parenting

Turning point

Reflecting about the winter solstice and went back to this post I wrote so many years ago. I think it is time to revive this tradition and make it one of our regulars. Our lives have scattered since then, the boys are grown, and Rose is about to fly. We need more traditions to keep us bound. Move into the light.

mamatrauma

I haven’t posted for a month, some of you have been checking in to see how we are doing and I really appreciate that. I struggle with posting, these have been dark days. I have been sad, angry, resentful, weak, lost, melancholy, resigned, and unmotivated. I have had to force myself to finish the work for the three classes I was taking, I think it helped to have that to focus on, it gave my brain something to do. December 13, I was done and my friends were all asking how it felt to be done with school for the semester, and I couldn’t tell them. I couldn’t really feel anything, I expected to feel relieved and lighter but I didn’t. I felt empty, and pressured by expectations that seemed meaningless. I am still mourning my Dad, Brian is still looking for work and we are living with uncertainty. Then…

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What is normal?

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Because it is totally normal that mom and daughter are sitting beside each other knitting in matching dresses.

Class of 2010 minus 1


Joe is actually in the class of 2010, but decided he had had enough of high school and wanted to graduate early. This took some doing, including appealing to the superintendet for permission and taking both Junior and Senior classes in English and History. He also had to fit in four classes at the local community college to make up the hours he needed. He managed to do all that, even with AP classes so he graduated! Here he is in the procession. The only way we found him was to look for his green converse.

Here is Joe with Grandma and Aunt Amy all the way from Illinois to share in our family celebration.


Then there is Joe with Pat, who did this last year and just finished his first year at the College of William and Mary

And here is Joe with proud papa.

Joe with mom and dad,

The cake from the big party we had on Sunday afternoon and finally Rose, can’t wait till it is her turn. Thankfully, it is six years away for her. Whew!
Two down, one to go.

Allow me to be proud mama


Joe, our middle child has always been self driven and has been pursuing his dream of being a jazz musician.  The local paper just did an article about him with his upcoming show at the local music club, Armando’s.  Here is the article they wrote about him, only a few misquotes.

I always knew he was going places.

’twas the night..

The children are nestled all snug in their beds

while visions of iPods flash through their heads
papa has retired and so has the dog
oh rats, I can’t rhyme at this hour.  I just finished watching White Christmas and am about to slip away before Santa shows up.
I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and Blessed New Year!

William and Mary and Pat

Three weeks ago we put our oldest, Pat on a plane traveling  3000 miles east to start his first year at the College of William and Mary in Virginia.  He chose this school because of it’s academic rigor and old fashioned charm.  He had his heart set on going to college on the east coast to have the experience of living in a completely different environment than sunny CA. Neither Brian nor I could go with him to get him settled in and Pat was anxious to be independent and get there on his own.  He originally wanted to take Amtrak cross country to get there, but we convinced him that the likelihood of delays would make that an unreliable way to get to college!  He got there with all his stuff and moved into the dorm and immediately got involved with his new life.  That is Pat, he is gregarious and friendly and gets right into the social scene.  That first weekend we waited for a call from him to let us know how he was doing, I knew he was there because he sent a text that said he had arrived safely, however we didn’t hear any more after that.  So I sent him a text asking him to call when he had a little time.  No answer.  Then I tried calling him, no answer and his voicemail wasn’t set up yet.  So I sent another text.  (Pat is usually good about at least responding with a word or two to a text message) but no answer.  By this time it was Sunday afternoon and we were beginning to wonder.  I imagined that he lost his phone so I emailed him asking him to call us collect if he had to, just check in with us. No answer. Brian imagined something had happened to him and urged me to call campus police to go over to his dorm and make sure he was alright.  (Note that Brian wasn’t going to call campus police but urged ME to do it).  I resisted and started combing the William and Mary website for another way to check on him.  I called the residence hall office but of course they were closed, it WAS Sunday night and VA is 3 hours ahead.  But I found the email listing for all the RA’s in the dorms, found his RA and emailed him asking him to go tell Pat to call his parents! An hour later Pat finally called us, his RA hadn’t talked to him yet, so he had no idea we were worried.  We were cool though, happy to hear from him and made like we weren’t ready to call out the National Guard.  He was having a great time with all the orientation activities, and just hadn’t gotten around to calling.  We felt ridiculous, but urged him to just call us every weekend to let us know how things were going.  And he has done that. I reminded him that it is hard to suddenly let go, and while I do trust that he can take care of himself, I AM his mother and will always wonder what he is doing and where he is.  So on my first break from school I used up my United miles and flew out to VA to see him for myself.




Now I can rest easy, I have seen Pat in his new life.  I have met a bunch of his friends, who are all polite and charming. His dorm room looks no different than his room at home did. This photo is taken in the tidiest looking spot I could find.  All is well. We have been having a good time this weekend, negotiating a new kind of relationship.  He volunteers to me that he is drinking milk and eating vegetables every day, I let him know that he should go to the football game with his friends and not worry about entertaining me.  I take him shopping for a winter coat and some bookshelves and offer to help him organize his dorm room.  He lets me know that he and his roommate can handle it, and thanks me for buying the coat HE wants and not the one I think will keep him warmer.  This is new ground and I kind of like it.  We walked all over campus and he showed me the buildings he has classes in, where he gets his mail, where he eats, where the pianos are, and where they play chair ball. Chair ball? it is some game the guys in the dorm made up. The rest of the time I have been browsing around the colonial vill
age, listening to the street musicians, and sipping iced tea. I brought my knitting along and am enjoying some quiet time without any stud
ying to do, or home projects calling out to me.  Here are some other photos of the campus, William and Mary is the kind of campus you think of when you conjure up an image of collegiate surroundings.  Old brick buildings surround huge open grassy fields, giant old oak trees line wandering brick walkways, bicycles parked here and there, and dried leaves drifting in the breezes. 


2 cities 3 colleges so far

Now we are in DC visiting George Washington U among other things. So far Pat ranks them Columbia, GW, NYU. We are dodging the rain and managed to get out of NY just after the steam pipe explosion on Broadway. I am ready to put my feet up and knit, whew! I am making pretty good progress on the socks while we ride subways and trains. The sock seems a little large though. These may end up fitting Brian. Tomorrow we head down to Williamsburg to see William & Mary College.