wonderful things he’s going to do for the world when he’s in college and after. That’ll hopefully curb the sadness for a bit!

  • Anonymous

    From Dawn:

    {{{{Hugs}}}} to you and Jim!

    Did I notice an OHIO file in that system? hmmmmm…..

    If he choses ISU, we can go and take him to dinner occasionally. 🙂

    Oh, and if he goes to Bradley, Scott can stop by and see him from time to time. hehe

  • Melisa with one S

    Weaselmomma: Um, No, it wasn’t. Yours?

    Karen: I’m sorry to say, he has already eliminated the entire state of Iowa in early deliberations.

    Melissa: Don’t wish for that. 99% of my house is NOT organized enough for a photo going on my blog. 🙂

    Mags: Eh, don’t worry about me. I’m not walking around in sadness; it’s just a little scary when I take time to think about it.

    Dawn: YES YOU DID! But…alas he is already leaning in a certain direction. It’s all I can do to keep his mind open enough to continue exploring. 🙂 BUT, ISU is definitely still a possibility so we’ll keep that in mind!

  • The Microblogologist

    But but but, we have corn! and soybeans! and swine not infected with H1N1 swine influenza! And there was that guy who thought he died and went to heaven but he didn’t, he was in IOWA! Who could possibly resist all that???

    OK fine, one of the actual best parts of living in Iowa is making fun of Iowa, lol. Does he know about what area he wants to go into? That should weigh heavily in his decision.

  • melissa

    i can barely handle the fact that my son went out without adults to see a movie tonight. i don’t have any clue how i’m going to handle ANYTHING when i get to the point you’re at.
    shoot me now. it might be better for everyone involved.

  • Michelle

    Can you have him remove Michigan please? Just for me?

    And dude you are SO like me. I had a whole file cabinet organized of the flyers that were suddenly sent my way. In fact, I still have the file folders to this day — repurposed of course.

    *sniff* He’s so grown up.