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3 Weeks Today I Left My First Born at College.

It’s been 3 weeks today! Oh man, I’m dying! Hahaha!! Laugh if you will, laugh at me, go ahead. I don’t care. I’m laughing at myself a little bit too. I can’t help it though. I miss him!

I was walking upstairs last night and glanced down the hall to his room. I shouted, “Where’s Alex?!” From the office I hear, “what?” from my husband. I started to laugh and said, “I’m just kidding, but I was hoping that he was just in his room taking a nap.” Oh man did I.

On the other hand, I know he is exactly where he needs to be. He is working hard, starting to feel the stress of his classes, making friends, found the grocery store, took a friend out to sushi, learning the bus system, attended his first football game (that got delayed, then canceled and rescheduled for the next day) and sat in the sweltering metal stands, joined his first club, feels bored from time-to-time and so much more. Yes, he is exactly where he needs to be. I just keep telling myself that.

Each day I expect to see him come downstairs to take his shower. Come into the kitchen with his wet hair and a smile on his face, hug me and tell me good morning. Ask me how I am. Fill up his bowl with Cheerios and warm them up in the oven. Filling the kitchen with scents of oats. Watch him tiptoe to the kitchen table to eat and read his fan fiction sites. I miss those morning. I miss it all.

It’s so odd to be so torn as a parent. Knowing you are doing the right thing and feeling sad in your heart all at once. Remembering that you are doing the right thing, but feeling the sadness of the persons absence. Especially for a person like me that doesn’t usually feel separation anxiety. Ever. I guess there is a first for everything.

Over this past weekend, a long 3-day weekend, he didn’t want to come home. We were on a FaceTime call and I mentioned him coming home. I could tell he didn’t want to say that he didn’t want to by the look on his face. Also, that he didn’t want to hurt my feelings. He is so sweet that way. I let it go and said we could chat about it again another time and to just think about it, knowing that I knew didn’t want to come home yet.  I talked myself though it in my head… ‘Okay, he is happy, having fun, him not wanting not come home is a good thing. Right? Right! Keep remembering that, Kathleen.’ That went on for a long time. Over several days. Hahaha!! Yes, several days.

Guess what I am doing tomorrow? Going to see him!! Damn straight! When we spoke last night I told him that I was coming for a visit. That I missed him and that I couldn’t stand it any more! Hahaha!! He looked happy. (He also told me that his friend Zoei was dying to meet me. That’s pretty cool!) When I told him I was bringing my camping pad to sleep on his dorm floor, he kind of snickered and didn’t now what to say or how to react. Hahaha!! I left it in his court to come up with one. Told him that I would call him today. What he doesn’t know is that I have already looked at AirBNB for places to stay in town. Hahaha!! I just want to see if he can come up with a plan, because he knows that I WILL sleep on his floor. If you know me, you know I am super good at flying by at the seat of my pants, but always have some type of plans in my head just in case.

I must say, with the sadness of missing my Son, the proud and happy feelings of him happy supersedes the sadness by far.  🙂

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

To homeschool, or to not homeschool, that is the question.

My 15-year-old Son has asked me to homeschool him since he was 3. Then, it was simply because he wanted to be home with his Momma. Today it is for different reasons. Very real reasons.

As it sit here reading about, public on-line school, homeschooling and virtual flex on-line schooling, I realize there is so much to learn and so many questions to ask. It’s so hard! Ug. It can be very expensive too.

Public on-line school is pretty much the same as your brick and mortar school. Just doing it from home. You have all of the wonderful conveniences of the teachers there when you need them. It is free. Books and materials area free. You work on the same school schedule as the rest of your local district.

Homeschool is a combination of what you make it. You do most of the work with your child. You set up the classes. You help with class work. You can set up on-line classes, college classes, out of the home classes, etc. You set it all up and make the plan.

Virtual flex on-line school you can start at any time, you have teachers that can help you, depending on the program you choose to go with. You set the pace with your child. The school has all of the curriculum set for you. You pay them for this service, which can be very expensive. Up to almost 7k a year. As low as $400 per semester.

I am finally caving in with my Son and am going to make a decision this week about what he will be doing for his next semester of his Sophomore year. Allow him to be schooling from him. Researching internships for him, setting up some college courses. Sounds like more work for me, doesn’t it? It is. I will do it, because I want to see him happy. That smile is worth so much.

My concerns. He has high expectations and wants to attend a particular college in the futuer. I don’t want to jeopardize his future by me not knowing which school is best for him. It is scary to hold someone elses future in your hands. I want to make the right decision for him. All of the what-ifs go through my mind.

Brick and mortar school is safe, as is the on-line public school. I get a little scared with the homeschooling solely, or one of the flex on-line schools. I have been calling and asking a ton of questions regarding progression of courses, AP and Honor courses and if he was to apply to Oxford would they look at their school as an accredited facility.

This morning my head is spinning, yet again. I’m not showered and my scalp really needs to be washed. Hahaha!! It is after 10:00 a.m. and I am still sitting here in my glasses and robe. Waiting for a call back from one of the schools that we are interested in. Waiting is the hardest part. I can imagine how Pierce has been feeling waiting 12 years. Hahaha!!

Onward with my research and phone calls. 🙂

xo

Raising Husbands & Fathers

I don’t know whose photo this is, but I hope they don’t mind me using it.15032168_255671434847402_4705620029773180601_n.jpg

I love this photo. I’m always worrying about who my children are and what types of adults they will be. I want them to be kind, strong, stable and loving towards their own family one day. To support and defend their family. All I can do is my best.

I love my 4 Boys and know that some days I really feel like I am screwing them up. I hope that isn’t the truth. I know I can be hard on myself and them as well some days. I can only hope that I have instilled something amazing in them. Something wonderful that others will see, so that people gravitate towards them and they are surround with love, always.  🙂

xoxo

Photos Are Our History

Good morning!☀️🌞😃 

This is such a true statement. I’ve talked to people that have burned, thrown away or tore up old photos. I don’t believe in that. I think that photos are your history. With good memories, or bad. They are still your history and something that should be cherished.

I wish that I had more photos of myself when I was young. I have one of myself with my father. I have another of myself with my Mother. Another of my Grandmother, myself and my Cousin Keith. A couple of myself while very young alone while enjoying summer vacation. A couple teenage ones. Now, a lot as an adult. 

I take tons of photos of my children. They hold so many memories for me. One day when they look at them, I hope they will hold wonderful memories for them and show them their history.

That brings me to another subject. Don’t forget to save and also print out the photos on your phones. I think thousands, even millions, of photos are getting lost each day, because we dont download them and print them out. What a waste. Take some time and do it. You will be happy you did. 🙂

xoxo 

One Lonely Mommy

 

I think I just need to get right to it.

I cried to 3 of my Boys the day before yesterday. I was a mess.  Don’t get me wrong, I was super happy waking up, even after dropping off my 3rd Son for his 8th grade trip, whom I am missing immensely.

I woke up and was ready for a great day. A friend of mine shot me a message asking if we wanted to go over to the Boardwalk for a while then over to the swim center for some free swim time.  Sounded great to me!

I went into the office to run the plan by my 3 Boys that are home for Spring Break. None of them budged from in front of their computers.  They all said, “No thank you Mom.”

You know what? I went upstairs and cried. Then I came back downstairs and told them all why. I told them that i am sad and my heart hurts, because I feel like they don’t like to spend time with me.  Ever. That I always have to be the bad guy and pressure them to do, anything.  I mean anything.  A movie, a hike, camping, go out to eat. You name it.

You know what people? There are days that I feel so lonely and I live in a house with 6 other people. The majority of them sit on their computers all day.  In that damn office, all 5 of them, and I won’t see anyone for hours. I don’t get asked what I’m up too. I don’t get asked anything. Some days no one will even come and talk to me.  The only time I get any communication is when I ask if someone wants something to eat, ask if they want to do something, or go somewhere, or if I go into the office and speak to them. That sucks!  That’s lonely.

This isn’t a poor-me post. This is real. My feelings are real. My life is real. I miss my kids. All. The. Time. They can stay away from me when they are in college, or get wives of their own, dammit! I love my kids and want to do all kinds of fun things with them. It freaks me out when my family doesn’t want to spend time with me. Not even an hour of hiking, or going to the damn grocery store.  Come on!

Is it so much to want to feel like I am loved, needed, wanted and fun to be around? Is it so awful to want someone to make the plans with me for a change? I’m not talking about my friends. I mean my family, especially the ones that live in my house. I crave family time. Crave it terribly. So terribly that I broke down this week. Damnit.

I feel like it shouldn’t even be a thought in my head to feel like this. I do my best at all time, to spend time with my Husband and children. All the time. It feels like shit to get turned down.  Constantly.

Okay, I’m done. It doesn’t change the way I feel though.  It doesn’t change how lonely I feel a lot of the time in my own home. 

xo

 

Subject: Stufff

I just wanted to share something from my Son.

I had received a text message while out running errands that read…

Can I please have 50$ of my report card money, the total is 105 but I only need 50 currently.

Mommmm plz

?

I responded back with a, 👍 (thumbs-up emoticon). I was out and about and don’t like to text while driving.

After I got home from my errands, he and I had a conversation regarding, what he wanted the money for. He told me it was for some type of upgrade for his Minecraft game. He knows how I feel about wasting (I think it is a waste) on things like this. It should be used on things that you hold and use physically. Later,  I received this email…

To: Kathleen Shelfer                                                   March 13, 2016 at 5:07 PM

From: Pierce Shelfer

Subject: Stufff

                     Why People Like Things
     Recently I asked you if I could get a game “upgrade” as you say it, and you said it’s a waste of money if you’re not going to use it frequently for example I’m using this upgrade for Minecraft. I like playing games, I like playing sports, and this is for a reason as this study shows. By Ted O’Callahan A piece of chocolate is among life’s simple, certain pleasures. The cocoa smell, the velvety feel as it melts on your tongue, and the taste—sweet and bitter—that stays in the mouth, all combine to create a heady experience. But what about the experience of carefully selecting and anticipating a favorite brand—peeling back gold foil wrapping, feeling the shape of the bar in your fingers. How much is that part of why you enjoy your favorite chocolate? Yale psychologist Paul Bloom argues that it’s easy to miss the complexity that underlies pleasure. His work looks at the subtleties of everyday behaviors like distinguishing art from everything else, the intuitive sense of fairness that children display, and the feeling of pleasure. That last topic resulted in a book, How Pleasure Works, in which Bloom shows how the most obvious factors—a catchy melody or mouthwatering smells—don’t explain pleasure fully. “Pleasure is affected by deeper factors, including what the person thinks about the true essence of what he or she is getting pleasure from,” he notes in the book. You see mom and dad, I have a reason for liking these things physiologically. I have fun with these things I buy with games, I know Mom that you wouldn’t understand why I like to do these things but I’ll do an example of why you like to do something. For example, you like to go hiking or buy makeup. Life is your game and you like to buy these “upgrades” such as makeup. You buy makeup because it makes you feel good, well mom and dad buying these “upgrades” for these games make me feel good, and so it is not a waste because it makes us feel good that makes it not a waste of money since we all use “upgrades”.
     Mischievously,
     Pierce Shelfer
                     ^^Please Read All of the Above^^

I must say, this child-of-mine, always has an amazing argument. That we have taught him well. Thoughtful, smart, witty, and well thought through. I love him with every breath I take.

At 13, he talks about becoming an Attorney or a Radiologist. Owning his own practice. When we were in the pediatricians office the other day, he looked at me and said, “This isn’t what my medical office is going to look like.” What a cool conversation that was. All of the equipment he would have, the technology, the decor. He has his head in the right direction. I can’t wait to see what he becomes. I know it will be great. 🙂

xoxo