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Three off to College and I’m a Disaster

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August 18, 2019

At least my tears weren’t streaming down my face today like the past several days. It has been a whirlwind of a week, that’s for sure. I’ve been a disaster.

Dropping one child at college is hard enough. Man, last year was a doozy. This year almost seemed to kill me. With three of them leaving at the same time. What the hell! Yes, I am proud. Yes, one went a year early, but holy hell, that doesn’t make it any easier for this Momma.

I’m super freaked out about my 16-year-old going to big university so young. It has always been his path, shit he looks 20, but he sure as hell doesn’t have the maturity. He is 16 and it shows! He tries to pretend he is older. Didn’t we all at that age? I just worry like hell about him. About his emotional state especially. He is so hard on himself, has some super down days. I’m not there to help during those times now. I am just so thankful that he has two older Brothers there that he can reach out too. I’m just hoping that he will if he ever needs too. I’m hoping they all three reach out to each other when they need it the most. That’s what scares me the most. Teenagers, humans really, don’t always reach out. I usually know, because I hover I guess you could say. That hovering keeps my children safe and alive though, I can tell you that much.

After I left my two oldest at the university on Tuesday, I cried the whole way home. Hard, soaking wet face, snotty nose, crying. Boy can I make tears! My two youngest sons where in the car trying to sleep and clueless I was a freaking mess. I was so exhausted when I got home, and then I couldn’t sleep, which isn’t like me at all. I was just freaked out. I felt like I was dropping my children off at the Fire Station and I wasn’t going to see them again. Knowing they are only less than two hours away just hadn’t kicked in yet.

I was quietly jumping for joy when my third son told me that he wanted to come home after we moved all of their stuff in that Tuesday. He wanted to spend more time with his girlfriend before classes started. I was just happy to have him home for a few more days. Really loved that, even though he is at that age where he isn’t conversing with me much. I’ll take what I can get. No doubt!

When you have half of your family gone all of a sudden, it is the strangest thing in the world. It feels eerily dim. Empty. Makes me feel like I want to puke when I think about it. I thank goodness for the phone, text, FaceTime and FindFriends. A true savior I tell you. I’m thankful that they respond, well, most of the time. I just have to be patient. Also, the dinner table seems empty.

The worst is not being there right when they need you. My second Son ended up getting severely dehydrated and ended up in the Hospital. I spent my morning from 6:00 a.m. on Friday finding out what time the SHS (Student Health Services) opened. Screen-shotted a map of campus and drew an arrow where he needed to go ASAP. Got his older brother up to help him, which took a few tries since he had been out late. I’m again, just so thankful that they have each other there. My oldest met up with him and got him to the SHS. They immediately put him on an IV bag of fluids and started running labs. I secured backup at work, just incase I needed to immediately leave and head to them. Three hours later the doctor was calling me to tell me that he needed to get to the ER. She called ahead and had them prepare for his arrival at the Children’s ER. They Ubered over to the hospital and they took great care of them. My oldest was giving me a play-by-play the whole time. I was able to make it there that evening. Hugged my second son, then went to drop my first and third sons back at their dorms.

On the way back to the hospital I was in full mom-mode. Ready to love on this kid and do all that I could to get him better and out of the hospital. I brought snacks, my favorite Rumple blanket and plenty of water. I was prepared to stay as long as needed.

One of the best things about he and I being at the hospital together, was how much we talked. I took puzzle books, and books for us to read, and we never got to them. We just talked to each other. Talked to the wonderful his wonderful nurse, Nurse Fred, and to the two doctors that came into see us. They were so great and wanted to have conversations with Devin. The experience was very positive, even during a very scary time.

As we went to sleep in the hospital that night, all I kept envisioning was him walking out of there the next day. Getting him healthy. Getting him back to school and him starting his classes on Monday. Of course every time I heard a beep in his room that night, I shot straight up to stare at him and make sure he was okay. My sweet baby. He may be almost 18, but he is still one of my babies.

Saturday afternoon was a great one when we were able to check out of the hospital and head back to the university. The doctors were so happy to give him the, all-clear. I still felt much trepidation leaving there, but it was time and I couldn’t have been more thankful that he was able to do so.

Back at the dorm with all three of my oldest kiddos is always exciting and surreal. Meals together at the dining hall, shopping for little things they need for their dorm… snacks and drinks and Mom organizing their rooms for them. That always makes me so happy. I actually really love being there with them. If I lived closer I would probably torture them with much more often visits. Ha!

I slept on the floor that night of my two middle boys’ dorm. I was offered a bed, but declined. I had brought my own camping pad and was fine sleeping on that. I just needed them to get a good nights sleep in their beds that I made for them. Comfortable and familiar. It’s important to me.

Sunday morning we all got up and ready for breakfast. My oldest is in a different dorm than my middle two that share a room. We met up and went to the dining hall together. Checking out all of the food options, pursuing the meal stations together. Talking over breakfast. Some things serious and others laughing and enjoying each others company.

My third son and I made a quick trip after breakfast to grab two things he needed at the drug story. We headed back to the dorm and we all reconvene. A bit later they helped me with my things to the car. I loved on them, took some photos and found myself holding my breathe each time I felt like I was going to start sobbing. I went through the Starbucks drive through in full tears (thank you Kim and JJ) to treat myself to a chai.  I headed home a total wreck. Again.

I know no one really wants to hear all of the basic details of my week, but it feels good to put some of it down in writing. Believe it, or not, it was a hard fucking week for me. It’s also been a hard fucking month, a hard fucking Summer and an even harder fucking past two years. I am a survivor though. I may have days that I wallow, cry, freak the hell out, but that is me. I can also say that on the flip-side I am constantly trying to be happy, positive, plan fun things for our family and live a great life the best I can.

Today is Tuesday and the second day of classes for my college boys. They are settling in and seem invested and excited. I’ll keep stalking them on our family map until I can calm myself the hell down.

So happy I get to see them on Thursday again already for my second sons 18th birthday. I couldn’t be happier. I would drive to the ends of the earth to spend a moment with them. XOXO

 

“Are you okay?”

reaching_outThis morning I was disturbed by my alarm clock during a morning dream. I don’t remember where I was in the dream, or all of the people in it, but I do remember how I felt after waking up and thinking about the dream.

A boyfriend of mine from when I was in my 20’s, Todd, showed up where I was with some of his friends.  I also had people around me, with me. I don’t know who they were and I don’t remember where I was, or what I was doing. I do remember him reaching out to me with a smile and concern on his face. Reaching out for my hand and asking, “are you okay?” He did this more than once throughout the dream. His concern was sincere and reassuring. He kept coming back to find me.

When I woke up and thought about the dream, I felt peaceful, tired, groggy. I also felt reassured. I know that Todd being there wasn’t about him, he was just a figure of calm, happiness and confirmation.  There to remind me of all of the good. Reassuring me that everything is going to be okay, that my stress and feelings are perfectly normal. That life will come back in full happiness swing. This is temporary. Not to forget myself and my smile. To look forward to great things ahead and to be patient. For me to not forget about having fun and getting back to my positive self. To be strong and this too all shall pass.

Thank goodness for that dream. It’s been a rough go the past year. I am looking forward to my day. Trying to stay positive and keep busy with the importance in life. Searching for my smile and finding it will be a pleasure today. xoxo

Monday Morning Feels

img_6145-2Believe me, I know we all have crappy thoughts some mornings and I think people do more on Mondays than any other day. Don’t want to get up for work, school, or maybe they just don’t want to face their day. I say… suck it up! Wake up and feel good. Make an effort. That’s what I’m doing today.

Wake up knowing that you are going to make today pretty damn rad! I could lay around all day and be pissed off by all of the obstacles that I have to tackle, or I can tackle the shit out of them and put them behind me. I’ve been in both situations, even though most people look at me and think; hey she is always happy, her life seems pretty easy, blah, blah, blah. Well, think again, my friends! We all have our stuff. Even me.

Today I choose to have an amazing day. No. Matter. What. I hope you do too. 🙂

xo

His First Day of Class, My First-Born, My Freshman in College

The alarm went off at 5:15 a.m. Today was the day. It was five days ago when we all got up to shower, eat breakfast and do a little last-minute car packing. We piled into the cars at 6:30 in the morning. All six of us. In anticipation for the day ahead. The day we were moving our first-born into his dorm at East Carolina University.

I didn’t sleep well the night before. Anticipation? Sadness? Concern? Did I get him everything he needs? Did I pack that? Is he happy? When will he come home the first time? Tons of thoughts swirling though my head. Keep in mind, I am a great sleeper, but from time-to-time, I am just awake. For no reason at all. Well, I think my first-born leaving home is a pretty good reason for not being able to sleep that night. Ha!

The drive is just under two hours. He drove with me. His younger brother falling asleep in the backseat. Head bobbing. Hair flipping around. He finally lays down since he has the whole backseat to himself. Alex is with me in the front. We are chatting, listening to My Favorite Murder Podcast. He announces that he is going to sleep a little too. I smile and drive into the sunrise. Checking out my surroundings, listening to the podcast. Looking at Pierce in the backseat sleeping, then looking over at Alex. He is crashed out, mouth wide open, obviously napping wonderfully. I snap a photo of me smiling and him sleeping with his mouth wide open. I can’t help myself. I want to cherish every moment.

We arrive to the huge parking lot at the stadium and get our place in line. Talking, joking and me taking photos. Waiting to get inside and get his keys.

After the stadium and picking up his keys, we drove over and arrived at his dorm. The six of us got all of his things up to his dorm and the organization started. As a mother, I want my children to always be comfortable. To have all that they need. From the 3-inch mattress pad, to the rug on the floor. I’m hoping I got him everything that he will need for the whole year, but not too much to clutter and sit in the same spot all year and not get used. It’s all I can hope for.

Once I have him set up and I am finished with my part. You know, the part that makes us moms feel good. It was kind of like nesting for our babies again. Setting up their room, making sure they have everything to get by. All organized and ready to go. Once you are done you stop and look around. Ask yourself, am I missing anything? Will he be comfortable? Does this make him happy? I look around and it hasn’t hit me yet that this is his room now. He won’t be sleeping at home any more. Nope, it hadn’t hit me yet at all. Not like I thought it would for the months leading up to this.

My Husband and our youngest three Boys said our goodbyes with hugs and see-you-tonights. We walked back to our cars and I was still fine. No tears, no anticipation. No concern.

We had lunch, checked in to our hotel and relaxed for a bit.

Later that evening, our youngest, my Husband and I went out for beers and a soda. We chatted, the three of us. After a bit, we met up with another set of parents that I met during orientation in the library a couple of months prior. They dropped off their son that day as well. After a little conversation, we learned that we were all feeling the same. Even my youngest. We are proud, but will miss them. We are concerned, but they will succeed. We are nervous, but know that they will be able to handle themselves. So many emotions flying around that table.  We laughed and had serious moments too. It was wonderful to share with other parents that were going through the same thing.

The three of us got back to Alex’s dorm to meet his roommate and his parents. They were so nice and we met his roommates older brother as well, that lives off campus and is an ECU junior.

I think we felt a little relief. Well, at least I did, knowing that his roommate was a nice kid. Happy and smiling. They seemed to be communicating well. At ease with each other. Their room set up comfortably. The whole atmosphere just seemed calm. Thank goodness! Ha!

The three of us, once again, said our goodbyes to let Alex hang out with his new roommate, head to dinner and finish organizing his desk. Tons more hugs and I love you’s were had, of course. Then we were on our way back to our hotel.

Still no tears. No trepidation.

The next morning we had a date to meet Alex around 9 for breakfast. We gathered our things from the hotel and started to make our way. The 6 of us. For the last meal that we would share together until I don’t know when.

We found a couple of parking spots on the street and headed over to his dorm. He was ready and waiting. Roommate still asleep, so we met outside. We made our way to Einsteins on campus for bagels and some time together.

It was a great breakfast. Everyone at ease. Having great conversations. Laughing, poking fun and enjoying our time. We made it last for as long as we could, then it was time to head back to his dorm.

Once back to Alex’s dorm we hung out a bit. Introduced his middle brothers to his roommate and chatted a little while. It wasn’t until I asked the roommate to take a photo of us all that it hit me. “This is it! Hold it together!” The thoughts going through my head. Taking deep slow breathes.

Photos were taken, then hugs started to happen. I started to lose is. Slowly and quietly. Once that happens, everyone seems to know… here goes Mom. She is going to start to cry. I have to say I have the sweetest family ever though.

We said our goodbyes with a ton for hugs and I love you’s. I just feel like it is never enough, Then we walked out of his room and down the back stairs to the outside. I put my sunglasses on even before we left the room. The tears were already welling up.  Streaming down my cheeks as we descended the stairs. Already hearing the, “Mom are you okay,” questions from one of my boys. Which one, I can’t remember. Then walking out into the heat and sunlight through the parking lot and my second oldest put his arm around me as we walked to the street. I remember feeling the comfort of his arm around me and thinking how lucky I am. After crossing the street, grabbing my husband’s hand and holding on, for what felt like dear life. The tears still flowing. Trying not to sniffle and silently wiping my tears. Getting to my car and my husband and I crying in each others arms. Feeling so proud of our wonderful first-born. Feeling so sad for us. Like something so dear has been taken away. Crying and holding on tight. My husband let go and kissed me, then started down the street after our two middle boys to his car. My youngest son took his place and he and I cried together. Holding each other tight on that sidewalk. I know he was feeling the same. At loss already. Crying into each others arms quietly. Reassuring each other with sweet words that we will be okay. That HE will be okay. That we will come and see him soon and hope that he will want to come home and see us too.

It isn’t just hard on the parents it is hard on the other kids in the family too. Even though the older ones don’t show it, a mother knows. I could see it as we all walked away from his dorm that day. Every one of us quiet. Every one of us somber with our heads down. Not our usual silly selves. It’s hard on us as a family. I’m sure Alex felt it too. I hope one day he will fill us in on how he was feeling that day we left him for his new adventure.

As we drove out-of-town, I cried. My youngest held my hand. I held his. We were full of tears together. Then we smiled at each other with those reassuring smiles. Trying to just get though our feelings of the moment. Of the morning that we had just had.

IMG_3163It’s been 5 days since we moved him in last Wednesday. Those feelings haven’t gone away. Our first-born started his first two classes at college this morning. I am crying steadily and having to take breaks while typing this. Blowing my nose. Wiping my tears. Hoping that I don’t get a sinus infection. Hahaha! Feeling so excited for Alex. Hoping his ‘first day of classes’ were amazing and that his teachers aren’t assholes. Hoping that he got smiled at and that someone new introduced themselves. That he made a new friend and shook his teachers hand. My emotions and thoughts are all positive ones of accomplishment for my son and ease to get though the day.

I feel so lucky that I got a text this morning from him saying, “Morning”. To quietly let me know in his own way and he is up and ready for his day. That meant the world to me, more than he will probably ever know.

It is so odd to have to raise a child and then let them go, so to speak. I don’t want to let them go. I always will want them in my day-to-day life one way or another. A phone call, a hug, a text, lunch, a walk, to FaceTime, a letter in the mail, anything. I’ll take anything I can get. My children are my world. Why would I want that to end when they turn 18? I don’t and if it’s up to me, I won’t let that happen. I will always love them, nurture them, advise them, reassure them, let them know that they are loved and supported. Even as adults

My children are not my best friends, they are the loves of my life, my little boys, my children. Now and forever. That will never change. I feel lucky to have them in my life. I feel excited and happy when I see them each day. I am not a parent that looks forward to having an “empty nest”. Not because I don’t want them to succeed and have amazing adult lives, but because I feel like they will always have our home. The home we all have when we were together. Something to look forward to, coming home to when every they want. Home is where you are loved. Home is where your family is. Home is your anchor.

To all of you parents and siblings out there sending your loved-one off to college. I send you love and hugs. You are not alone. And to all of you off to college… YOU, are not alone. 🙂

xoxo

Parents & Teenagers & Unspoken Words

I worry. I worry consistently about my children. I know they don’t share everything with me. Probably not even half if I am guessing. I find it so strange, then I look back to confiding in my Mother. I guess for some, it just doesn’t happen. Even if we think we are close to them and we know it all, we don’t. We never will and this terrifies me.

I want to be there for them when they are sad, feeling broken, happy, maybe they have met someone new. It doesn’t always happen. I feel like I am pulling teeth and they are giving me a painful look when I ask them about their day, their friends, their relationships, anything. I feel hurt. Maybe I’m selfish? Selfish with wanting them to be happy 29 out of 30 days a month. I want to see them smile. I want to know they are okay.

Don’t get me wrong, I believe I have a strong relationship with all of my children. I know that they love me. They tell me they love me daily. Kiss me good-bye and good night evey day. I take great care of them in all of the “Motherly” ways. I just know there is more to it than that. More going on with them, than what they give me willingly.

I go to bed terrified at night when I haven’t seen one of them smile all day, or even make an effort to talk to me. I can’t stand the distance. Especially when I know something is wrong. I can see it in their eyes, their body stance, the way they hold their mouth. I have a right to feel terrified. I am their Mother and I feel noting but love for them and want to keep them safe in any way that I can.

Some humans don’t discuss what is on their mind, because they don’t want to feel like they are overly talking about themselves, being self-absorbed, complaining, or whining. Sometimes we do it because we don’t want someone to feel sorry for us, feel like we are a burden, or weak. I’m sure I could list a hundred more reasons why we don’t talk to others about our feelings, our thoughts, or what has happened recently in our lives that has made us feel off. Sad. Alone. Even miserable. We’ve all done it. What we forget is, we are not alone. There is always someone who will just listen. The problem is, we are afraid.  Don’t want to seem incapable of handling our emotions. Frankly, it sucks!

We need to talk, we need to express ourselves, we need to vent, we need to cry, we need to wallow, we need to work it out. If we don’t, then it sits in a deep pit. A dangerous pit that the only way out is to climb out of that damn pit yourself, or let someone help you. To grab onto their hand and let them pull you out.

Today I am in worry mode. I have been for several months now. We moved to a new State. It’s been 9 months. I don’t feel in my heart that anyone has really adjusted well. Especially my 4 teenagers. They miss their friends. They miss the ease of our old neighborhood. They miss their daily routine. I bet they even feel like life has been stagnate here, like not much has moved forward.

Sometimes in life you do things for your family, because you think it is the right thing for you all as a whole. California housing prices were sucking us in. Living to just pay for the house you are living in and the bills to keep that house alive, are just not a way to live. Children don’t know that though. They see a well-oiled machine and then their parents just threw a wrench into the engine and broke it.

I never realized it would take this long for them to adjust. To feel happy again. With social media today, I thought that it would be easier for them to keep in touch with their friends. Unfortunately, I believe it has been just as much as a hinderance. Especially with how things are today.

Social media started out as a way to keep in touch. Connect with friends and family and sometimes make new friends. Today it seems that it breaks more relationships than it keeps alive. Especially for our children. Posts and words are taken negatively, texts are misconstrued. Someone is always feeling defensive. People that are being honest are taken as liars. The liars are getting away with causing so much pain and the honest ones are the one’s suffering. Some suffering more than others. It truly breaks my heart.

I remember when we communicated a lot over email. Even our emails started to get taken the wrong way. We all know that 5 people can read the same email and if asked about that email, we would get 5 different interpretations. Imagine that with the short simple texts. It can be hell, I’m sure. It always seems when something is read these days it is deciphered depending on the readers current mood. It’s interesting and detrimental all at the same time. Especially with our teenagers. It scares the hell out of me.

It all dwindles down to the way we communicate with each other. I’m for sure a talker. I want to talk about everything. Know everything. I love honesty and truth. I love having a conversation of the heart. I always ask a lot of questions. I love to learn. I love having a conversation about the weather. I love having a conversation about the color of the dirt. I love hearing about your day. I love hearing about your successes for the day. I love hearing about the argument you had with your friend. I love hearing about what your plans are for the weekend. I love hearing about how your girlfriend pissed you off. I love hearing about how dumb you thought that kid was in your class today. I love hearing about what scares you. I love hearing about what made you angry today. I love hearing about your job. I love hearing about your dreams. I love hearing about it all and I just want to talk to my kids and Husband all day long.

I want them to need me. I want them to want to spend time with me. I want them to know how much I care about them. How much I want to listen to them when they are hurting. I am always here. Unfortunately, it doesn’t happen. Then I am back here hoping, wanting, poking, prodding and begging them to let me in.

I am their Mother, so I know they don’t want to tell me everything, but I would hope that they would let me in a little. Show me the honesty and sharing that I have taught them. Come to me when they are happy and when they are also feeling down. Let me help them. Give me a chance to tell them that there is always another wonderful road to explore, even though sometimes we take a wrong turn.

The unspoken words are the ones that worry me. No, they truly scare the hell out of me. xoxo

Not Even 30

Yesterday came and went

It would have been your Birthday

Your 30th

A day to celebrate

Celebrate your wonder

Your Smile

How cherished you are

Not a day for tears

To ‘cheers’ without you

Without hearing you laugh

And without seeing that contagious smirk

We still toast you though

Your loving memory

A memory of a life lost

Forever lost

Lost

I wish I knew that you were lost

I wish I knew your pain

I wish I knew when you were scared

Or mad

Or over it all

I wish I knew it all

Now I just feel sadness

Shocked is the only way to describe

Loss

Lost

Full of a bucket of tears that keeps refilling itself

With no end

No end

I love you

My sweet little Brother

I love you.

xoxo

My Children and Understanding Organic

I had to laugh today. One of my Son’s was home sick today and he was looking for something to cook in the pantry as I was getting ready to walk out the door to pick up his Brothers from school. He was in a, butter noodle, mood.

He says from the pantry, “everything Organic is disgusting!”

I proceeded to tell him that organic noodles taste no different from non-organic noodles. I explained to him why something is considered organic. We went back and forth a bit.

When I got home a bit later, I saw he had the bowl of noodles. The organic ones. I think I finally, finally taught him what Organic means. Or maybe it was that he finally just listened. Ha!

He kept thinking that somehow when something is organic it didn’t taste good, or the ingredients were somehow tainted and would make the product taste gross. Hahaha! Just goes to show that people can be so narrow-minded. Also, those narrow minded people can choose to listen and understand what the facts are.

I love that he listened. 🙂

xoxo