Friends

I Need Your Advice

I’d love to hear your stories, advice, thoughts on sending a child off to college.  This will be my first time and I’m going to do a segment on Good Morning America in August.  It’s going to be a piece on good advice from other Moms– so please write me if you have some tips on what you bought that was useful, how you handled yourself when you dropped him or her off…… all of it!!!  The good , the bad, the emotional and the ugly.

84 Comments

  1. HLByrnes

    July 3, 2009 at 5:56 pm

    First for you, register for Family Weekend get your hotel room and tickets to whatever event!!!
    See if there is a laundry service to wash clothes, although it sounds like a good idea to have your child (particularly boys) do their own wash reality is they just don’t do it!!!
    See if there is a Bed Bath and Beyond order all your stuff here and pick up near the school
    Don’t pack too much they can get everything at the campus or online with free shipping ie CVS.com (also can renew prescriptions online) Staples, etc. so they can get all they need at discount prices
    Get to your dorm first the early bird actually does get the best bunk, if not make sure you switch at the end of first semester
    Get the least amount on food plan as possible as one college tour guide explained eating anywhere 3 times a day for seven days for three months gets BORING
    Have your child read the policies on drinking and what happens should they get caught each campus has very different rules, they should know exactly what can happen!!!
    If flying always try to book in advance for the holidays (check schedules now online) planes book fast
    Finally enjoy your last summer with them, even though they will test every rule known to man ( I did not give in to the “I will be able to do this in college”)

    Sending a girl and a boy off were very different my daughter took us almost an entire day to get the room just right my son took 2 hours!!

    Hope this helps enjoy your summer

  2. Alison

    July 4, 2009 at 10:08 pm

    Hey Lady, One thing I have seen over and over again, now that one son has graduated and the other is a rising Junior, is for parents to be patient through the first term. Someone did a study and found that if parents showed up at college around Thanksgiving and said ‘you can come home, no questions asked’, 85% of college freshmen would get in the car. Once Christmas break happens they are happy to get home, but hopefully they can’t wait to get back to school to their new friends and their ‘new home’.

    Another thing is to be ready for who comes home at Christmas. It isn’t the little darling who left in September. Every year GWU sent out a fantastic letter making sure Parents understand this part. On that front lay out any expectations you have of your college student before they get home, i.e. “We will have to go to Grandma’s for Christmas eve supper on Thursday”, as they will be very anxious to be off with their pals, not so much hangin’ with the fam. I feel like I have a million others but I’ll hop on the blog if they come to mind. Happy Fourth to the gang, Love, Alison

  3. Laura Plyler

    July 6, 2009 at 1:36 am

    My dear friend, Anne Dorn sent me your request about sending your child off to college. Our oldest just graduated, and will be leaving in August. He will be 90 minutes away, but that seems so far. I am not ready to let him go. It seems as though we were just bringing him home from the hospital. I sometimes stop and think that maybe I have taken this past 18 years for granted. My mothering instincts are still going strong, and my husband has the total opposite view. He wants him to go and not even come back for summer breaks. He thinks he should work in the same town that he will be going to school. I thank God for text messaging, in this world we live in. I know that I will become even more proficient that I already am, come August.

    I know that things will be OK, but his is the hardest thing, to date, that I have ever done!

    The only tip I might share is that my mom taught us to cook and wash our own laundry, at an early age. We have done this with our kids, and I believe this will really help when leaving for school.

    Thanks for your time!

  4. Laura Plyler

    July 6, 2009 at 1:38 am

    My dear friend, Anne Dorn sent me your request about sending your child off to college. Our oldest just graduated, and will be leaving in August. He will be 90 minutes away, but that seems so far. I am not ready to let him go. It seems as though we were just bringing him home from the hospital. I sometimes stop and think that maybe I have taken this past 18 years for granted. My mothering instincts are still going strong, and my husband has the total opposite view. He wants him to go and not even come back for summer breaks. He thinks he should work in the same town that he will be going to school. I thank God for text messaging, in this world we live in. I know that I will become even more proficient that I already am, come August.

    I know that things will be OK, but his is the hardest thing, to date, that I have ever done!

    The only tip I might share is that my mom taught us to cook and wash our own laundry, at an early age. We have done this with our kids, and I believe this will really help when leaving for school.

    Thanks for your time!

  5. Katherine Sutton

    July 6, 2009 at 2:03 pm

    During the year before my son, our only child, went away to college, I followed him around like a sad puppy, overwhelmed with anticipation anxiety at having to let go of this stage of his life with us. But on the day we dropped him off at his new school, I became very calm. His growing up was playing itself out in its natural order, and I found that normality very re-assuring. He needed to go and we needed to let him go.

    I have to admit that I did sneak an amusing note (this is no time for sappy tears) and one of his favorite snacks under the clothes in his suitcase for a future surprise.

    I’d like to add that the hard part came after my huband and I returned home: Who was going to pick up the slack of household duties left by our son’s absence? He was the person who had taken out the garbage and walked the dogs. Re-constructing our daily chore schedule took some delicate negotiating – but we worked it out with a sense of humor.

  6. Liz Locke

    July 6, 2009 at 10:06 pm

    Things that I’ve learned over the course of dropping three kids off at college.

    First, the practical advice:
    • Keep student’s passport current (yes, they may be invited to go overseas on short notice)!
    • Get a duplicate driver’s license to keep at home (“Mom, I can’t find my ID and am not sure if the airline will let me go through security tomorrow without it”). FedEx is awesome.
    • Pack things in collapsibles (duffel bags or even trash bags). There will NOT be enough room to store a lot of luggage at school.

    Then, the advice that I offered my kids, some of which they accepted, some of which they ignored:
    • Approach school as though it was a 9 to 5 job and you will probably never have to study at night.
    • Go and meet your professors. They are people. They can help you. Someday you will need a recommendation. You might actually like them.
    • Contact your professor if you are sick to let them know why you are missing their class.
    • If you’re sick, go to the health center. You are paying for it – use it.
    • Sleep at night. Do not stay up until 5 and expect to be at full capacity.
    • Once Halloween is over, it’s probably best to switch from flipflops to real shoes (I have Florida kids!). Exception: wear them in the shower (pretty sure no one took that advice).
    • Start using Google calendar to organize your time.
    • Keep the door to your room open. You’d be surprised at how many people you’ll meet by saying hi to passers-by.
    • Be open to meeting people. If your school has a Greek system, go through rush just to meet people. Go to concerts and sporting events. Get out of your room.
    • If you’re having trouble academically, let your parents know. Do NOT wait until they receive a letter in the mail informing them of your loss of scholarship. ***MOST IMPORTANT!

    Finally, the advice to parents:
    • Assume nothing. Even if your child has had a bank account since he/she was 8, don’t assume that the child knows how to write a check. Don’t assume that your child who has been doing their own laundry for 5 years knows how to put a quarter (or swipe a card) into the machine.
    • Be prepared for eye rolling when you suggest that they don’t know how to deal with the above.
    • Learn to IM if you’re not already doing it. It is by far my primary method of communication, and you can tell what time your kids went to bed by seeing how long their IM has been idle.
    • Follow the 24 hour rule. If your child calls home with a “crisis” – roommate problems, locked out, etc., wait 24 hours. Then call them and most of the time they will have forgotten all about it.
    • Don’t call your child 5 times a day (this one is from my daughter, as I would call that often if I could!). Call when you know that they’re not sitting in a class. Be prepared to have a long, happy chat, or the “I really can’t talk now.” Don’t cry if it’s the latter.
    • Last, when you drop your child off for their freshman year, plaster a big smile on your face. Be enthusiastic. Even if they’re not showing it, they’re nervous too, and need your support. BUT, when it’s time to leave them, show a slight bit of emotion, so they know how much you’ll miss them. This is true even for parents who are doing a happy-dance inside. Do not sob like a baby – you will be seeing them again!

  7. Marla Greenwald

    July 7, 2009 at 1:18 am

    Hi, I know this is not about the new book but I am a wife and mom of 2 kids, 12 and 16, one of which has mild autism and my husband has suffered a tramatic brain injury. The kids and I are in California and he is in N.Y. It’s a long story. He was diagnosed with hydrosephulus back in January and has had a shunt put in. He suffered from terrible psychiatric issues and was hospitalized in CA 3times. His parents decided to move him to the Haven in Westchester N.Y. I couldn’t take the kids out of school so he went without us. He was at the Haven for one night and we were told the insurance was a problem and he would have to do the day program. That night at his parents house, he fell out the window, 17 feet right on his head! After he was patched up, they sent him to Helen Hayes for Rehab. Then he got menengitis and fell into a coma for about 12 hours. He has just spent the past month in the ICU unit at Good Sam Hospital and has had 3 different brain surguries for the Hydroscephules. I expect he will be back at Helen Hayes next week.
    I am so scared. His speech is slurred and his responses to questions takes a long time. He has problems with his eyes. The doctor tells us he may or may not recover. Please give me some hope that he can make somewhat of a recovery and we can have some assemblance of a life together.
    I can’t help but blame myself for letting him go to N.Y. I know it doesn’t help but I can’t help it.
    Any words of wisdom would be so great.
    Marla

  8. Liz

    July 7, 2009 at 6:22 pm

    Hi Lee,

    I remember it all well, as a matter of fact, the local newspaper did a story at the time about parents sending kids off to college, and we were one of three families featured. My feelings for my daughter and then later for my son were ones of excitement for them, but anticipated lonelyness for me- you see , I was a single parent, and my kids lives were my life…always-

    I bought a trunk at the beginning of summer, and when I was out and saw something on sale, or that she would want- I would pick it up and put it in the trunk- you know- office supplies, towels, sheets, lights, etc. it was filled by the end of summer- It seems that that last summer was bittersweet- and I tried to hold her back, and she tried to stretch away from me..my perfect child was finally testing the limits at age 17 almost 18.. hard…

    I think loving the school that your kids pick is a plus, and as said in an earlier note above- my daughter actually wanted my help and we spent hours fixing up her dorm room with cute posters and curtains, and throw rugs…not so, with my son- funny story- he went to school across the country from where we lived- lots harder for me…and I flew there, while he drove with friends- when I arrived to help him organize his apartment,…our newly purchased sheets for the bed, were now hanging from the ceiling as a room divider, and the bed was dismantled , taken apart , with pieces stored in the closet and mattress on the floor..ahhhh !!! I had to let it all go- it was his call this time..not mine. very hard to do…

    I guess the best thing to remember is it is scary and fun all at the same time- we talked on the phone when she or he wanted to ,and I went to every parent event- and she seemed glad I was there- the more I saw her in her setting, the better I felt- she was so happy there…I was still the mom that brought snack to cross country meets, so that helped,.and no one seemed to mind.

  9. Andrea Moten

    July 7, 2009 at 9:32 pm

    I am a mother of two daughters ages 19 and 13.

    Last September, my husband and I took my daughter to college in Philadelphia.
    I am very close to my daughter and I thought it would be very hard to let go.
    One of the most comforting things for me is that we kept the lines of communication open. It was easy because we talked on the phone often. At one point, I wondered if she thought we were talking too much and when I asked she responded ” if I was at home I’d talk to you every day – it’s okay mom, I like talking to you.” There were plenty of days when we only spoke for 5 minutes or so. But that constant contact helped both of us with the transition.
    I had a harder time when she left home for the second semester. My daughter had much more confidence and sense of independence. We still talked often, but I felt she did it more for me than for her. Most of the time the calls are brief, I love you, have a great day – that’s all. I don’t push or pry. I let her open up and tell me whats going on (unless of course I am calling for a purpose).
    I am most grateful that my husband and I worked hard at raising intelligent, considerate, loving, respectful human beings. I see the transformation to young adulthood taking place in my college age daughter. It makes my heart proud and I know that I am blessed to be a part of her life and to help her move on to the next chapter.

    It’s not hard, just different.

    Every thing must change – I am enjoying this change.

  10. Ann Nicholson Wright

    July 8, 2009 at 3:54 am

    Lee, I hope that you always continue to find some time to continue your writing. As a mother of four, your stories ring so true; and having been more on the Math/Science side of life at Colgate, I so admire your writing style. It seems to flow so naturally for you…such a gift, you have!! I’m afraid that I won’t be much help in the sending kids off to college suggestions area as my oldest is a year younger than your Catherine. But, I did want to offer up an idea for you and your family as you enjoy this summer together in Upstate NY before Mac moves on to Michigan come August. Last summer, the six of us went rock climbing in the High Peaks area(Keane, NY) with Kevin Floss, a wonderful 5th grade teacher and outdoor enthusiast from Clarence Center, and had an unforgettable time together. Kevin is a terrific guide(safety is key to him) and will be up in the Keane area from July 10th-20th; if you might be interested, he can be reached at 716.289.1227(cell). Our kids were ages 8,9,11 and 14 when we climbed last summer. Other than a few of us having done inside rock climbing walls on a couple of occasions, we had no prior experience to speak of. But, frankly, that was a part of the fun. I highly recommend it, especially for you, Bob and Mac and any of your other children who might be interested. To be able to accomplish something like that together was memorable. Hope you have a great summer together in the Adirondacks!! I am enjoying your “Perfectly Imperfect” a second time through as part of my summer. Fondly, Ann

  11. Mary Claire

    July 10, 2009 at 2:22 am

    I don’t know what happened when my mother dropped off her first child going to college, but I do remember what she did when she dropped off her fourth child – me. She pulled up to the back of the dorm, helped me take things out of the car, and drove away.

  12. Sarah

    July 10, 2009 at 3:02 am

    I am not a parent…. but a student that was driven by her parents to college (3 hrs away from home) some things that helped me
    – Give your son a calling card (if he is going to a school out of your area) because it will save him and you money.

    – Check out the town he is in (if you don’t already know it).. where the library is, gym, main st. etc…

    – Make sure that he KNOWS the rules of the dorm… so he does not get kicked out and have to find another place to live..

    -buy some of the food he likes…. to star off with.. and check out the food plan… b/c where I went to school you had to have it when living in the dorm….. and any money not used the school kept….(it was no returned to the student)

    -Make sure that he knows where to locate assistance with proof reading/ extra help because chances are you will not have time to proof read everything (I know, because my Mother is an English teacher and she tried but email essay help is hard…) which can save his grades….

    – and if you son is anything like my brother you may want to give laundry lessons.. sorting and how to turn on the washer.

    -a Lap top can be helpful with internet access and a printer because it can be diffcult to get a computer in one of the labs..

    -he may want to find someone who lives nearby home. Because than they can go home for holidays together and all he would have to pay is Gas money (which is cheaper than a bus or a plane…)

    – When you are leaving your son keep a smile on your face… nothing makes a student feel worse than seeing mum cry…. (you can always cry in the car)

    and just think of all the fun stories he will have at thanksgiving

  13. Jane Allen

    July 11, 2009 at 12:30 am

    Bring your cash card. When you get to the dorm room, you will find out what you’ve missed – extra hangars, a fan, storage tubs, detergent, shampoo, extra power strips, etc. A trip to Target (or some other retail store) always happens. Girls are weepy, boys are ready to say goodbye and anxious for Mom & Dad to leave.

  14. Brian Sweeney

    July 14, 2009 at 2:32 am

    Lee, congrats on your efforts to educate the public regarding TBI. I met you in Naperville Illinois at your book signing, April 29th 2009. I gave you a copy of my book Every 21 Seconds, regarding brain injuries, specifically mine. I have to admit I really thought you would send over a comment on that book which if you google every 21 seconds brian sweeney, you will see how much i have done by myself. I dont have a publicist or an agent. I am a TBI survivor and I have been trying to provide education on the topic for years and i wrote that book…solo. I hope you read it, and if you have time just let me know what you thought of it. try to remember, I gave you that book because i am on your side. Brian Sweeney

  15. Jody LoMenzo

    July 14, 2009 at 6:21 pm

    But I will say one word: HEALTH. Lots to share with you.

    1. check out the health center – the days of docs and medications being dispensed are gone on many campuses
    2. Pack the medicine chest. Kids are told by health centers to learn to “self medicate.” Dangerous in these days of people popping too many tylenols – but they need thermometer, fever reducer, band-aids, neosporin, etc. Give them the tried and true home remedies, tea, honey, sleep. Fluids. They’re independent (ha!).
    3. Find a local doctor – ask your pediatrician, professors, advisors
    4. Oh, the freshman 15, it’s ugly.

    Joanna was really sick, the health center ran out of flu tests, the university encouraged she go to the ER. I helicoptered in and took her to our doc. I don’t swoop in and search and destroy but the momma bear was angry her cub was lethargic and too weak to get out of bed.

    Security no longer picks up students for rides to the health center — liability…UGH.

    They even offered parents an ambulance service to get kids to the hospital on orientation day. I was livid. The ER is not a doctor’s office. Is there a Patient First near Colgate?

  16. Susie Stangland

    July 16, 2009 at 2:07 pm

    Hi Lee, I think what is hardest about your child leaving for college is the transition of your own role in their life. What you have to learn that can’t be found in one of the many books on the college life subject. When they are babies you are their entire world, as they grow in to well rounded children you are often the ringmaster of their 3 ring circus lives of family, school and outside activities. Familial, academic,social and spiritual. For us imperfectly perfect moms we love this job. Anticipated it studied it and cherished it. Then all of a sudden a partial and I do mean partial retirement happens when you are going wait… it went so fast, I am too young for this partial retirement. Learning and accepting that while you are still one of the most important people in their lives you may not be the most important person of each day. I have done this with our oldest Imperfectly perfect. I purposely capitalized the Imperfect part. Hope this insight is helpful. Thank you for confirming me as a new friend on facebook. Your kindred spirit. Susie

  17. Theresa Bartley

    July 19, 2009 at 7:14 pm

    I’m a parents of two small children but was a college student in dorms not too long ago. Things I learned myself and fellow students LOVED care packages made by you or family memebers. Unless you have a parent supplying you with plenty of money you have none. Our favorite snacks are wonderful in the dorm room. ANYTHING microwavable. Check the meal plans at he University you have to have them but how many meals per week remember it’s an effort in most Universitys to hike to the cafe just to eat so if it’s freezing outside in a snow storm you’ll just find something in your dorm room (make sure there are things in there to eat). Breakfast foods were the best for dorm room because you don’t want to waste any extra time getting up earlier to hit the cafe and most cafe don’t let you take the food with you (since they are usually all you can eat). So you have to take the time to sit down and eat it. Much easier to just eat a bowl of oatmeal in your room. Research your health insurance to find out where the closest Redicare/Urgent Care is so your not stuck with hefty bills when your student gets sick if they are out of network. Check for refunds some University’s will refund your health fee if you do not plan on using their services but must be done usually first couple weeks of the semester. If your student has a car TURN IN PARKING INFO EARLY! The earliest as possible becuase that means better parking or parking at all. Some bigger Universities have businesses that will charge a fee and let you park in their parking lot for the semester. Ask upperclassmen or locals.

  18. Mary Beth

    July 21, 2009 at 10:34 pm

    Things are never the same after college. It is a time to grieve. I have sent 3 sons off to 3 very different colleges in the last 4 years. I have 2 left to send next year and then the year after that. It is a very “imperfect” process! As every mother of multiple children knows, each child has a special piece of your heart. When that child is gone, the reality is that piece is gone and it is truly sad. To me, it felt like childbirth. I wanted to scream, “Why didn’t anyone tell me it was going to be this painful?” Would we not go through with it? Would we keep our children home forever? For me personally, I have found that my heart only really feels full or complete when those children come home and the missing pieces are complete. I began to understand why my mother loved it so much when we all were home for those big family meals.
    For us, the actual drop-off process was alot easier at the smaller schools. They made everyone feel comfortable immediately, had a wonderful day planned for the families and students and we instantly knew our son was already at home by the time we hit the road. There’s alot to be said for that.
    For those attending larger universities or going to schools that require a flight, things are very different. The excitement of a new environnment and the thrill of meeting new friends from many different areas is balanced out with the idea that you may not be coming home for Thanksgiving or we may not be able to come see you play your sport. But having an outdoor pool, complete with sand and volleyball net to study next to would be pretty sweet, too. There’s something to be said for that. It is a very imperfect process. For the ones left behind, it’s nice to be able to spend some quality time with those who are usually sleeping in the back of the minivan being driven around from older sibling’s events. Then before you know it, they’re home again and you can’t believe how much work it is to have your children home again! It’s a roller coaster but hang on and I hope you have the ride of your life! Thx. M

  19. Doris Samson

    July 23, 2009 at 3:47 pm

    Hi Lee First just finished your latest book-LOVED IT-especially section about husbands and multitasking.Second,have 2 daughters in college.Most important thing I learned is educate your child about the parties and drinking on campus.Everyone does it no matter what they say about a wet or dry campus.How serious does that college enforce there rules?First daughter had to perform community service and was kicked off campus for a week after being caught for 3rd time.She took the consequences ,learned from her mistakes and is graduating this year.Kids don’t take it seriously until someone gets hurt or caught.

  20. Wilma Schmeler

    July 27, 2009 at 2:51 am

    It’s hard to believe that we sent our first of three children off to college 25 years ago. All three send-offs were very positive experiences for all of us. I attribute this to all of us being well prepared for the new adventure. Because we dealt with serious medical issues with our children when they were youngsters, they were forced to be independent at a young age. So, their adjustment to college was practically “seamless”.

    As much as I missed not having them at home, I was happy for them to be moving on to the next phase of their lives. We all looked forward to “homecoming” and still do.

    Some suggestions for parents sending their children off to college:

    Have a conversation regarding how your child feels about going away to school and discuss their responsibilities emphasizing “playing by the rules” at college. Be sure everyone is on the same page and let them know what your expectations are.

    Agree on a budget (spending money) and the student should manage their own bank account. Our son spent all of his allowance for the first semester by the end of October. So, when he came home for Christmas, he had to work to fund the second semester. Mark still mentions this and considers it one of the best lessons he’s learned in his lifetime of 43 years.

    I like what another person said: “College should be treated like a job.” Get to know your teachers. Attend all classes. If you must be absent, notify the teacher. Ask for help if you need it and don’t wait until you’re desperate. Also, let your parents know that you are having difficulty so they can guide you. Check in with your advisor frequently even if all is going well. Be involved in study groups especially during exams.

    If possible, parents should visit school when invited, and then some. Send “care” packages frequently, especially during exams.
    The first semester of freshman year is tough for all, so don’t set the bar too high. Just ask your child to do their best. Our kids grades improved each semester as they became better organized and learned to navigate the system better.

    When you deliver your child to their dorm, stay as long as they’d like you to and offer whatever help they want. Our kids were anxious for us to leave so they could get on with their lives.

    Dorm bedding: I made plaid flannel duvet covers for our girls which they and all their friends loved. They are still in use today, 20 years later. About 15 years ago, I started creating college bed sacks for family and close friends who were heading to college. They consist of a Primaloft (synthetic down manufactured by AI) duvet with cover, x-long twin fitted sheet, pillow with pillow case and towel set -all contained in a matching drawstring bag (which can serve as a laundry bag). They are also very practical on portable beds when we have many overnight guests, and we often take them when we travel. Many have suggested that I patent and market this “bed sack”, but I have all I can do to keep up to creating them for family and friends.
    Target is advertising something similar which may be worth considering, although the quality probably isn’t very good. Christmas Tree Shops advertize many interesting dorm needs that are very inexpensive. I always love a bargain.

    Lee,
    This new chapter in Mac’s life will be very exciting for all of you.
    Good luck!!!
    Wilma

  21. Jeanne Park

    July 29, 2009 at 2:23 pm

    Lee,

    I just finished your book and really enjoyed it!

    As for dropping off a child at college, my experience was a little different b/c our first born entered the Naval Academy last year. The first six weeks were really tough since our interactions were limited to three 5 minute phone calls and letters. Actually, small little notes scratched out in a free moment from him, and stuffed to the gill care packages from me.

    The first day was the most difficult. We immersed ourselves in the festivities and traditions of Induction Day and just barely held it together as we gave him that last hug and sent him on his way as a plebe. Two hours later, back at the safety of our friend’s house, I became physically ill 🙂

    It gets better, I promise. One thing that I did was to set my watch alarm to go off every evening at the time the plebes would be going to bed and then send up a little prayer for him at that moment. In fact, the whole family would stop when they heard my watch and do the same. Of course, I prayed for him all through the day, but at bedtime, our plebe knew that we were thinking of him and praying for him. It gave us a little connection each day, even though we could not talk or IM each other. It’s been a year, but it still sounds at the same time and we all hear it and say “Goodnight plebes.”

    So, I guess I would say that it was pray that got me through. You’ll do fine! It is just another painful step in parenthood, but you will survive.

  22. Jan Hunt

    August 2, 2009 at 4:06 pm

    I kind of disagree with Mary Beth. Things are not that different after they go to college. I am about to send off my third one. Sure, they are not here a lot, but when they return for vacations or summer, things go back to the way it was for a time.

    Right now I have a bunch of girls giggling upstairs- kind of a post wedding slumber party I didn’t know I was throwing. My 25 year old law student is up there with some other girls from high school- all home for the summer or working here, and they attended a wedding last night, and all ended up needing a driver to come get them from the local bars.

    My oldest attended college across the country but is now married and lives nearby- that is a little unusual, I know. My youngest is leaving for college halfway across the country for the first time in three weeks. I am dreading it as I dreaded the others leaving but I think it will be okay, last it was with the other two. I remember the sad moment when I went to the market and bought 4 baking potatoes instead of 5. Now, I often have to buy 6, or 2….

    In the summer, our home returns to a gathering place and I really never know who will be sleeping here. Kids come and go at all hours on weekends. When my older ones would return, so would their messes. That has never gotten better! They are more mature, but they love hanging out int their jammies, watching their childhood movies (CInderella?) and family home movies.

    Don’t worry. It won’t be THAT different. The greatest thing is that you have prepared them for the next step. The scariest thing is that you don’t know everything they are doing… Somehow, you don’t worry as much when you don’t know what they’re up to…

    Good luck!
    Jan Hunt

  23. Leslie Kajs

    August 12, 2009 at 12:22 pm

    Hi Lee,
    We live in Texas and when we took our daughter to Auburn University in Auburn, Alabama I went to several of the local coffee shops and restaurants and bought gift cards. I
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