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March 19, 2008


Oh, Laura, I so know the feeling. You spend all that time buckling them in car seats and making sure they eat healthy and taking them to the dentist, and then they have the nerve to grow up and want to go out into the world by themselves. And I used to look at my sons and think the only thing they have protecting them is their confidence. What adventures she'll have, though.

And yes, for both of you, this is just the beginning.

Oh, this is so scary. I don't seem to be handling this kind of thing well. I keep hoping it gets easier. The mere thought of my boys going off on their own - even in our own town - terrifies me and with the oldest only 13 it is only the beginning.

My 21-year old is leaving to drive to Florida (from Illinois) this afternoon with a bunch of friends, so I join you in the freakout.

I have a number of thoughts on this-- first, LUCKY POM! What a treat and what a wonderful memory of time with her grandparents this will be for her. second-- Although this is more of an education than she was likely to get in the next five weeks at school, (did I say that?) the teacher in me has to ask--How is she keeping up with her work? and third-- Laura, you know you have done an amazing job with this girl. She will certainly call you twenty minutes after she elopes with that rogue Paolo. You know she will.

Last year my 16 year old son went on a trip to Germany with a school group. Yes, they had teachers with them but were also allowed time to explore on their own with one buddy. I don't think I slept more than 2 hours a night while he was gone. He did call me every other day but still.... This year he is headed to Spain with another school group for spring break. I am still aprehensive but not as bad as last year. Guess by the time he leaves for college in a year and a half I might even be able to smile when he takes off. Hopefully it will continue to get easier to see him go.

This is precisely why I feel good about Middle not having gone away from home YET.
But he's debating a three week stint to study in the city this summer.

Judy--And all that macaroni and cheese I cleaned out of her hair and off the walls. Yes, the nerve! I love your thought about the only thing protecting your sons is their confidence. Fortunately, Pom has much of that. But I expect we gave them all some more useful tools. I hope....

Heidi--Yes, it's so scary. We're here for you, though, and know the feeling exactly!

Peggaus--All I can say is, "Ack!" Does he have an extra phone battery?!

Margy--You're too funny! She had all Spring Break to do most of her work and got her math done on Monday. Fortunately, she's in great shape, grade-wise, and the school has been very supportive.

I'm going to bite you for that Paolo comment, though! My friend Kelli Stanley gave her a good phrase to say to anyone who grabs her behind: "Va te ne!"

The first summer I send both my kids to summer camp for a month, I think I had a mini-nervous breakdown. I cried incessantly for days and days, and I was so depressed I had to ask my doctor for some ADs just to get through the day. I wasn't so much worried as adrift. I honestly didn't know what to do with myself when there were no kids home. It was horrible.

Of course now, when I'd kill to get them out of the house for a month, they won't go anywhere. Ungrateful wretches!

Nancy--That was totally brave, sending him on a school trip. I hope you do get more sleep while he's in Spain. But I can't imagine the send-offs will ever be easy!

Blackbird--Three weeks in the city sounds like a huge growth opportunity for him, but very hard for you. If he goes, be sure to come back and tell us about it.

Margalit--Your kids aren't ungrateful at all. You're just treating them way too well at home!

POM UPDATE: They missed their connection in Paris and had to take another flight. She slept for an hour on the plane, then toured all day. They couldn't find phones or phone cards to buy at the airport. But they are just a couple blocks from the Dome in Florence and she says her room is like a "palace." I forsee a VERY big phone bill!

I had this exact same freakout when my oldest went to Mexico last summer (she was 16 at the time).

I lived. She lived. But, I remember being an absolute mess that week. And now she wants to join the Peace Corps or something similar.

*sigh* Oh my aching heart

i'm new to your blog ... and i totally relate to this -- on a less international level.

every time i put my son on a plane back to college, i stop breathing just a little until he lands and is back at the dorm.

and every morning i worry if he got up for class.

this only his freshman year. i'm toast.

JenL--While I know they do so much good, I can't even imagine packing a child off to the Peace Corps. One of our former babysitters went with the PC to rural Guatemala. But she quit after six months and ended up in a larger city down there working for a flower exporter. From a mom's perspective, I don't know which would be more stressful. Have strength!

Janet--I'm quickly understanding that the worry is, indeed, just beginning. You must have very mixed feelings about the possibilities of grad school! ;)

I'm so glad a ran across this blog....I have been looking for something about moms with older kids.

My oldest daughter 18 1/2. Last summer she went to paris with school for 10 days. She never called me once : ( No news is good news I suppose. This summer she is heading to australia to see the pope, and I guess I won't hear from her then either. We are close, believe it or not.

She is a freshman in college, and while I miss having her home, her school is only 45 min away and when she is home, she isn't here anyway. That's okay, I've kind of gotten used to that (a little). What hurts the most is when she leaves school for the weekend and spends it at her boyfriend and family's house, and doesn't even tell me. They are a nice family and all, but when I ask are you coming home this weekend and she says no....I assume she is staying at school. *sigh* then I find out she didn't....it doesn't make me mad, it makes me sad....

Oh well, at least your daughter is calling you from Paris.

Lynn--Your story about your daughter is heartbreaking. Have you told her how you feel? I know it sounds trite, but we really are prone to hurting the people we love very much the most. She must feel very confident of your love and support, which is a wonderful thing--you really have given her wings.

I've never actually told her how I feel about it. I guess I should let her know that I would like to be clued in....

I believe my job as a parent is to teach my children how to be kind, loving and independent, and how survive in the world. But then part of me doesn't want them to become too independent. But then again, it is a joy watching them grow and find themselves. But then again, it is hard watching them deal with problems and staying out of it....oh, I think babies were easier than teenage girls.

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