Ahh, life. We’re going through all kinds of changes in this house right now.
I’m not typically a fan of changes, but I’m learning to roll with them as they come up.
The biggest thing happening this week is D’s imminent departure. He’s going back to college on Monday, to begin his sophomore year. When I think about how worried and emotional I was last year, right before he left us for the first time, I smile a little bit. I wish I had known back then, just one tiny little year ago, that even though things were changing, they were staying the same in so many ways.
He had a fabulous first year at college. With the exception of his not being fond of his roommate (to put it lightly), his freshman year was full of successes. He took advantage of many of the events put on by the school (Casino Nights, a 30 Seconds to Mars concert, movie nights, etc.), made some great friends–one of whom will be his roommate this year–and earned excellent grades: straight A’s all year long!
I was warned by many people in the spring about how horrendous the adjustment would be when he came home for the summer after having lived “on his own” in the dorm for nine months. (Oddly enough, many of the people who warned me hadn’t sent a kid off to college yet!) I’m happy to report that not only did I take the warnings with a grain of salt but also didn’t have any of the problems that were predicted. He didn’t come home and expect to follow different rules from before. He didn’t stay out until all hours. He didn’t neglect to let us know what his plans were or where he was at any given moment. He wasn’t a jerk.
In turn, we didn’t treat him like a child. We didn’t “force” him to go on every single family outing, instead giving him the choice (he accompanied us most of the time!). We often asked if he had his own plans on any given evening or weekend, not so we could give him an unreasonably early curfew or tell him he couldn’t do something; we asked out of curiosity and respect for his making his own decisions as a young adult. We chose our battles. He knows–and has always known–that if we “make a big deal” out of something, it’s important to us.
It’s been wonderful having him home for the summer, and though we’re a little bummed that he’s leaving again (especially Jim, because they’ve ridden in to work and back together every single day this summer!), it is just another part of life as a parent, watching your child continue to grow towards becoming an independent person.
Here’s to a successful sophomore year!
(Tomorrow’s post? J’s making some transitions, too!)
I’m glad you had such a good summer, we did too, I think it all goes back to parenting styles. My kids know enough to know the rules don’t just all of a sudden change and they’re respectful of that. At the same time, we too respect them and their decision making ability.
All that being said, I would have thought I’d be just fine this year, and I was, right up until the moment came to say good-bye. Ugh. Good-bye’s suck. I’m really going to miss my girl, maybe even more because of the fabulous summer.
Hope D’s year is awesome. He’s worked hard for it and he deserves it.
Erica R (iteachcomputers)
I am anxious to see what you have to say about J tomorrow. My son is also a Junior in High School, and the toughest transition we have all had is allowing him to make his own mistakes and live with the consequences. I told him the only way I would allow him to go away to college in 2 years is if he show me he can manage his time on his own while he is still living with us. It’s been very freeing for me. No more nagging about going to bed at a decent hour, doing his homework or making sure he has clean work shirts. This morning he was up until 1:30am working on a paper that was assigned last week. He woke up tired and cranky as hell. But realized he made a mistake by putting it off until the last minute. My role in his life this year is to seize on the teachable time management moments, but not to nag.
The kiddos continue to stun and amaze. They adapt so easily and maybe that is one of the things we have a hard time with. I hope D has a fabulous second year.
Congrats to D on a great first year and an enjoyable summer. Quite the accomplishment right there! Here’s to an even better sophomore year! 🙂
Patty @ A Day in My NYC
Many congrats to D! Wow, That first year flew! Wishing him all the best for sophomore year.
You & Jim really are THE BEST parents! 🙂
Aww, thanks! You’re sweet.