No offense but...





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Discus: Parents Forum: 2004 Archive - Part 2: No offense but...
By Vladimir2004 (Vladimir2004) on Saturday, August 07, 2004 - 12:23 am: Edit

All of the "momsy-dadsy" type posts make me depressed sometimes. Like you guys frequently write with a sense of nostalgia, and discuss what successful and morally good people you want you kids to become. Your posts are all so lengthy and heavy and almost always serious. Lighten up, people! I understand that as parents of juniors and seniors you don't want to let go of your children that have existed under your wing for all these years, but that's just the natural progression of life - if you want to achieve something you have to sacrifice something else, and at the end - it's all usually for the better.

By Mahras (Mahras) on Saturday, August 07, 2004 - 12:36 am: Edit

I actually come here for its seriousness. In other boards if I had written about etting an internship at an ibank I would get posts like "You aint getting one you high school foo" and then some one would suggest Wharton and then there would be a great battle between which school is prestigious and which is not.

See the posts in the other forums. Almost 90% of them turn into battlegrounds for prestige whores. lol

By Alongfortheride (Alongfortheride) on Saturday, August 07, 2004 - 02:13 am: Edit

Vladimir, we'll see how you feel when you're a parent with a kiddo leaving home! We don't see it as having to sacrifice something to achieve something. We see it as a phase of life completed or nearly completed. The selection of schools is underway for some families and completed for others. We're delighted that our kids are out exploring the world. We all did it and still do it to this day. If we get a little nostalgic during a time that our lives are being redefined, who does it hurt? We've earned it. If it is depressing to you, move on to the next thread. We have our funny sides too!

By Alexandre (Alexandre) on Saturday, August 07, 2004 - 03:09 am: Edit

Vladimir, my mom, who is primarily a very well grounded and emotionally stable woman, cried each time one her three kids would return to College from a vacation. This happened for 6 or 7 years. There came a time we would ban her from accompanying us to the airport! LOL She was a mess I tell you. She would then resort to trickery and deceit. She would promise us that she was used to our leaving and that she would not cry and once in the car, she'd start crying.

She eventually learned not to cry, but whether we understand it or not, parents are always sad to see their kids leave to go to college for several reasons, least of which is concern for their child's health and safety. Many parents cannot stomach the idea of their child being hurt or in trouble and be powerless to help because they are so far away.

In many instances, the sadness is compounded by the fact that children tend to occupy a huge protion of a parent's schedule, and when the child leaves, they feel like a big part of their raison d'etre is gone.

Of course, reason that cannot be ignored is the fact that children going off to college pretty much means they will never live close to their parents again..., since that marks the begining of adulthood and children will usually have to find a job and move on after college. Usually, that means that with the exception of vacations, children will no longer live at home.

Finally, some parents tend to feel a little old when their babies are all grown up and ready to leave.

I don't pretend to understand it yet, but I know that it is a different reality once it happens to you.

Besides, why is it depressing to discuss these things? I am sure that many of my mother's tears were because she was sad to see us leave, but I bet just as many of her tears were tears of joy at the pride and seeing her children making it in the world.

By Mom101 (Mom101) on Saturday, August 07, 2004 - 03:18 am: Edit

Oh Alexandre, you show your foreign colors!! A recent study showed that 65% of American college graduates will live at home again some time after college. And I can tell you that in CA (unlike many of the places I've lived), kids mostly seem determined to live in their home towns for life. We are insular to say the least.

By Alexandre (Alexandre) on Saturday, August 07, 2004 - 03:35 am: Edit

Hello Jan. I think 35% is still pretty bad odds for most parents! LOL At any rate, I think the other reasonsI mentioned are reason enough for most parents to be sad to see their children leave. But as my fellow countryman, Gibran, once said:

"...when you part from your friend, you grieve not, for that which you love most in him may be clearer in his absence, as the mountain to the climber is clearer from the plain...".

By Marite (Marite) on Saturday, August 07, 2004 - 07:05 am: Edit

Mom101:

Actually, in most countries, students live at home while attending university. The concept of a campus is an Anglo-American one, based on the Oxford and Cambridge model. Going away to college is less of a milestone in a person's life. And Americans are the most mobile society there is. I've been to villages where people can trace their ancestry in their village back to the 9th or 10th century and have never been further away than a few miles, where people marry people from within a 2 miles radius, etc...

By Alexandre (Alexandre) on Saturday, August 07, 2004 - 07:31 am: Edit

Marite, it really depends on the country. Lebanon is a country of nomades, pioneers and explorers. There are 4 million of us in Lebanon and 8 million of us around the World. Lebanon is not unique.

By Marite (Marite) on Saturday, August 07, 2004 - 08:17 am: Edit

Alexandre:

Of course, there are many societies that are nomadic in the Middle East and Central Asia in particualr. But the majority of the world's population is not only sedentary but also does not move much unless it is under duress. In China, the Hakka "guest people" are descendents or migrants from northern to southern China who migrated in waves, beginning in the 11th or 12th century. The last wave, I believe was some time in the 17th century. They are a distinct minority where they live.

By and large, though, most students do not go away to university as do Americans (and former foreign students like you and me).

By Backhandgrip (Backhandgrip) on Saturday, August 07, 2004 - 08:55 am: Edit

It really is true that once kids go off to college it is a sign of their impending Independence.My sister cried when her kids took the school bus the first time.Not doing that, I lament on C.C.!
And will try to lighten up!

By Cheers (Cheers) on Saturday, August 07, 2004 - 10:48 am: Edit

But V, who is laying the guilt trip here? You!

Imagine if a parent wrote: "Hey you kids, quit jumping for joy! Just because you got into college doesn't mean your life will be sweet!"

Some of us are THRILLED to see our kids out and about. Some are not so sure. This is a nice parent's forum because it expresses the range of human emotions.

You're too young to be laying guilt trips.

Lighten up! lol.

By Alongfortheride (Alongfortheride) on Saturday, August 07, 2004 - 11:00 am: Edit

I think I got over the crying part when son was in kindergarten. No joke! At the end of the first week, I was going to get out and walk him to his classroom, because the school is a large one, and he turned around and looked straight at me and said, "Mom, I don't need you to walk me to class anymore. I can find my own way now." I cried all the way home, and that was it. It's pretty much how it has been since then. He finds his way, and I tag "Alongfortheride"!

By Enjoyingthis (Enjoyingthis) on Saturday, August 07, 2004 - 12:30 pm: Edit

Loved your post "Alongfortheride." So that's how you acquired your handle! V should note mine--ENJOYINGTHIS. I'm afraid none of us ever understands how a stage of life feels until we go through it, thus the young can never completely grasp what it is to be older. I'm sure we don't really know what it's like to look back from the vantage of 80, either. I'm not sure why V finds our attitudes depressing, though. I do remember being depressed when I was younger reading about parents truly having regrets--some letter to Ann Landers where a mother looked back and felt she'd always put her kid off and didn't spend time with him and now he was grown and leaving her. I hated feeling that such regrets were inevitable. Well, we've lived our parenting lives such that I don't feel that way now! I had a hard time "getting" my kids (infertility) and I feel I've enjoyed every minute of raising them to the extent it can be enjoyed. We didn't miss a trick and now they seem to be turning out fine and we are thoroughly enjoying the process of seeing them off to college. Sure, I can get weepy at certain moments, but if I do, my husband, ever the level headed one, is quick to remind me that this is the way it's SUPPOSED to go.

By Sybbie719 (Sybbie719) on Saturday, August 07, 2004 - 01:54 pm: Edit

V,

It is my hope that when you one day have a child of your own, hopefully you will come to understand the depth of love a parent has for a child. From a mom's perspective it doesn't matter if that child has lived under your heart for 9 months sharing the air that you breathe or coming into your heart and taking your breath away at first sight.

On the span of a lifetime we have you between 16 & 18 short years (depending on whether you go to college early) to build experiences that will hopefully shape your lifetime. Right about now we are feeling sentimental, remembering things like taking our kids to school on their first day, and having them tell us "You can go now, I have friends" and the number of "life is over as we know it problems" that we had to tell them that this too shall pass. We jumped for joy with you for the acceptance letters and consoled you with the rejection letters (called admission counselors fools for not wanting the wonderful children that we raised).

So yeah, we have become your biggest fans and staunchest advocates, because these kids are the people whom which we would lay our lives down for with out a second thought. We know that as you make this passage from childhood to adult hood, that no matter how much you say I'm not a little kid anymore, you will always be our babies.

We are Glendas / Glens taking our Dorothys and Donalds to the end of Munchkin Land as they begin their journey to the Emerald City. We know that they will travel down many roads, sometimes not knowing which one to take. It is our hope that they begin their journey with a level of interdependence; that they can choose their path knowing that we are there if they need us. We find our selves reciting passages from "The Places You'll Go" confident that whatever destination they choose, that they will have a joyous experience

By Over30 (Over30) on Saturday, August 07, 2004 - 02:41 pm: Edit

I echo what everyone above said.

My head knows it's time for him to go out into the world (financed by momsy and dadsy of course). But what you won't understand until you have children is how much you will miss your child. No matter how thrilled and proud I am that he is a mature young man ready to start a new life, there will be a hole in my daily life where he used to be. My heart will especially miss the laughter we shared doing ordinary things such as cooking dinner, grocery shopping, playing cards or frisbee, singing to the radio on the long drive to visit colleges, and the "guess what I did, heard, read today" conversations.

Come back in 20 years when you're experiencing the same emotions we're all feeling.

By Thedad (Thedad) on Saturday, August 07, 2004 - 02:49 pm: Edit

Marite, anent your post of August 7/7:05am, D's set-piece speech to me making a case for going far away to college was, I think, during sophomore year and ran something like, "I don't want it to be like medieveal times where you're born, grow up, get married, have kids, and die in the same village. I want to live in a different part of the country, with a different sense of history and different traditions."

It turns out that she was knocking on a door that was already open but I appreciated the thought she had put into it nonetheless.

By Marite (Marite) on Saturday, August 07, 2004 - 03:05 pm: Edit

Thedad: I said something to an anthropologist about people marrying spouses from within a 2 miles radius and he said, "Sounds like Manhattan!"

By Hayden (Hayden) on Saturday, August 07, 2004 - 03:17 pm: Edit

I enjoyed your post, Alongfortheride.

And as for you, Vladimir ! Losing my kids to college is nostalgic, as I re-live their lives from birth, through learning to talk, then going off to first grade.

But reading your post was also pretty nostalgic for me. It made me remember my own childhood, and those golden times when I didn't have a clue about putting myself in other people's shoes, and when I only looked at life through my own personal prism. It's really hard for me to remember ever being as young as you are now. But I know I was.

Print out your own post, and put it in your high school year book. Take it out in 20 years. I don't know if it will make you laugh or cry. But I guarantee it will do one or the other.

By Thedad (Thedad) on Saturday, August 07, 2004 - 03:58 pm: Edit

Marite, LOL!

===

On the slightly related note, there's the famous Gary Larson cartoon with the lookout crying "Anthropologists!" as two pith-helmeted figures make their way up the hill and the natives inside the hut are scurrying to hide their televisions, phones, etc.

By Dmd77 (Dmd77) on Saturday, August 07, 2004 - 04:13 pm: Edit

I have to take issue with the idea that we're all feeling incredibly sad about our kids going off to college. I'm THRILLED that I have independent children who can manage (mostly) on their own.

But then--we are still partially supporting my brother-in-law (who cannot manage without assistance, due to cerebral palsy), and I have several friends who have children who will never be able to manage independent living.

Yes, I miss my children sometimes, but they call, send an occasional dumb postcard, email... And sometimes I enjoy getting the house all to myself.

By Cheers (Cheers) on Saturday, August 07, 2004 - 09:29 pm: Edit

I haven't 'missed' my son while he's been on Gap Year. Just got an email about how he and his mates dressed up in the Chinese Soccer team uniform--shorts and all--and went along with the mad tens of thousands of Chinese to the Asia cup games in Beijing.

Who could begrudge experiences like that? Especailly the bit about how they all wore capes with the words "Hurray for the Motherland!" scripted on the back. haha.

I'm still nostalgic though. For the fun that is passed, for the majority of life that is now gone.
Those lovely elementry school years. The ability to nibble on chubby baby thighs.

You never love your parents as much as they love you. It's quite a quirky design, the parent-child
set-up.

By Momofonly (Momofonly) on Saturday, August 07, 2004 - 10:47 pm: Edit

I just wrote a poem for my daughter a couple of weeks ago re: her independence and leaving next year for college and how much I will miss her. I didn't show it to her because, being 17, she will just think it's sappy. I just put it away in a box with other things I am saving for her so that she will have it for later in her life. Maybe then, she'll understand the depth of my love.

Alongfortheride,

I can relate to the kindergarten story. When my D entered middle school she told me that my volunteering days were over...I had done enough!

By Mom101 (Mom101) on Sunday, August 08, 2004 - 02:22 am: Edit

Dmd77, thanks, I was really getting a complex thinking I was the only one looking forward to the next stage in my relationship with my children. I look around at some of their peers and am truly thankful that they are ready to hit the road with excitment, passion and good heads on their shoulders. While I was happy to drive endlessly, run fundraisers and bake sales and totally be there for them, I'm ready for my next chapter and enjoying them in their independence! I relish the spring breaks we can travel, meeting their new friends and watching them fly. And they can clean out their own closets before they go!!

By Thedad (Thedad) on Sunday, August 08, 2004 - 03:36 am: Edit

Let me know how you get them to clean out their closets. I'm still pressing for D's bedroom and the "homework corner", both of which are still full of...ah...stuff and the pages are flying off the calendar. Yikes...only 22 days left before departure.

By Mom101 (Mom101) on Sunday, August 08, 2004 - 08:51 am: Edit

Actually, closet already clean thedad. Here's how it went--you want some nice new clothes for school?????? Of course mine is just going to HS, it's a little easier to work a 14 year old!

By Thedad (Thedad) on Sunday, August 08, 2004 - 10:28 pm: Edit

Oh. Well, mine has always inclined towards clutter.
TheMom says, "Why can't she take after your [mine] virtues?"

By Dmd77 (Dmd77) on Sunday, August 08, 2004 - 10:49 pm: Edit

Regarding closets: I told them that they had to remove anything they didn't want to keep. I paid them by the hour for the hour it took them to do this--and then for the hour to take the books to the used bookseller and the clothes to Value Village. It was well worth the money, because I also cleaned out my closet and the family bookshelves. We cleared $75 on the used books, too.

By Robyrm (Robyrm) on Sunday, August 08, 2004 - 10:53 pm: Edit

I am there with Dmd77 and Mom101....at this point I am just excited for my son, whom I feel is ready to move on. Now, ask me again in a year when I send son #2 off as well and I may feel differently (he will be as ready, I may be less excited!). Thank goodness for the "bonus baby"!

By Demingy (Demingy) on Monday, August 09, 2004 - 11:31 am: Edit

Vladimir,

I'm not sure what posts you've been reading, but this forum is far from serious in the way that you make it sound.

I have to ask what your parents are doing to make you feel this way. I really don't think that your post really should be taken at face value because it just doesn't make sense.

Most of the parents here use this forum to talk to parents that are going through similar things.....and I think primarily so they DON'T make their kids feel smothered (but they still have an outlet).

You just sound so bitter, and I'm sorry that you've had to go through whatever it is that has made you so bitter.

By Aparent4 (Aparent4) on Monday, August 09, 2004 - 11:46 am: Edit

Thedad, I think the only way the closets are going to get cleaned in our house is when the "stuff" gets put directly into the suitcase and brought to college. How it's all going to fit in that small room I have no idea...


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