|By Helicoptermom (Helicoptermom) on Thursday, September 16, 2004 - 11:41 pm: Edit|
OK, so I've learned the term "helicopter parent" this week, and I'm definitely one of them. I hover and am over-involved with my kids. I'm now told that's bad, though for years I kept hearing that a pretty high level of "parental involvement" was crucial to everything from academic success to keeping a kid off drugs.
Anyway, now that my older child is a freshman in college, I'm not so much worried about her (we did have a few sketchy phone conversations, enough to assure us that she's doing OK) as hurt at being abruptly shut out of her life. Is anyone else struggling with this?
Please don't tell me it's good for her to become independent; I know that, but I still feel as if I've suddenly lost one of my best friends.
|By Latetoschool (Latetoschool) on Thursday, September 16, 2004 - 11:47 pm: Edit|
It's normal and it changes, I promise. I felt the same way at first. They seem to distance greatly at first, then spring back. If someone takes one step back from you, you take two steps. That way they spring back faster.
She'll be a best friend again in a while, and your relationship will be just as good if not better - but also different (in a very good way).
|By Helicoptermom (Helicoptermom) on Thursday, September 16, 2004 - 11:52 pm: Edit|
Thank you, Latetoschool: While my instincts are to run after her in various ways (one minute I want to berate her for not calling more, and the next minute I want to tempt her to get in touch by sending wonderful care packages--I'm good at presents), I think you're absolutely right that now's a time to step back.
|By Jamimom (Jamimom) on Friday, September 17, 2004 - 12:07 am: Edit|
You are fortunate that you miss her. We just basically threw our son out of the house after a terrible summer with him. Missing him would be a luxery. We have a whole spectrum of emotions about him, but most of them are not so nice right now.
|By Over30 (Over30) on Friday, September 17, 2004 - 12:14 am: Edit|
Jamimom, someday I would like to meet you. And I'm waiting for you to write a book about your life. I still chuckle about the bunkbed comment.
|By Helicoptermom (Helicoptermom) on Friday, September 17, 2004 - 12:19 am: Edit|
Dear Jamimom--I've heard that a lousy last summer is very common, and may be actually serve a function in helping both parent and child separate. Our daughter left the morning after high school graduation to work at a summer camp (where her cell phone didn't work, and there was one pay phone for hundreds of kids and counselors), and then she had only 4 days back home before leaving for college. So we missed out on both the joys and the irritations of that final summer at home.
|By Sac (Sac) on Friday, September 17, 2004 - 12:33 am: Edit|
We've had one of each type, experienced the deep sigh of relief when one went off and the deep mourning when the other left. Now, the risk-taking daughter who went off first -- who drove us to sleepless nights because we felt responsible but not in control -- is back in town, fully self supporting, a grown up and a joy. The son whose company I loved is calling home for two minute conversations, mostly gripes. It's my daughter who advises me not to take his calls seriously and who talks to him and hears his excitement. She's the one who tells him to call home when he's feeling good, not just when he feels like complaining.
Perhaps the kids who were closest in high school have to work hardest to establish their independence? That's my current theory, anyway.
I think it will work out just fine.
|By Iflyjets (Iflyjets) on Friday, September 17, 2004 - 12:45 am: Edit|
Jamimom, sounds like a turbulent summer. I thought ours might head down that path a couple of times, but it was D who began to realize that she would miss our time together and became very appreciative of her life and our gifts to her. Sorry that your summer didn't end so favorably. I know from your many posts how much you have given to your children. Perhaps he will also realize this someday soon!
As for "separation sadness" (what I'm calling it), a friend asked me if I had entered the "grief-zone," missing my daughter. I said "no." It's not that I don't miss her company, but I find the free time and peace around the house a nice respite. I am surprised that I don't feel a greater sense of separation, although I certainly share the feeling of being abruptly closed out of her life, too, Helicoptermom, and it came across as rude in a quick phone conversation. It's like she checks in to ask business questions (about using debit card, paying for books, etc..) or to seek support about her concerns, but doesn't have the time to just chat as we used too. She let me know, however, that she was not trying to close me out, merely busy and hectic, trying to adjust and keep up with being responsible for so much in her life. It really is OK, however, since this is what she needs right now. But I do understand how it would make you feel, Helicoptermom.
On the way up to college driving with D, we had a nice chance to say our "goodbyes," sing along to favorite Disney songs, and recall this summer's great family activities. Somehow, it let me let go before we even got to the campus. Moreover, the faculty and staff where so friendly and supportive, I had no sense of "abandoning" my child, merely turning her over to more great educators who will help her continue to mature.
I think my husband said it perfectly: it wasn't "goodbye," it was "see you later." Besides, after two hurricanes (and possibly another brewing), I have enough yard work, house repairs, and general clean-up to keep me busy through Thanksgiving! I guess I really have no time to feel "separation sadness" right now! There are so many things that were delayed this past year (while the college admission process was in action) that I really am looking forward to starting on so many personal projects. And., then it will be term break anyway!!!
|By Mimk6 (Mimk6) on Friday, September 17, 2004 - 01:44 am: Edit|
The summer before can be hell. When my son left (three years ago) we were all thinking of having a ceremony where we said "The tribe has spoken, it's time for you to go". I told my other kids he was doing his best to make the separation easier (by making us wish he would go) and I think there was some truth to that. Helicoptermom, my daughter, whom I am very close to, is across the country and even though I do hear from her, I miss her terribly -- I can't really talk about it much without tears. I also feel like I did when my best friends moved far away but worse because I worry too. I've gone from having someone whom I talked with about all kinds of things every day -- the only other female in my male dominated house -- to sporadic e-mails and calls (which are usually calls because she is overwhelmed not because we are just chatting). I do know she misses me too. It's hard -- and you are right the abruptness of the transition makes it harder. One day you are packing, shopping, planning and the next the house is neater, cleaner, quieter and emptier.
|By Lamom (Lamom) on Friday, September 17, 2004 - 02:00 am: Edit|
My house is quieter and emptier but still not neater or cleaner. I saw son on the webcam once and it really helped. I saw he was ok and that's all I needed. Wish I knew an answer for the dog.
|By Backhandgrip (Backhandgrip) on Friday, September 17, 2004 - 09:02 am: Edit|
I love 'the tribe has spoken comment'!I too am in a male dominated household and it is never easy. What is hardest is when one or the other, husband included, has friends over to watch a game on the big screen.My job is the cooking and cleaning!
Yes, it's sad to lose your best friend daughter. I miss most cleaning up after dinner as we always chatted then.And even though she has a cell phone she doesn 't call as often as I like.We always treasure her visits home.
|By Mstee (Mstee) on Friday, September 17, 2004 - 01:28 pm: Edit|
Ah, Jamimom, your boys are rascals, like mine. I admire your candor, it lifts me up. S just left today for UChicago. He is so ready to go! I know I will miss him, despite the fact that he is very hard to live with, but his three sisters couldn't be happier that he is gone!
|By Thedad (Thedad) on Friday, September 17, 2004 - 01:51 pm: Edit|
I'm the only male in the household. Even the cat is female, much good may that do her though.
|By Alongfortheride (Alongfortheride) on Friday, September 17, 2004 - 01:56 pm: Edit|
BHG, my daughter's only a freshman in HS, but your last post made me tear up. I miss those little talks with my son, but my daughter and I always have so much fun injecting that "girls rule" philosophy into our chats. I'm betting she's missing them too.
|By Lizschup (Lizschup) on Friday, September 17, 2004 - 02:32 pm: Edit|
You are getting great advice. I had a similar experience with my son last year. He's a sophomore this year and oh what a difference a year makes. Latetoschool hit it on the button for me-most likely your daughter will spring back. It does get better-more adult.
I think the closer your relationship is the more difficult the step into independence is for both of you. It takes them a while to learn that calling mom for emotional support is not a sign of dependence. And don't beat yourself up for being a helicoptor parent-that term is meant for parents that rescue their kids all the time. It is always a challenge in these adolescent to adult years to find the right balance of parenting and letting go. No one does it perfectly and each kid is different.
|By Aparent4 (Aparent4) on Friday, September 17, 2004 - 04:30 pm: Edit|
Helicoptermom, it's early yet. We didn't hear much from our son the first few weeks of his freshman year. He was pretty much blown away by all the new things he was discovering. Since then we've heard from him a lot...even when he doesn't need money. ;-)
|By Jamimom (Jamimom) on Friday, September 17, 2004 - 04:48 pm: Edit|
Thanks for the support, everyone. I've been down because of the "rascals" (I don't think of them in such kind terms.) S who left was long overdue in leaving. He actually graduated this May and spent a "Graduate" summer with us wreaking havoc at home. He somehow picked up the job he had dissed and put off all summer, bought a used car to replace the new one he totaled after having it less than 2 weeks, and is now making a fresh start in a city far far away. It was a grim leavetaking as we had had so much trouble with him all summer and I was scared to death that I would have him on the sofa for the rest of his life, remote in hand, taking a temporary job for pocket money, raising cain all night. We had bought this large house in anticipation of having the room for everyone to come visit, not bum around. Ah, kids.
Now to get S2 into a college, and out of here. He says we won't have to worry about him hanging around here--he'd rather go into a shelter first. We'll see, I guess.
But, believe me, missing them is a GOOD feeling which means you have a good relationship and things are good. Hopefully, I'll be missing my errant one in the near future.
|By Bookiemom (Bookiemom) on Friday, September 17, 2004 - 04:51 pm: Edit|
Helicoptermom: Here is a little nugget that might make you feel better. My D saw a wonderful child psychologist when she was younger for serious family issues. The psychologist (who has two Ds herself) told me that Ds MUST go through a period at some time when they detach from Mom emotionally, so that they can become independent women themselves and grow to be equal friends with Mom. I have gotten a lot of solace from this advice at times when my D was being distant or mean to me.
I think you should still send things to your D at college, especially freshman year. They like to receive little packages, notes, cards, treats, interesting articles from the local paper. If you send her something small every week, you'll still be supporting her and caring for her, and it will be noticed and have an effect.
|By Momofthree (Momofthree) on Friday, September 17, 2004 - 05:20 pm: Edit|
Boy, all this rings so true when I think of son #2 (kid #3) i.e. Hurricane Shall-Remain-Nameless. I find myself daily wishing on him at least one kid of his own just like him one day. Now that my daughter is launched and I am the only female in a place with three guy-folks, I feel it all the more. BHG and Jamimom, you have my empathy.
|By Helicoptermom (Helicoptermom) on Friday, September 17, 2004 - 05:24 pm: Edit|
Many thanks to everyone for the support. After reading CC for more than a year, through the often-agonizing college application process, this is the first time I've ever posted anything--which suggests how tough I've been finding the separation. I do feel better after hearing about others' experiences.
As it happens, my daughter had a job away from home for the whole summer, so she didn't get a chance to get on my nerves; and if I'm totally honest, she wasn't always as delightful during her last year of high school as I tend to remember. It's probably time for both of us to move on to the next stage in our relationship, though I'm not yet enlightened enough to enjoy the process.
|By Farawayplaces (Farawayplaces) on Friday, September 17, 2004 - 06:21 pm: Edit|
My 24-year-old daughter--though she's out of the country--is so considerate of us now, but as a freshman she just shed us like a cheap suit. I remember being so lonely for our friendship. We called her once a week. One Sunday in October it was my birthday. "Oh, yeah, happy birthday," she said when I reminded her. Then she covered the mouthpiece--but not well enough so that I heard her say: "I"ll be right down. I've got to talk to my mom for ten minutes because it's her birthday."
It's a stage. Be patient. It will take some years, but I predict that your daughter will come back one day as an adult friend.
|By Dancersmom (Dancersmom) on Friday, September 17, 2004 - 07:03 pm: Edit|
I remember a piece of advice from Fred Rogers (Mr. Rogers) that I read years ago. A parent had asked him why it was that when she asked her kindergartener how school was she got nothing but a one word response, "Okay". No amount of prodding could get the child to tell the mother anything that happened at school. Mr. Rogers told her that it was a sign of mental health. He said that it meant that the child had a secure relationship with her parents and was therefore able to begin to separate. The child didn't feel the need to share every (or any) detail of her life at school because her parents had done a good job. She was beginning to grow up and away from her parents. I took Mr. Rogers advice to heart with both of my daughters. I reminded myself when they were young that if they didn't fill me in on the details of their lives, it was because they were normal.
I'm thinking of Mr. Rogers again now that my youngest has started her freshman year of college 850 miles from home. My husband and I dropped her off 4 weeks ago today. We miss her a lot. I don't think she misses us at all. She did express some concern about being away from home for the very 1st time a couple of weeks before school started. However, I think she has settled in and is making friends. My husband and I have called her 3 times since leaving her. She's acted annoyed each time. The 2nd call was particularly frustrating for me. It lasted all of 3 minutes. She let me know as soon as the conversation started that she was tired, still had homework to do, and didn't want to be bothered. I told her to e-mail when she had time and hung up feeling a little hurt. I reminded myself that she was obviously not homesick and was separating well just like Mr. Rogers said! We were pleasantly surprised when SHE CALLED US the Sunday before Labor Day. She wanted to let us know that she and her School of Theatre buddies at Florida State had survived their field trip to Panama City Beach and had not been blown away by Hurricane Frances. This past week we've been watching Hurricane Ivan. My husband and I both e-mailed and she ignored us. I was annoyed and hurt. We made our 3rd phone call Wed. night knowing that FSU had cancelled classes for the following day. D overcame her very obvious initial reluctance to talk and we had a pleasant 45 minute chat. She babbled happily about all the new people she's met and how much she likes all of her professors.
I have to keep reminding myself that the fact that she is not communicating much with us means that she is adjusting well to college. She has two private arts teachers from H.S. who she's very close to. She's told us (when asked directly) that she hasn't called or e-mailed them because she's been too busy. I know that if she were having any emotional problems that she would turn to them. She hasn't, so I figure that everything is going well. As hard as this period is for me, I keep telling myself that my D's infrequent communication and her obvious disgust at being called by me is normal and probably necessary. I also remind myself guiltily that when I was a freshman my parents and I didn't speak to each other a single time between the start of the school year and Thanksgiving. I didn't feel the need and didn't think that they would miss me since I had 5 younger siblings still at home. I guess it's payback time!
|By Mimk6 (Mimk6) on Friday, September 17, 2004 - 07:51 pm: Edit|
I think some of it is personal style. The kid who never said more than "fine" or a grunt his whole life when asked how things were went on in that vein. If he called, we braced ourselves, assuming there must be a problem. The one who got in the car every day and carried on extensively about every little playground drama and detail and monopolized every dinner conversation is more communicative although mostly if there is a problem.
|By Momof3boys (Momof3boys) on Friday, September 17, 2004 - 09:45 pm: Edit|
It's been quite awhile since I've even lurked on this website, but I thought it would be nice to reconnect once again.
Our oldest didn't have to be in his dorm until Sept 11, and classes start this coming Monday. This summer I believe I have been getting on his last nerve, and at the same time I have never seen him so social, spending nearly every waking hour with friends after work and on weekends. We only really saw him that last week (first week in Sept) by which time all of his friends were already gone...
His dad drove him up north (stuffed the van to the max) but I had to stay behind because the younger two brothers were starting school the day they left for college.
I 'knew' what was happening in terms of the separation over the summer, but was not quite prepared when I didn't hear from him at all despite my emails and calls those days after dad dropped him off at the dorm.
Turns out that his computer was malfunctioning, so that was part of the problem. On the other hand, I believe that I wouldn't have heard much anyway.
He is an 'IM-er', so I've found that an occasional IM to him (keeping it short, of course) works... and he did email a photo of his dormmates...so I'm just counting my blessings that we are having the little communication that there is right now. He has always been a 'man of few words'...so I feel as though it is a real balancing act to keep the lines of communication open while not smothering him and pushing him away.
|By Thedad (Thedad) on Friday, September 17, 2004 - 09:55 pm: Edit|
My D called earlier today when I was out, leaving a message on the answering machine. I called her back and miracle of miracles, she answered. It's only been five days but it was good to hear her.
Though part of the conversation boiled down to, "I won't be able to call during the week, I'm waaaay too busy." Four classes plus ballet plus orchestra plus wind ensemble plus research assistant position...okay, I'll buy that.
The best thing about the call wasn't the words but the music: she sounds very happy and totally engaged.
I did give her grief about sending TheMom a card but not me and got the obligatory "You're being annoying!" So good to hear.
She's enjoying all her classes, is making friends, and is active in her house. She even mentioned that she had done laundry!
I think she'll call again Sunday...it's her birthday and mine is two days later and we're celebrating that night....
|By Lamom (Lamom) on Saturday, September 18, 2004 - 12:20 am: Edit|
I called my mom today-they had had car trouble. I call every weekend and we spoke Sun and yesterday (short calls) Well she was driving me crazy, as usual, but I remembered that sometimes we just want to hear from our kids-so I listened. This old mom will try to be a better child.
|By Latetoschool (Latetoschool) on Saturday, September 18, 2004 - 12:47 am: Edit|
On my birthday this past year, it was well into the evening and I'd gotten a few emails from her about general stuff and money, but no card, no call, not even an email to say "happy birthday".
So I sent her a silly, light hearted email that basically said "I'm baking myself a cake! Yummy, Yummy!".
So she sent an email in reply, with a link to a web site on vegetables or something, saying "here's some healthy food to go with your cake"... she still didn't have a clue.
So I sent an email back saying "Oh, but I'm going to put some CANDLES on my very yummy happy cake" etc.
I then got an email back from her basically saying "well, have fun with that..." - but still no mention of my birthday.
I tried one more time, sending an email that said "I'm going to have lots and lots of happy fun eating this yummy cake" but that was too lame for her to even answer lol...
Imagine my disappointment. I tried to pretend (to myself) that I wasn't hurt, but of course, I was. So eventually I just went to bed and tried to forget about it.
Very early the next morning, my cell phone was ringing, a very apologetic and mortified person on the other end. Apparently with a clearer mind in the morning the email volley at long last made sense and clicked, and she felt terribly guilty, and so in turn I felt guilty for having a birthday for her to forget about and subsequently waste energy feeling guilty over - we had a good laugh over it...
|By Mimk6 (Mimk6) on Saturday, September 18, 2004 - 02:33 am: Edit|
About 16 months ago my husband and I went to Australia. When I called home my then 8 year old would often get very sad and start in with "How could you leave me, etc." Finally, my then 16 year old daughter got on the phone and said, "Mom, he's fine -- it's just that when he hears your voice he remembers how much he misses you -- but he's really fine the rest of the time" Last week after a crisis phone call I asked her why I only hear from her when there is a problem and not when things are going well. She said if she hears my voice when things are going well it reminds her that she misses me...and I remembered what she'd said the prior year. Maybe they don't call because it's easier -- maybe they really do miss us...
|By Cheers (Cheers) on Saturday, September 18, 2004 - 07:51 am: Edit|
Jamimom; Sorry to hear about your high conflict summer. Sounds like your S was playing his anxieties out on the family. As they do. Anyway, you deserve better and hopefully he gets a dose of maturity before Christmas!
We've had a couple of emails. One was a real letter and the others were panic moments. Frankly, we had to sneak his cell phone number from his best friend because S wasn't going to share it. "I'll call you", says Mr Independence.
Sure enough, we called yesterday and he had thirty kids in the room waiting for him to go out. His nightmare scenario, haha.
But i can understand. Nearly overwhelmed by classes, papers, reading, mandatory major meetings, the ten emails he gets from the university each day, ninety friends he's trying to get to know (his facebook is full already), gorgeous girls wanting to walk him to class, pick-up basketball games and touch football league--we're WAY down on the priority list. And that's a good thing.
He's not worried about us and we're not worried about him, (never say never though). The years of real independence--when you're out of your parent's house and you don't have kids--those years turn out to be a TINY percentage of your life and that freedom is such a gift!
May he enjoy every moment!
|By Backhandgrip (Backhandgrip) on Saturday, September 18, 2004 - 08:00 am: Edit|
I always get birthday cards from the older kids but sometimes they are late.As they are getting older they are becoming more conscientious and will call with sincerely birthday greetings now.But we are not the same generation, the parent/child relationship is always there.
Yes, funny about having an older child visit, like 24.Son is here a few weeks until he begins a job in Ohio in Oct.I have to be careful about certain untouchable subjects, NO CONFLICT PLEASE!I realy enjoy his personality. And when I see him clumsily break a cup on the front porch I have to hide behind the curtain and giggle.I think only a parent can really appreciate the intracacies of of our children's personality.
|By Binx (Binx) on Monday, September 20, 2004 - 07:47 am: Edit|
Haven't posted in a long time, but this thread hits close to home. Thought I'd share a recent email exchange. I sent the following to my two S after I hadn't heard from them for a while.
"Your parents are paying a lot of tuition, and would really like to hear what we are getting for our money -- hint, hint."
Younger S responded:
"With my [new] credit card I bought a Conn 8D, a few tickets to Broadway Musicals, the New York Phil, and the Met Opera, etc., a Lawson Descant, a shiny new BMW (and one for [brother] too), an alphorn, an X-Box and 27 games, a Viennese Pumpenhorn, a big-screen TV (with surround sound) for my suite and a smaller one for my room, a natural horn from the 1800's with crooks, a donation in your name to the American Cancer Society, a Paxman custom-made triple horn, a cruise in the Bahamas for [brother] and I over Thanksgiving Break, some more Marcus Bonna cases for my new horns, and a can of honey roasted peanuts.
I know you asked what YOU were getting for your money -- I got you stuff too but you'll have to wait till Christmas to find out what. ;-)"
Apparently he is getting along fine without me.
|By Marite (Marite) on Monday, September 20, 2004 - 07:54 am: Edit|
Thanks for sharing. What a great sense of humor and what a loving son to be thinking so far ahead about your Xmas gifts!
|By Rhonda63 (Rhonda63) on Monday, September 20, 2004 - 09:17 am: Edit|
Helicoptermom -- I can completely sympathize, b/c my D went to college last year and rarely called (she did remember my 40th birthday and called then, which was very nice). Even though she was quite happy to talk to me when I called (about 2x/week), she really never thought to call me just like that.
I didn't really feel hurt, but I missed her terribly. I remember when she was a senior in HS and we were in the car, she was talking to me about country music from the 1940s and 50s she had been listening to lately (she has very varied and interesting musical tastes!) and I remember thinking "what am I going to do when she leaves? who else is going to talk to me about stuff like this??"
I don't really have any useful advice to give, except that it does get easier w/time. Good luck, and know you are not alone!
|By Texas137 (Texas137) on Monday, September 20, 2004 - 10:18 am: Edit|
my son doesn't leave until next year, but I'm already bracing for minimal communication. He's spent his entire life watching me roll my eyeballs and try to squirm out of talking to my own mother (whose feelings were hurt just last month because I forgot her 75th birthday). Alas, too late now to be a better role-model.
|By Fredo (Fredo) on Monday, September 20, 2004 - 01:00 pm: Edit|
Same boat as a lot of others. My daughter doesn't inititate contact at all. If I call (and I limit that to once a week on Sunday afternoon) she's generally responsive but not effusive. I feel like there's a kitchen timer going and I have my allotted five minutes and heaven forbid I go over! I'm trying very hard not to intrude. In reality I don't want to know everything that's going on, but I guess I wish she would just make that first contact so I know I matter. It really is a personal rejection. Our rational parent (the one trying to be understanding) knows that it's just our kids way of separating and becoming independent which is, of course, the ultimate goal. But our emotional parent is pouting and sad.
It doesn't help that my 15 year old son has now gone to the dark side (of teenager-land). If he says 5 sentences to us that's a long conversation. If you initiate any conversation with him, it's as if we're plucking out his eyelashes one by one. He's hibernating in his basement cave and comes up to feed and sleep and shower. But he's still getting decent grades, says he's happy and has a few close friends to play cards with so I know that this is just a phase and this too shall pass.
But, overall, It's a mighty quiet house here!
|By Achat (Achat) on Monday, September 20, 2004 - 01:01 pm: Edit|
Well, my son has been one of those uncommunicative ones but...last weekend he called and we had a 1-hour conversation. I guess the reason was, some of his friends had gone somewhere he did not want to go. But nevertheless, it was a nice, pleasant hour-long conversation.
So my advice is to wait it out, they will call sometimes when bored or procrastinating.
|By Marite (Marite) on Monday, September 20, 2004 - 01:16 pm: Edit|
Mom of two silent he-men types here. Whether in college, in camp, or at home, getting information out of them is like plucking out their eyelashes one by one as Fredo described the process. Sometimes, I feel like I'm conducting the Spanish Inquisition merely by asking how their day has gone. I'm patiently waiting for them to discover their inner Alan Alda. It may not happen until they turn 30--or ever.
|By Mstee (Mstee) on Monday, September 20, 2004 - 01:28 pm: Edit|
Texas137--ah, you must be the grown-up version of my S#2. So that's what I have to look forward to.
My husband dropped S2 off on Sat. (sounds kinda like a borg, doesn't it, or perhaps I should designate him "two of five" on this board?). Hubby calls via cell phone just before he leaves S at school to give S a chance to say goodbye one more time to me. I say something like, "Should I send a pillow?" S:"why, do you think I can't buy one myself?" I say, "How about a coat?" S:"Do you think I can't get one myself?" One last attempt, "How about a comforter for the bed?" S: "Do you think I can't do that myself?" Me (lamely), "okay, well, good luck, and let me know if you need anything. . ."
Last exchange between father and son, Hubby says something like "Well, are you going to be okay?" S (rolling his eyes, I'm sure. . .),"Why? Do you think I won't be?"
I know we won't be getting any phone calls. But am hoping for the occasional e-mail. S is better at writing than talking. . .
|By Megsdad (Megsdad) on Monday, September 20, 2004 - 02:01 pm: Edit|
Don't hold your breath waiting.....
We had two children, 12 years apart. Our son who is the oldest, sounds like your boys. We still only get small amounts of information from him and he is 30 and recently married.
Our daughter, on the other hand, has always been the one to tell it all. Even now, as a first- year at Wellesley, she seems to be making all kinds of new friends, but calls and gives us numerous updates.
Needless to say, we are very happy to be hearing from her, especially after reading so many posts of parents who are not hearing anything.
We are even getting updates on the boys from MIT and Harvard who are calling. I suspect the calls will become less and less frequent, but we aren't complaining!!
Some other parents(on here) were critical and questioning of this, but she refers to us as "her best friends." Just so you know, she was no stay-at-home kid in high school....she had loads of friends, dates, etc. We were just lucky to have good communication with her. Unlike number #1 son.
|By Achat (Achat) on Monday, September 20, 2004 - 02:06 pm: Edit|
I love the "inner Alan Alda" comment! If this was compiled into a book, it would be pretty funny!
|By Marite (Marite) on Monday, September 20, 2004 - 02:07 pm: Edit|
Thanks--I think. It sounds like "ör ever"
|By Over30 (Over30) on Monday, September 20, 2004 - 02:32 pm: Edit|
Marite, I'm in the same boat, with my boys and my H. My youngest, who can talk nonstop about sports, becomes monosyllabic with me when I ask questions, grudgingly answering yes or no until I give up.
Texas, don't worry about the role model issue. I always talked to my mom several times a week, but it hasn't made much of an impact on my boys. And now that my mom's gone my dad rarely calls and he hates to talk on the phone. My H called his parents maybe twice a year. In my family I think it's genetic.
With my college freshman I really appreciate IM. A short conversation a couple of times a week is easy, non-intrusive, and keeps me up-to-date.
|By Momstheword (Momstheword) on Monday, September 20, 2004 - 02:48 pm: Edit|
I definitely have a "Just-the-facts, Ma'am" type of family. My freshman DD (like my just-graduated S) will call and tell the basics ("making friends," "made the volleyball team," "got a good grade in econ," etc.) but when I ask about things requiring :::gasp::: actual adjectives, uh, forget it. Sigh. It seems cruel that I was born the only one in the family who loves to hear the whole, rich story in detail, set to music, no less.
|By Megsdad (Megsdad) on Monday, September 20, 2004 - 03:39 pm: Edit|
When my son would call from school (which was rare) and really needed some advice or help he would always begin the conversation with...
"Dad, we have a problem!" I would only get sucked in his loop when, we, indeed, did have a problem. I can laugh about it now. At the time it wasn't so funny!
|By Sybbie719 (Sybbie719) on Monday, September 20, 2004 - 03:59 pm: Edit|
Since she has been gone I have gotten a series of calls non which last more than 5 minutes, on occassion 2 to 3 a day.
My daughter called me twice on saturday andwas a bit taken aback because I was not home (see what happens when you reclain your life). I called her back wondering what did she need shipped today as I have sent 5 packages and she has only been in school a week.
She gave me a bum rush everything is okay I'll have to call you later. Our great bonding moment came yesterday as she as ordering sneakers on line and needed me to pay for them.
Today was a quick call about how her registration went and she did not ask for anything- Shocking
|By Mstee (Mstee) on Monday, September 20, 2004 - 04:27 pm: Edit|
Well, maybe I was too hard on my S. I just got an e-mail, and this is about a week before I expected to hear anything. I don't think he'll mind if I share the entire thing: "I'm at college. Nothing important has happened yet, though. Gotta run." Made my day!
Gosh it is weird around here with the two boys gone.
|By Farawayplaces (Farawayplaces) on Monday, September 20, 2004 - 04:38 pm: Edit|
Here's a new wrinkle in our lives that may give some of you parents hope:
Our sophomore son is the silent type. He's sweet, just doesn't talk. He's also a total science/math type. "All truth is contained in science," he would tell me in h.s., ignoring my "But what about the truth of the human heart?" plea. (I'm an arts type.)
Well, last year he met a girl. His first serious girl friend. Yep, she's a humanities major, an outgoing chatty girl. So if the two of them stick together (and why not; don't opposites attract?) we'll get a communicator-by-proxy.
|By Garland (Garland) on Monday, September 20, 2004 - 04:44 pm: Edit|
Mstee: I LOVED your son's email. "I'm at college." OOHH, that's why it's been so quiet around here, been wondering where you've been! Priceless!
|By Fredo (Fredo) on Monday, September 20, 2004 - 04:49 pm: Edit|
Love the Alan Alda comment, too. Also love Mstee's son's e-mail.
So it seems like most of us have to follow the no news is good news philosophy. That's what I'm hanging my hat on!
|By Fluter (Fluter) on Monday, September 20, 2004 - 06:11 pm: Edit|
We sent our son his first care package. The day it arrived, son called on his cell phone "Are you by your computer?" He was standing by one of the campus webcams, waving. We thought it was a nice way to say thanks!
|By Marite (Marite) on Monday, September 20, 2004 - 07:00 pm: Edit|
LOL! This must be the new and improved version of "nothing much happened in school today." And you did not even have to drag it out of him!
|By Garland (Garland) on Monday, September 20, 2004 - 09:28 pm: Edit|
Hey, just got my first phone call! S felt guilty about not talking. I said it was probably all those messages I was leaving, but, no, he apparently doesn't check his messages either, so didn't know I'd left any
Anyhow, he sounds great, life is good, classes are fine, he joined the marching band, etc. etc.
Miracles do happen!
|By Garland (Garland) on Tuesday, September 21, 2004 - 08:17 am: Edit|
Full (rueful) disclosure: it seems his big sister told him to call. He was IMing with her about joining the "marching' band, and she said, basically, if we heard that from her, not him, it would be bad.
Yay for big sisters!
|By Sokkermom (Sokkermom) on Tuesday, September 21, 2004 - 08:32 am: Edit|
I sent an email mid-week last week telling S. that I was looking forward to his call on the weekend. ( a little bit of the subtle guilt thing.) He called Saturday around 1:00pm (probably when he woke up) and his cell phone died after about 20 seconds because it wasn't charged. He sent an email (which we didn't get because we weren't on the computer) telling us that he would call back later in the day after the phone charged. We called him back and Dad talked to him about baseball and football until the phone died again. He was watching the Red Sox /Yankees game with some guys. He said a quick hello to me (about 20 seconds) and told me that "Dad could fill me in on what was going on". Wow - that was informative! I found out that his roommate is a Yankees fan.......he's not.
|By Annieivy (Annieivy) on Tuesday, September 21, 2004 - 08:53 am: Edit|
It sounds like a boy/girl thing. My older sister call us every night, last thing befoe bed, to chat with all of us.
|By Rhonda63 (Rhonda63) on Tuesday, September 21, 2004 - 09:18 am: Edit|
As I've said before, it is NOT necessarily a boy/girl thing! There are plenty of girls who don't call often (certainly not every day!) -- I gave birth to one of them and I know quite a few others.
And if my D called every night before going to bed, I don't think I'd appreciate being woken up at that hour!
|By Kissy (Kissy) on Tuesday, September 21, 2004 - 09:30 am: Edit|
Fredo- love your description of the dark side! My formerly charming, adorable 14 yr. old is well on his way there.
A long time ago, my H told our kids that for the rest of their lives, they owe mom a Sunday phone call every week. So far, so good
|By Annieivy (Annieivy) on Tuesday, September 21, 2004 - 09:34 am: Edit|
My sister is three hours behind, so it works for us. Why it seems like a girl/boy thing to me is because I know few boys who seem to have the bond with a parent that my sister and I have with my mom and each other. I don't think any of us could imagine going for days without talking. My sister and I have been to camps and schools accross country and oceans, too, yet we always make daily contact. I have great friends, but my sister and mom are part of my very fiber!
|By Sokkermom (Sokkermom) on Tuesday, September 21, 2004 - 01:20 pm: Edit|
I still have hope. I have a 12 year old daughter. LOL
|By Dannysmom (Dannysmom) on Tuesday, September 21, 2004 - 01:59 pm: Edit|
Annie, I'm curious to know what your mother did to form the great bond you describe. I only know a few who have accomplished that and they afre surprisingly the most hands off moms I know. What's your mother like?
|By Katwkittens (Katwkittens) on Tuesday, September 21, 2004 - 03:31 pm: Edit|
Defintely not a son/daughter thing at our house. DS#1, faraway in MN, (sniffle, sniffle) calls every day/evening to check in and see if everybody is doing what they are supposed to be doing! (he has 4 sibs and me, single mommy) Just thought about that, they all still call me mommy. Weird. He calls, they line up to answers his questions (youngest bro calls it interrogation), some talk for a little while some f o r e v e r! He tells them about his classes, tests, projects and football practice or the game they just lost in the last few seconds! That was unpleasant. He has 3 younger sibs all in high school, so they chat about everything that is going on, catching him up. They were all in classes together throughout all their years of high school (by choice) so that would be one reason why they all miss each other so much.
But as I have stated previously, I miss him and them (when they are gone) somewhat more than they miss me. I think. As far as girl vs. boy, it doesn't seem to make any difference, we have 2 girls and 3 boys in alternating order. Boys talk about what happened at practice, test questions (physics and calc), DD gets on the phone and tells her physics answer is right and theirs wrong...DS#1 is on DD#2 about colleges and apps and tells the youngest to stop eating so much!!
Even with the four at home, and hearing from him every day, it has been much harder than I thought. I keep telling them Carolina and Duke are "their" best fits! They just say best fit to see them every night for dinner!!!
Sent DS a care package 74.5 lbs, UPS. He was cold and needed warmer clothes....I was really missing him!
Kat whose kitten now has mittens
|By Mstee (Mstee) on Tuesday, September 21, 2004 - 04:32 pm: Edit|
Wow, some call every day. Amazing. Will never happen here. . . Will have to settle for the occasional "I'm at college..." e-mail, but that's okay. It doesn't take much to make me happy. . .Hmmm, perhaps if I start subtly working on the girls now, I can program that "call every Sunday" thing into them that Kissy mentioned . . .
|By Sillystring7 (Sillystring7) on Tuesday, September 21, 2004 - 04:43 pm: Edit|
We just got home today from dropping our daughter off at the University of Chicago, and thought I would join the chorus. Our daughter cheerfully hung out with us all summer, and she was a delight to have around. Well, the tide has turned. It was clear from her attitude during the trip and move-in that she wants a bit of separation. I feel like I am undergoing withdrawal -- I want to call her, but I am resisting because she doesn't want us to cling.
I'm proud of her and happy for her, but this process sure is painful. Tonight is our first night home without her presence in the house, and it's not a lot of fun. And leaving her behind as we began the 19-hour drive home from Chicago was awful. Ouch!
|By Thedad (Thedad) on Tuesday, September 21, 2004 - 04:57 pm: Edit|
Sympathies, SillyString. But it does evolve to a more tolerable place...I think I'm three weeks ahead of you on the schedule. Though I got a message on my cell phone "Happy birthday, Dad, but I can't call today, it's my worst day." It was there waiting for me when I turned the phone on.
|By Annieivy (Annieivy) on Tuesday, September 21, 2004 - 05:06 pm: Edit|
You got it right Dannysmom, my mother is the ultimate hands off, do your own thing mom. 5 kids, all gone in different directions. Some to local schools, others to boarding. All different colleges. Different camps, programs, ECs. She always told us they were not trying to clone themselves. My mon runs a business, a foundation and bakes more cookies than anyone I know. She is just filled with love, acceptance, humor and good vibes. She has always made time for each of us individually. We each have a week alone with her each year. I love spending a day with her more than almost anyone.
|By Fredo (Fredo) on Tuesday, September 21, 2004 - 05:18 pm: Edit|
Annie: not hard to see that the apple doesn't fall far from the tree in your family - your sentiments about your mom are wonderful. *sigh*
|By Annieivy (Annieivy) on Tuesday, September 21, 2004 - 05:37 pm: Edit|
Thanks. She still make my dad ga ga. I just love that!
|By Patient (Patient) on Tuesday, September 21, 2004 - 11:29 pm: Edit|
Marite, and all the others--I'm a member of that club ("they never call, they never write") with 1; and also a member of "they always call, they always write" with 2; and also a member of "depending on their mood, they call or not, write or not" with 3. Thanks for being good company!
|By Cheers (Cheers) on Wednesday, September 22, 2004 - 01:18 am: Edit|
He calls. At 1:30 in the morning our time. (We don't keep a phone in the bedroom).
He doesn't answer his cell phone. He isn't in his room.
He calls again at 4 pm our time. We're at the office.
Hmmmmmm. He wrote longer emails from Africa and Beijing...but I'm sure he wasn't as busy. Birthday calls? Hah! (Of course, I've never been big on birthdays myself).
He's loving Boston, Marite!
|By Idiias (Idiias) on Wednesday, September 22, 2004 - 02:04 am: Edit|
Just know how much they miss you though. I've talked to my parents on the phone a decent amount of times and although I really miss my family I would never actually say that to them over the phone...
Also I've done the same to my parents as your son, Cheers. Out of the maybe 6 times I've called, half were to get my parents credit card number. The other times I think I woke them up (once in the morning). And they call alot, but alot of times I can't answer for one reason or another. It's just that you're overwhelmed with so many different things that are new to you, you don't really think about, "did I talk to my parents today?" although deep down you want too. And my emails are really short to them too, although I can be really talkative usually. It's hard to think of what to say, I dont know. It's hard to explain...
|By Cheers (Cheers) on Wednesday, September 22, 2004 - 03:08 am: Edit|
Thanks Idiias. Actually, I don't think he misses us. He's been away on GAP year since last January and seems to love his independent life. I did (do) too. That's all good.
As his life is probably overwhelming--we don't expect daily calls. Mostly, it's the time difference that's annoying--he's sixteen hours behind us. Once we get a schedule---even a decent length email would suffice--we'll be right.
Six times for the credit card!! Shoes or printer? Crikey!
|By Mstee (Mstee) on Wednesday, September 22, 2004 - 02:36 pm: Edit|
Sillystring7--my S is at UChicago too. Have you heard anything?
Got another e-mail today. Boy, two in one week, an abundance of riches. . . he needs a graphing calculator. He also now knows the results of the placement exams he took, and it looks like he has decided what courses to take. So far, so good.
|By Bookworm (Bookworm) on Wednesday, September 22, 2004 - 08:16 pm: Edit|
OK. new way to contact S and totally embarrass him. S sent me NMF essay, but last paragraph didn't make sense. Mentioned it to my b/f, how hoping S reads my e-mail 'cuz this essay due ASAP. So, the b/f calls the college, then cell phone of resident counselor. S calls 5 minutes later. He's cool, not upset at all. very happy he's one of a few to place out of a core requirement, gives him a "group". Says the kids are the smartest ever met.
|By Sillystring7 (Sillystring7) on Wednesday, September 22, 2004 - 08:24 pm: Edit|
Mstee -- Talked to D. She really likes UChicago. She was happy with her placement test results -- doesn't have to take math at all (she hates math). She doesn't get to register for classes until Friday, though. She passed the swim test and has the PE test tomorrow. I think they are keeping them very busy this week. What dorm is your son in? My daughter in in Burton-Judson.
|By Mstee (Mstee) on Thursday, September 23, 2004 - 01:56 pm: Edit|
S is at the Shoreland. He tested out of one quarter of PE, he says, I haven't asked about the swimming. He is a probable math major, so maybe he'll run across your D in a core humanities course? His schedule will be math, physics, humanities core (Greek thought and Lit, perhaps?) and maybe music theory. He also tested out of two quarters of German, but is a little apprehensive about that because he feels he really doesn't know German well at all. But sounds like he will deal with that next year . . . I asked him how his experience has been, because so far his e-mails had been "just the facts, ma'am" and in the most recent communication he did say he's "been having fun."--no details as to what the fun entails, naturally . . .
|By April_Mom04 (April_Mom04) on Thursday, September 23, 2004 - 02:55 pm: Edit|
I've been following this thread for awhile, and had a few lightbulbs go off after speaking with my son last night. I asked why he didn't respond to emails, but preferred calling randomly. He said he was saving all the chit-chat for the phone calls so he'd be sure to have stuff to talk about when he felt like calling.
I came away realizing that this is a part of his independence. It is something he has control over - when to initiate conversations and how much to tell. Since we don't saddle him with an expectation that he call on a regular basis, he is figuring out what he is comfortable with. I guess that's what learning to be independent is all about.
|By Patient (Patient) on Thursday, September 23, 2004 - 03:42 pm: Edit|
April Mom, this is almost verbatim what the provost and freshman dean both advised in their opening talks to parents at my son's school. It makes eminent good sense, I think! (I'm not sure I would have been wise enough to realize this without someone telling me, though, so good for you :-) )
|By Dcmom3 (Dcmom3) on Thursday, September 23, 2004 - 04:15 pm: Edit|
Patient, Your description of your 3 kids' communication styles mirrors my 3. The first one didn't call or email at all for a month. We threatened her via email that we were going to contact residence life to make sure she was in attendance. Then September 11 happened (her freshman year), she was 8 hours away in the midwest and she called 4 times that day to make sure we were all ok. Since then she has been a once a week regular caller and maybe once a week out of the blue "What's up?" caller.
The second one, a freshman, also 8 hours away in Boston, has always been a Great Communicator and has called usually every day (but also there have been issues to discuss.) The third, a junior in high school, opens up when the mood is upon her (which isn't frequently enough for me!) But I think/hope she is focusing on schools closer to home so that it's easier on everyone. And in our family, the communication differences are not a guy/girl thing because they are all girls.
I have been following the discussion on another thread about freshmen having problems and how different parents are handling it. It's difficult to know how much they can handle on their own. So far, I have provided her with phone numbers for resources on campus (and sympathy and support!) But I just want to put my arms around her and tell her I'll fix everything!
|By Rhonda63 (Rhonda63) on Thursday, September 30, 2004 - 03:43 pm: Edit|
I just wanted to let folks know that soph year can be different (and better!) than freshman year. My D has been back for about a month now and while she had a good freshman year, she said this year is definitely better. There is less of the "herd mentality" that she felt characterized freshman year, esp first semester, when people tended to do things in large groups, esp on weekend nights. And of course she knows the ropes a bit now. She's also in a medium sized school (about 6K undergrads, I think) and she says she's met a lot of new people just over the month, which she likes.
Also, I think she's a little smarter about ECs -- she was involved in a very time-consuming one last year, which she enjoyed but had to drop out of second semester, and prevented her from getting involved in other things that interest her. Her roommate also had to drop a number of ECs because of school work. This year, D is involved in different things than last year, and I think has a better idea of what she can fit in because she now knows what her schoolwork schedule will be like (generally pretty heavy).
Just wanted to note that even those who have good first years can look forward to better second years, and if your child is having some difficulty adjusting, it will likely get easier as they figure out how to live their life at school.
|By Thedad (Thedad) on Thursday, September 30, 2004 - 06:16 pm: Edit|
And on a happy note, I had my first IM exchange with D the other night. I just left my IM thingy on while doing some work and up she popped! It was a nice way to connect and I think we both enjoyed it.
|By Over30 (Over30) on Thursday, September 30, 2004 - 06:39 pm: Edit|
I concur on the IM. A quick conversation once or twice a week keeps us connected. If either of us wants to talk then we call right then. It's working out well.
I've been a little concerned about the amount of work he's facing. I finally relaxed when we talked Sunday and he thanked us for letting him go there, and said it's the perfect place for him. That's what I'd been waiting to hear.
|By Mini (Mini) on Thursday, September 30, 2004 - 06:52 pm: Edit|
Well, I can't believe the number of times my d. has called us. Maybe twice a week! I never would have figured on it. And she's excited every time she calls. (you'd figure there'd be a slump by now...) The food is good. The campus is beautiful. Her courses are exciting. She loves her professors. Her writing is fun! (?) As part of her research assistantship, she is being asked to do some composing. She is taking a fun trip for fall break with friends. She does music every day. Her early music prof. loaned her a baroque bow. She's found her perfect "camping" place in the music library. She's joined the ceramics club. Went to a dance (totally unlike her), and had a good time. Cooked food with some friends from India, and then helped cook in the kosher kitchen. She is busy virtually every minute of every day, and loving every minute of it. Still hasn't spent any money, though, though I've gotten on her case about that. I've told her about Fred and Parchesi (she thinks Parchesi may live in the Quad.) Even says she's picked up her room! (believe it when I see it.)
I'm jealous! Nice when it works out.
|By Musicmom (Musicmom) on Thursday, September 30, 2004 - 06:58 pm: Edit|
My H called our son the other afternoon and he was taken aback when son's cell phone was picked up by his tuba prof. Seems son was in the middle of a lesson and so prof offered to answer the call. Told my H that son would call us back later....."he's playing pretty well and can't talk to you now." Well, of course not!
Son didn't call us back, of course, until next day. Seems prof invited him out to pizza and to sit in on his brass group rehearsal.
Yep, our son is wayyyy busy for us! When he does call, it's all about the amazing stuff he's involved with.
We are thrilled he's found such a good fit.
|By Cheers (Cheers) on Thursday, September 30, 2004 - 07:07 pm: Edit|
My lightbulbs for the week:
I don't 'miss' S, don't long for him to be here, underfoot. He took the thirty hour journey by himself and seems to be settling beautifully. I know the city but not the campus. Never visited and don't feel the need.
But I do want to hear from him once a week during the first semester. Maybe part of it is his organizational challenges, or the 10,000 mile separation--but more likely it's my 'mom duty' radar, making sure he hasn't gone off the rails. Ready to right him if he does.
On the other hand, H misses S. He wishes S were still at home. Ralized that a college visit would probably help H. Give him a visual. Set that up. Setting up a ski trip for the two of them. It's always hard to see beyond the length of your own arm, but I'm a little surprised by the gap in our experiences.
Though S seems to enjoy the calls when he makes them, he doesn't like receiving random calls. Fair enough. The control thing.
Did resort to draining his cash account to get him to call the first time, (the internet version of the trick of writing a letter with a "check enclosed" note--then leaving out the check so the student will call home).
Now S calls once a week...and he has cash! Everybody is happy.
Got an unplanned call last night at 2:20 am (the time differences are crazy). He got 8 full credits for the immersion Mandarin program he did last summer. A whole year of credit for eight weeks of summer work! He was stoked.
|By Garland (Garland) on Thursday, September 30, 2004 - 08:49 pm: Edit|
S just made a rare call with happy news; an "A" on the first paper he's gotten back, in an anthro course he was finding very mind-stretching. We were pleased especially cuz we've been hearing about all kinds of fun (esp. since he joined the "marching band" which is in quotation marks because it is totally unlike any marching band he's ever been in before--an irreverent bunch who apparently actually play instruments sometimes.) Anyway, glad to know some scholarish type of stuff is happening.
Will see him tomorrow for parents weekend, so it was esp. cute that he called tonight to tell us.
I'm meeting him after the pep rally. He said, look for the guy with the trombone.
Sat, I will get to watch the band's antics during the halftime of the aannual Princeton gets to beat up on Columbia football game.
|By Whatella (Whatella) on Thursday, September 30, 2004 - 09:58 pm: Edit|
Though son is off at school my fridge door still has The New Yorker cartoon of the teenager saying to the parent, "How was my day? How was my day? Must you micromanage my life?"
We hear, mostly through the grapevine, that son is very happy. He seldom calls and has yet to hit "reply" to an email.
He did call his dad during the Ryder Cup to ask if dad saw Tiger Wood's shot. That gives us hope!
|By Marite (Marite) on Thursday, September 30, 2004 - 10:07 pm: Edit|
I keep thinking that despite the fact your kids went to what you've described as a "crappy" school, they seem to do (or have done) very well in college. Maybe the school is not quite so crappy, or maybe a lot of learning happened at home? Anyway, your S sounds (literally) like he's having a great time.
|By Garland (Garland) on Thursday, September 30, 2004 - 10:52 pm: Edit|
Omigod, did I use the word "crappy"? That would be embarrassing. I usually say "barely adequate".
I have very mixed feelings about our school. As I've noted before, the average SAT is a little above 900, there are 7/8 APs offered, and taught unevenly (both my kids got pretty awful grades on the USH one), and guidance can be uneven. Things other people on this board take as givens (like taking college classes as HS students) I had never heard of. We send very few students to name colleges. We have racial and socio-economic diversity at levels rare on this board.
But, of course, I could have put my kids in private schools, and chose not to. I really believe that they learned a kind of independence and resiliency which has sustained them in college, even though they don't have the background knowledge that other kids in their schools do. MY D was definitely the duck, paddling madly to stay afloat while looking calm on the surface. I'm hoping her bro is following in her footsteps. They're pretty bright kids, and we did supplement at home a lot.
Our deliberate path, which also included summers devoid of "academic" programs, no SAT tutoring ( or prep of any kind), and a family belief that hanging out doing nothing on a nice day is an intellectual exercise works for us, but not sure I'd dare to market it.
|By Outwest5 (Outwest5) on Thursday, September 30, 2004 - 11:31 pm: Edit|
This is such a nice thread. It makes a parent not feel so alone and rejected! I mean, many of us suffered along with our seniors all through the college process. The difference is they actually get to go and live it now. Which , I know, we are all very happy about. That's what we all wanted! But, that doesn't make it any easier when we start to miss them.
My #1 pretty much dropped us like a hot potato Freshman year. It was very hard for me as we had been (I thought) quite close. Since she is the oldest I was not at all prepared for the shun she gave me and it hurt, a lot. I took solice in the fact that she was so happy with her school and friends. That's all we ever wanted. Then she decided to not come home after her Freshman year other than for a two week visit. So, we went up at the end of the year and visited her.
Sophomore year she started to call more. A little at first. Then she shared a few school things that happened to her. Then by the end of the year she was emailing more and actually CHATTING on the phone. We held our breath (chatting! Wow!). This year she is a Junior. She seems much more comfortable with our relationship although I do not call her a lot or question her a lot. At least she calls fairly regularly. She is interested in her little sister and calls her a lot. I can see it getting better all the time. But, at 20 years old now, I doubt she will EVER move back to this suburban town. For that I am a tiny bit sad, but still feel like I have gotten her back and that it will get better as the years go by. I will say that the person that comes home to visit now is a young woman and not a girl at all. That is very nice, too.
|By Garland (Garland) on Friday, October 01, 2004 - 08:04 am: Edit|
Be careful what you wish for, OW. D is back in this suburban town, and not so happy about it. But canvassing for a local environmental group does not give her a moving-to-NY paycheck just yet.
(I just reread what I wrote last night, and want to amend it to say that though guidance *is* uneven at our school, my S's was stupendous. He also had four or five other outstanding teachers, plus a band director who was like a third parent. OTOH, his science classes and language classes were uniformly awful, leading to him already chucking the astro major he'd been considering, and having to start over a new language in college.)
|By Marite (Marite) on Friday, October 01, 2004 - 08:23 am: Edit|
My S did some canvassing last spring and got bitten on the leg by a dog. Avoiding dogs is an occupational hazard, that and wearing out shoe leather.
Your school does not sound so hugely different from ours, except that ours is close to two universities. My S has had a good GC and some terrific teachers--and some not so terrific ones (none has been bad, though). At parents' night, several teachers described my S as funny--which I hope means funny ha ha, not funny peculiar.
|By Minormajor (Minormajor) on Friday, October 01, 2004 - 08:25 am: Edit|
It is always a surprise when we realize our children will indeed grow up. My son, who I am very close to, went away and as a Freshman never called at all. I was lucky to catch him on line to IM him. (His prefered way of communicating) I was devastated when he left and there was so little word. As a sophomore he is much more communicative. Calls frequently, and even calls to apologize that he did not call on a day he said he would. I just thank him for his thoughtfulness. Freshman year is so exciting for them and is adjustment. They are seperating from us and after all, isn't that what we raised them to do? I had to keep reminding myself of that.
|By Rhonda63 (Rhonda63) on Friday, October 01, 2004 - 08:57 am: Edit|
OW and Minor -- I agree that freshman year is different and new. By soph year I think they are settling down more and it's much more "home" for them, even in the case of kids who were very happy freshman year. It's familiar when you go back in Sept of soph year.
|By Sgiovinc (Sgiovinc) on Friday, October 01, 2004 - 01:14 pm: Edit|
My D at Carnegie Mellon NEVER calls! Her older brother who just graduated from Penn this past May after 6 grueling years there told her..."You only need to call the 'obligatory' Sunday evening telephone call." So much for older brotherly advice. The oldest son the HArvard grad now 28 years only calls when he is in massive debt which is 99% of the time. We offer to provide loans, but he then insists he has it covered. Somehow I felt better about their lives when they were living with us. I suppose I am just overprotective...yes, the mother who dressed her son in a snowsuit, mittens, boots, and a hat on a warm December morn as there was a remote "threat" of a snowstorm that day. I became the laughing stock of the other mothers who would patiently await the school bus in the morning as I had to leave him there to go to work! I don't really think either one of us could live that down. Anyway,he only calls now if he needs a new wardrobe.
|By Sgiovinc (Sgiovinc) on Friday, October 01, 2004 - 01:26 pm: Edit|
Ah, yes. He needs a new wardrobe because he took this so-called "color-blind" test on line and determined he has a mild case of red/green color blindness! I guess I am a sap when it comes to my children's afflictions. He can't pick out his own clothes now nor can he buy them lest they don't match! Should I shoot myself now or wait>
|By Sgiovinc (Sgiovinc) on Friday, October 01, 2004 - 01:27 pm: Edit|
Wait until the sale ends at Lord and Taylors this weekend.
|By Marite (Marite) on Friday, October 01, 2004 - 01:47 pm: Edit|
I had a colleague whose wife always picked his clothes for him every morning because she could not trust his sense of what went with what. She went on every shopping trip and every business trip with him. I don't know if she qualified as a business expense:-)
|By Sgiovinc (Sgiovinc) on Friday, October 01, 2004 - 01:57 pm: Edit|
Does your colleague's wife have a daughter that lives in the Boston area? THis is that Harvard son living near Cambridge who has an interesting way at looking at life. Clothes have a purpose..to cover one's private parts only..the coordination of tops and bottoms are irrelevant and unnecessary. This is the kid on the day he graduated from H. said, mournfully I might add.."Why did Harvard abandon me?" I needed to take a minute to go to the ladies' room to avoid laughing out loud and hurting his feelings I suppose.
|By Marite (Marite) on Friday, October 01, 2004 - 02:06 pm: Edit|
.."Why did Harvard abandon me?"
OMG, it sounds a bit blasphemous! Eli, Eli, Lamma
sabbacthani. It would sound even better from a Yalie. ;-)
The colleague's d is happily married and living in NYC, I believe.
|By Simba (Simba) on Friday, October 01, 2004 - 07:50 pm: Edit|
Marite: My wife picks clothes every morning for me. I really am confused when I am on an extended business trips.
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