Tag Archives: feelings

Room for Change

It’s usually the most-cluttered surface in our house.

This was usually the most-cluttered surface in our house.

Every other Thursday (today, as a matter of fact), our cleaning crew comes to spiff and polish our house. As I move through the rooms picking things up off surfaces, filing papers, and shredding documents, I can’t help but marvel at how easy it is to get prepared for them now that both boys are away at college.

You might think that I would give pause at their respective bedrooms and the lifeless game room, missing the lively banter and laughter once contained within.

But it’s actually the dining room that brings tears to my eyes.

These school supplies have returned to their storage bin in the kitchen.

These school supplies have returned to their storage bin in the kitchen.

I don’t know about anyone else’s house, but that room always has been the hub of activity in ours. Not for eating, but for everything else involving our sons. That’s where the various iMacs and MacBooks that they’ve used have sat (they weren’t allowed to have computers or TVs in their bedrooms). It’s also where school books, crayons, markers, glue sticks, and papers resided. It was a great place to do homework and projects.

Chase played “Runescape” on our iMac.

Chase at our iMac

The dining room table also was a gathering place for the boys and their friends. At first, they’d share our computers and watch videos together.

Josh and Chase join my #1 son in playing Runescape.

Josh and Chase joined my older son in playing Runescape.

After a few years, the table would be filled with laptops and shouting, laughing young adults playing videogames. I so enjoyed watching them having so much fun.

Chase helped his “little brother” with his homework.

Chase helped his “little brother” with his homework.

Although often messy and in a disarray, the dining room seemed to have a life of its own. It was welcoming and comforting and a favorite room.

Ready to be polished

Still life

But now it’s emptied of all that marvelous vitality. To me, it’s the saddest room in the house. I guess it needs to find a new purpose.

Maybe the Mister and I will actually eat in there one of these days!

The Final Day, Take 2

Lots of stuff is waiting to be packed.

Lots of stuff is waiting to be packed.

What happened to our summer vacation? It seems like the days were filled with steel, naturally and hopelessly drawn to a magnetic date I had circled on the calendar back in early June.

That date? August 24th. Or, more specifically, when we would move my younger son to his Sam Houston State dorm, Sam Houston Village.

Which is tomorrow.

The kid lasers in a putt during last Tuesday's Southwest Handicap Mini.

The kid lasers in a putt during last Tuesday’s Southwest Handicap Mini.

Three years ago, I faced this final day before my older son left for UTSA. And now it’s his little brother’s turn. Once again it’s bittersweet: Sweet, because I’m happy and thankful that my son has a wonderful college opportunity. Bitter, because, like with his big bro, I’ll miss him so much.

The kid channels his inner ghost while waiting for his eye checkup.

The kid channels his inner ghost while waiting for his eye checkup.

And to add to this mixed bag of feelings is the fact that this is my baby who is flying away from the nest. He’s always been so close to the Mister and I. I always can count on him to distract me from my work with terrific talks about anything and everything (well, except for his love life, he told me), spontaneous outings, and “Scrubs” marathons on Netflix.

How I will miss his smile, his twinkly green eyes, and his ready laugh! I’m sure I’ll feel lost and alone at times.

As I wrote three years ago, no one can sum up how a dedicated and devoted mom feels when her kids leave home like that silly, old bear, Winnie the Pooh:

This says it all!

This says it all!

Yes, my beloved baby boy, I will always be with you in your heart, as you always will be in mine. I would write more . . . but I suddenly can’t see the iMac monitor through my tears once again.

Doing the Wave

Not exactly crashing to the shore, but it will do.

Not exactly crashing to the shore, but it will do.

Last Tuesday was a very windy day in the Houston area. As I was walking past a lake in our neighboring master-planned community, watching the water’s constant waves made me think of home: Chicago.

When I was growing up with my three siblings and parents, we lived about as far north in Chicago as you could without being in Evanston. Our apartment building was close to Lake Michigan, so we spent a lot of time either swimming in the water in the summer or walking on the beach in the other seasons.

Sidebar: Yes, Chicago has four seasons. Unlike Houston where it’s either too-darned hot half the time and usually pleasant the other half.

I can go back in my mind’s eye and see the wind whipping up white caps on the lake in the winter. Just like what I photographed (with my Nikon 1 V1) earlier this week.

Well, thankfully, without the snow. And the ice!

Time Won’t Stand Still

My #1 son is congratulated by our principal.

My #1 son is congratulated by our former principal almost three years ago.

Last night I had one of those “can’t time slow down?” moments.

It happened when my older son and I were talking on the phone about his schedule for fall classes. As in the penultimate semester of his college career at UTSA. As in . . . he’s almost done!

After we hung up, I sat back in my office chair and pondered life’s inevitabilities. Time truly does march on, of course. But does it have to march so darned fast?

That UTSA acceptance letter and high school diploma? I’ve fooled myself into believing they happened sooner than later.

August 2010 at UTSA

August 2010 at UTSA

Goodness sakes, the memory of moving my son into his dorm still feels fresh.

Yet here we are about three years later with my collegian preparing for a new start after a lifetime of education. It’s a sobering thought.

One son nearing the finish line, the other about to start.

I’m sure I’ll be revisiting these feelings several more times this year. Beginning in June with another high school graduation and at the end of August when that fall semester actually begins . . . for both of my precious sons.

Cue the Kleenex!

Tough Times

I need the calming feeling that clouds can bring.

This has been an extremely awful, stressful week for us as we try to cope with my younger son’s severe school anxiety issues. He’s been out of high school trying to cope more than he’s been in class learning and enjoying his senior year.

Here’s hoping that the weekend has a cleansing effect on all of our emotions, which have been rubbed raw right now. We all desperately need a break.

Ducking My Responsibilities

A whistler duck stands alone close to the lake.

Yesterday I wanted to resign as a mom.

My younger son and I were butting heads once again. Trying to help him deal with online high school, which is so much harder than being in a regular classroom, and everything life is tossing at him made me want to throw in the towel. Wave the white flag. Just plain surrender.

Shoo, ducks!

But then I took a four-mile walk in this morning’s 43-degree chill around one of the lakes in our community. The effect? Instant calm. As I drank in nature’s beauty and sadly told the ducks (who double as pigs) that I had no food for them, I was glad. Glad to have another day on earth. Glad to have another chance to help the child I love more than life itself right his ship and try to sail straight into having a happy, productive life.

Once again, I’ve told myself to just keep breathing. Everything happens for a reason. Good things will come from all of this.

Sometimes I even believe what I tell myself.

Feeling the Blues at Toys R Us

Buzz Lightyears in boxes . . . just like in “Toy Story 2”

Note to self: When you’re feeling melancholy about your sons growing up, do NOT go to Toys R Us! Well, at least not without a tissue.

I was at TRU looking for a gift while my younger son was off playing disc golf in Rochester, New York, and his older brother was hanging out with friends. As I walked through those familiar doors that my sons used to run through as fast as they could to marvel at the treasures lying within, I felt like I had been transported back in time.

Gotta catch ’em all!

Reminders of their childhood were scattered all over the store, much like my memories of that more-innocent time when a trip to TRU was the perfect salve after a painful shot or a wonderful reward for good grades.

Now Gordon talks!

I felt weepy as I remembered the hours of fun times the boys had with their metal Thomas the tank engine trains. Clean up of tears on aisle five!

Would I go back to those pre-teen times? Definitely not to when they were potty training!

This is the latest edition of the Power Rangers.

I’ve always been one of those moms who loves living in the moment with my boys. It was hard for me to ever imagine them older than they were. As much fun as we used to have zooming little cars around the living room or battling with light sabers, I really appreciate my guys at ages 19 and 16.

Oh, we still have a good time together, just now it revolves around computers, video games, and real cars that they can actually drive. They’ve moved past the toy store phase. And I guess I should, too.

Still, every now and then I know I’ll be hit with those my-kids-are-too-old-for-Toys-R-Us blues.

Parenting Manual Needed STAT

My younger son kids around with his older brother during our recent San Antonio visit.

This high school sophomore year has been too stressful for my younger son, and it’s really taken a toll on him the last two weeks. Our formerly optimistic, glass-is-overflowing #2 boy has been taking it on the chin from life, and his attitude and physical and emotional health have been crumbling.

As a parent, it is amazingly awful and stressful to watch the child you’ve nurtured and loved through 15-plus years spinning out of control and not being able to effectively help him. If ever a parenting manual is needed, now is the time.

Anyone own one?