Tag Archive | Family

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

52 Hike Challenge – Hike 1

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Good morning!

A few weeks back I broke my toe and metatarsal during the night, as I was going back to bed from the restroom. Lovely! Anyway, it is pretty much healed now. A few discomforts , but nothing to really complain about.img_5162

I decided once my foot was feeling better I would join the 52 Hike Challenge on this past Monday. Well, I did it! I joined on Monday. Educated myself on the challenge and am going for it. I had been wanting to do it for months and am so glad that I finally did!

First off, I love to hike. I don’t get out enough and this is just the little extra push that I need.

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My favorite photo of the day. Looking up at the big, big trees.

I don’t get out as much as I like, because I have a busy family life. No complaints here though, I wouldn’t change a thing. I just need to fit in more time for me, which can be hard certain days. I am fortunate to live in an area where I can find a great hiking spot rather easily at the last minute.  Woot!img_5168

Tuesday was the first day I had a hike planned. I was thinking a 6 miler up at the Land of Medicine Buddha. I have a favorite hike there that I haven’t done in quite a long while. Well, bam, I am gifted with watching my Great Niece for the rest of the week. No worries! I’ll just take her with me for our first hike together. So, that’s what we did.

It’s fun and challenging hiking with a 2-year-old. Challenging, because they are very slow and rarely do you get to do more than a mile if they are walking on their own. Fun, because they are so fun to teach about the woods and see the wonder through their eyes.

It was a GREAT morning hiking with her and nostalgic. I use to take her older sisters hiking with me when they were little. I can’t wait for the 4 of us to all hike together. What a wonderful day that will be!

I’m just so excited that I got my first hike in, even though, only just over a mile, I got it done. It was a gorgeous day and exactly what Madison and I both needed.  🙂

xo

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 

Exhausted Mother and it’s only 7:47 a.m.

Waking up my chilthe_secretdren is the least of my concerns in the morning. Wanting them to leave with a smile on their face is a whole different concern in itself. Maybe I shouldn’t say concern. Maybe it is more like a need that I have?

We all worry about our children’s happiness. Well, I hope as hell you do! I do. Every single moment that I look at them, I want a sign that they are happy. It’s in me and I can’t help myself.

When I hear negative words out of their mouthes, no matter the subject matter, see a sad face, eyes watering up, I worry. Plain and simple, it affects me.

Last night I downloaded an app that allows me to “pause” my children’s phones. It simply makes it so that they can only make, or receive, a phone call. All of the rest is paused, until I un-pause it.

After putting it on my oldest Sons phone, apparently it moved some of his apps all around and jumbled it a bit. He freaked out.

A little background on my oldest son. He is the sweetest kid you will ever meet. He is loving, sensitive, honest to a fault, highly intelligent, if you are a friend of his he super committed to that friendship. I could go on and on. Not because he is my Son, but because I like to see the beauty in everyone and I just think that he is just an all around amazing person. Period.

He is also happy, sad, outgoing, introverted, smart, skeptical, trusting and untrusting. Just to name a few. When he is in one of those pessimistic moods, all I want to do is hug him. Tell him to smile. Ask him to work on his happiness. Remind him that he is so loved and there is no reason for him to be angry or feel defensive.

He is my one that I tend to worry about the most. The one that I hope that I am not screwing him up in some way. The one that I want to take any pain away that I feel like he has in his heart, and just make it all better for him. I try, but I know deep in my heart that I can not.

He was bullied when he was younger. This already sensitive soul, was bullied verbally, and it has affected him deeply. To a point that now when sometimes you make a suggestion of something, point something out, ask him to change something, he is super defensive. To the point, that if you ask him to not wear his beanie to school today, he feels like I am picking on him. Even though, I point out that he is super gorgeous, because he is, and that I just thought that not wearing his beanie today, because it is going to be 83 degrees, would be a better idea.

I’m coming to find out, that I just need to let him be. Let him be who he is. Let him wear what he wants. To be his own person. Which, I think I have been pretty good about, but I am still his Mother and always want what I think is best. Even though, it isn’t what HE thinks is best. I am truly finding that balance.

Back to last night and the app that I installed on mine and their phones to “pause” them. When I gave him his phone back, and it looked a bit disheveled, he lost it. He cried, explained why he was upset and I felt terrible. He felt betrayed. He felt untrusted. He felt like one of his lifelines (his phone that he reads on every single day) was now not going to be the same. It broke my heart to hear his words and see how upset he was with me. When is Brother told him, “it’s just a phone”, he went into how lonely he is and how his social life is not like his (as in his Brother that he was talking too), that his life is through reading and the stories that he enjoys so much. It made me so sad, but it made total sense. Especially since I know that he is still hurting from losing his best friend a bit over a year ago. She was having her own personal issues and just cut their friendship off all at once and he still hasn’t recovered. He hurt him to his core.

I called him into the privacy of my room for us to chat. Explained what I was doing. That I wasn’t invading his privacy, that I trusted him with all of my being, that this was to simply pause them, when and if we needed too. Frankly, because there are times when I wish their computers and phones were gone. I feel like they are too highly used and an expansion of their lives. Too relied on. I also explained to him that I never meant to hurt his feelings, to make him feel like I would be betraying his privacy, that I trusted him and I never meant for him to lose any of his reading, or music, that I know he feels like are a lifeline and stress reliever for him.

Once we talked and looked over his phone, everything seemed to be there. I hope that he went to bed knowing that everything would be okay and that I loved him. I really did feel awful. Being a Mother is hard sometimes. Really hard other times and amazing the rest of the time.

This morning, after he thought money was missing from his wallet, because he thought I had given him $20 last week and the change wasn’t there this morning. I reminded him, that I had only given him a 5 or a 10 dollar bill and not a 20. That would explain why there was less in his wallet then he was thinking. Well, before I told him that, he had already gone down the wrong path. This is a good example of the hardship that he puts on his brain and his soul. He is now upset, clearly. The whole house can feel it. I put my hands on his shoulders and asked him to do something for me. Not only for me, but for himself. To go on a mission. A mission to only laugh, smile, think good thoughts, admire others, make positive comments, to make a change. To feel good. They say a change takes 3 months, right? That it is scientifically proven. Well, I told him that. I told him to see what happens when he does it, how he can watch his life change before him. He grunted. He’s 16. I’m a Mom that tries too hard. Ha! Well, at least I try. I try only out of love.

On our way to school I told him a little about myself when I was young. I told him that when I was somewhere between the ages of 8 and 10, I did ‘t like what I was seeing all around me. Arguing, infidelity, drug addicts, lying, fighting, all within my home with my parents and brothers. I didn’t want to be like that. I wanted to be happy. I wanted to have positive things in my life. I wanted to laugh, smile, hug, have fun and bring happiness to my life. I told him that I work hard at it every single day. It isn’t always easy, but there is no reason that I can’t keep trying and doing it for myself. It is what he need, or else we will down in all the crap. That I strive to be happy every day and I know that he can do it too.

What it all comes down to, is keeping my children safe, hoping that I can help them always be happy and helping them in anyway that I can. I would do anything for them. It doesn’t change the fact that I get sad too. I get sad when I feel like they are sad, or lonely. I feel it all.

My children are the loves of my life. 🙂

xoxo

P.S. Thoughts and comments would be appreciated here at the WordPress site, rather than on Facebook, or Google+.  Thank you!

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

What is my definition of success?

On to Day 2 of The Self Love Revolution series.

At the end of the video they asked… “What is your NEW definition of success where you can always win? OR, in times of binge eating, what are you really hungry for and what can you do to remedy that?”

Isabel Duke spoke a lot about binge eating.  I don’t have a problem there.  Thank goodness!  I do think that a have a problem with completing tasks for myself and not being a goal finisher with my own personal self.  Being that said, I’ve been trying to work on this.

What this consists of for me is… getting out the door for a walk, finishing tasks on my to-do list, cleaning the house, complaining that something doesn’t get done, but not doing it myself, doing the laundry, making appointments for myself, setting aside time for myself to blog, to paint, learn something new.  Stuff along those lines.

I like to think that I am already tackling this.  25 pounds down the past year. Setting up dates to hike with a friend. Taking ‘ukulele lessons once a week. Keeping my room cleaned up. Keeping my children on task with their chores. Crossing things off my to-do list in a more timely fashion.

What am I going to do to keep going? One foot in front of the other. Just do it, don’t wait. Don’t wait until later. Don’t push “snooze” when my to-do, or reminder, pops up on my phone. Get out the door. Pick-up the phone. Turn on the vacuum. Carry that laundry downstairs and get it going. Good stuff like that.

The big thing for me is though, to keep it up.  To keep doing these actions and moving forward each and every day.

I also wanted to talk about what I decided to do about Day 1. Day 1 was about me setting up 2 new daily “Rituals” for myself. Have I done that yet? Um, I don’t think so. Not in the way that I understood that I am supposed to. To set one up in the morning and then another in the evening.

The thing is, I think I already have established a pretty good routine of rituals for myself lately. In the morning, after I get the kids to school, I make myself a nice breakfast and I sit and just relax for a while and enjoy my breakfast. Be that on my computer cleaning out my e-mails. Checking on Facebook. Reading a news article on-line. Doing bills. No matter what it may be, it’s me time. After that, I move on to what I have in mind next.

In the evenings I have been plopping my fanny on the couch to get in some relaxation time.  Watching a show that I have on the DVR. If I’m not doing that, I have been getting my family to play a board game with me.  I also read in bed, or watch a show that I have on the DVR in my bedroom.

This is all acceptable to me. I think that I definitely find time for myself.

Some things that I would like to see change are… getting out for more walks and spending time with my Husband, and setting up more family time. Three things that I really miss.  🙂

xoxo