Tag Archive | Son

Three off to College and I’m a Disaster

fullsizeoutput_ffe8

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

 

“I told you I’m fine.”

“I told you I’m fine,” when he had fainted 15 hours before. “I told you I’m fine,” after he tells me his head feels like it’s between a vice. “I told you I’m fine,” after he’s had diarrhea for three weeks and just told me so this morning. “I told you I’m fine,” after throwing up all day Sunday. “I told you I’m fine,” after he steps down off the scale showing he’s lost roughly 10 pounds. “I told you I’m fine,” after he tells me he can only eat and drink a little at a time. “I told you I’m fine,” after he called me from school saying he only made it up two flights of stairs and had to take the elevator the last two, because he felt so weak. “I told you I’m fine,” after he sat in my room and told me that every little sound was magnified and he he just wanted to lay in his bed where it is quiet. “I told you I’m fine,” when he looks into my eyes and he is clearly not.

Son, you are not fine. You will not leave our side. You will see a doctor. I will make sure you get better. These symptoms do not mean that you are fine. To appease me does not make you fine. The only fine thing will be when you smile and tell me how great you feel. For real. That is when you will be fine.

In the meantime I will keep at it. Keep caring about you. Keep watch over you. Keep trying to figure out how to make you fine and heathy. I will never give up. I am your Mother. The only time I am happy is when you are truly ‘fine’.

I love you. ❌⭕️❌⭕️

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

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

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!

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