Thursday, September 3, 2015

Back to School - Old and Disillusioned Style

The kids are back to school so I figured that I owed the obligatory back to school post.  Yay.

I suppose that I feel lackluster about it this year because it is lackluster.  My son started his second year of college, so he started a full week and a half earlier than my daughter.  My daughter started yesterday, which totally took me by surprise as I was expecting her to start the Wed after Labor Day, like all other years...except this one. Luckily for me, I am an early shopper and had already sunk a butt-load of cash into school clothes and supplies, so at least she was prepared. Yay me and my uncontrolled shopping habit. Is there a pill for that?

For all prior years we were on top of things and organized enough to get a thumbs up with our new back packs and first day of school outfits picture with the two kids together.   This year my son was sound asleep as we took the picture of my daughter at 6:15 am, before she left for her bus, which arrives at the butt crack of dawn.  That was the time that it actually said on the official schedule from the school district - "Time: Butt crack of Dawn".  I appreciate their honesty, and their pithy wit.

I think the thing that is most meh about this school year is that it is the realization that this is the beginning of the big move for my kids.  My son will finish his second year of college locally and is likely to finish out his last two years in the city, which means moving to the city.  And my daughter, single minded and possessed of a burning desire to be as far away from her family as humanly possible, will be applying to colleges in such far off places as Chicago, Virginia and California.  My feeling is that if she is accepted to all, she will take the one that is the longest plane ride away from us.  18 years with this collection of dorks was plenty (if I may paraphrase based on the look on her face, alone).

This is a bittersweet time, as we get prepared to become empty nesters.  And while it will be almost a full 2 years until the next is totally empty, there will be a lot of run-up over those 2 years in preparation for the empty nest.  College visits, applications, disappointments, happiness, and every other teenage (and parental) emotion that comes in between.  I hope I can handle it.  I have total faith that they can, but I am kind of a wild card.  There is equal possibility that I will handle it with stoic strength and fortitude or that I will be a blubbering pile of jelly that has to be carted to college visits in a wheelbarrow with a bottle of vodka and a crazy straw. Only time will tell. But keep the vodka on ice...just in case.


6 Your comments, banter and witty repartee:

Lin said...

I think the anticipation of them leaving is worse than them actually doing it. Okay...so the first one that goes is hard....then you get used to it. Then you have loooonnnn breaks with them home and you sorta wish they'd go back already. Then they stop coming home during summers.....and then they are gone. It's a slow progression that gets you used to the concept.

I like being an empty-nester now. It's nice to see them doing what they love and learning to be off on their own. It's nice to just eat soup for dinner without anyone complaining. And when you clean the house....it STAYS that way unless YOU dirty it. Laundry is less. So is the Target/Walmart run. It's actually fun to do stuff with your husband and other couples again.

So....you will live. And yes, you will enjoy it. I never thought I would. Although I was a little sniffly today because I missed them. But those feelings are few and you are just happy to see them so darn happy.

CHICAGO???! No freaking way. I live in the Chicago suburbs and my daughter attends Loyola. She is an orientation leader at Loyola, so if your daughter wants to come for a campus visit....please let me know. What school is she thinking of in Chicago??? OMG...can you imagine you and me in the city at the same time, laughing and hootin' it up?? They would have to shut it down.


Diary of a Mad Bathroom said...

Lin - Loyola just so happens to be one her list in Chicago. I will definitely let you know when the time comes.I do believe we could be the source of the next Chicago fire (I'm clumsier than OLeary's cow and if you add booze and fun to the mix...boom!). I believe all that college visiting stuff happens toward the end of Jr year.

Oh, and we have already started lving like empty nesters. Our kids are almost never home, so we go out and tear up the town like a couple of kids, as often as we can. I'm already not needed.The house still gets dirty though. They are in overdrive mess-making mode when they are home. :\

Lin said...

O. M. G. After all that you did to help her navigate Roma?! Are you kidding?! You HAVE to plan a trip here for your daughter to have a private tour of Loyola. Seriously. And the campus is soooo beautiful. Please, please, please let me know when you are coming (or just your daughter) so we can host you properly. Emma is currently interviewing for a year-long role in the orientation process and would just LOVE to help show you around. Please email me when that time comes. BTW....do as much as you can early on. Time flies and you run out of time. You are welcome here as well to save on costs. OMG....I am soooo excited. The Loyola campus is dreamy beautiful. And it's hard-core studies and strict on partying.

Diary of a Mad Bathroom said...

That's a very kind offer. I told her about the potential of having a private tour and she was very excited. We are thinking spring. We would love to get to know the ins and outs of the campus from a real insider. That would be nothing short of awesome!

Ms. G said...

I have found it to be periods of stoic strength and fortitude followed by sudden, unexpected meltdowns into a blubbering pile of jelly...and I have still have a 22 year old that lives at home. A tip. I've seen that look. When the time comes for a decision, show her the ticket price rates for flights from the West coast to East coast (Particularly at Holidays) and weigh it against possible perks such as, clothing, a vehicle, the means for any social life beyond hanging at the library with your crew. My kid is as miserly as Scrooge with her own income and I hear it every time she gets leave. But even with the bitchin she comes home. Because the more they think they will never be homesick the MORE homesick they are. At least that goes for the ones that actually leave home...where did I leave my crazy straw? ; )

Diary of a Mad Bathroom said...

Mrs G - It looks like I am right on time for the emotional roller coaster that this process promises to be. I wish my daughter were motivated by money. Sadly, she is not. She is motivated by a burning passion to be on the other side of the planet from her family. My primary job over the next two years is to keep her from applying to schools in far flung locations like Bora Bora or Pago Pago. I hate the double names and the possibility of chikungunya. Crazy straw for two?

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