Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Countdown to Launch

“You baby him too much,” husband said to me the other day. I couldn’t really disagree with him but felt compelled to defend myself with, “But he IS my baby.”

And that Dear Gentle Readers is where we stand on getting the kid ready to head off to college next month. Dad worries that his son won’t cut it in the real world and mom holds on trying to cushion the transition.

I suppose I could just say, “Well, he’ll either learn to handle himself or he won’t.”

But I also happen to believe that there’s no cookie-cutter approach to parenting either. What works for one kid, doesn’t necessarily work with them all. Junior didn’t come with a 600-page instruction manual or even one like the one with 240 pages that came with the Sprint cell phone husband brought home for me recently. This has all been on-the-job training. Thank goodness, there’re two of us. His yin balances my yang.

I’ll deal with my anxieties here on the blog, sorting through the issues and feelings. Husband has retreated to his floating “man cave,” a. k. a. the boat. Oh, if you have any words of wisdom, send them my way. The last time we did this was 11 years ago when elder son trotted off to school for two years, transferred for a year at home in a school change and finally spent his senior year studying in Italy.


Palm Springs Savant said...

Sheila- its not easy packing off the kids to college..have you considered a dog or a cat? Its a perfect solution to the "empty nest"

Jay Croft said...

Listen to your husband. Also to your son.

Sheila said...

PSS, yes, the idea did cross my mind that the reason I want to get another dog right now is, well, somehow it just sounds wrong, but to help me ease into the empty nest. Thanks for visiting.

Thanks Rev. Jay. Some days I need to be reminded that I'm not always right.

Miss Trashahassee said...


I'll be paying close attention to the advice you get and how you handle all of this (if you share). I'll be going through the same stuff with my boys.

Miss T

Sheila said...

Glad to oblige, Miss T. I just sort of stumble through as most of us do. Don't know how old the boys are, but start early would be my best advice. Look at potential schools earlier than my son did. Of course this may not be a problem if your sons only have one school in mind like I did with the University of Alabama.

Jay Croft said...

Yes, starting in the 10th grade is not too early. Then in the summer, take your vacation near one or more college possibilities. That gives you two summers to look around and make a decision.

An important decision to make is the size and location of the school. Small private college? Large state university?

Our older daughter went to Western Maryland College (the only college named for a railroad, and it's not in Western Maryland) and then transferred to the University of Maryand and lived at home.

Our younger daughter went to Trinity College in Washington DC and lived at home. She got her BA and MA there. It was quite a theological jump to go from a Quaker boarding school to a Roman Catholic college.

Sheila said...

Jay, that great advice about timing the visits to family trips. With us, size and location were important considerations. Our Alma Mater was just too big and Scottie is not a football fan. Could you see him at the University of Alabama in the fall?
Then, the school had to be out of Alabama, but strangely he is attending a southern school. Of course, it isn't a typical southern school since Hendrix doesn't have football or a Greek system.

I'll bet your younger daughter did have an interesting time transitioning to a Catholic school. Our older son transferred from Macalister College to Loyola Chicago and that was a philosophical challenge for him.

Marion said...

I have few words of advice for you, Sheila, except for taking it one day at a time. Try not to project your worries onto your son, who will do just fine, I know.

He has the two of you as parents and as examples. He will soar on his own; it may just take a little while. Give him the time he needs to be comfortable in his new journey.

Sheila said...

That's Macalester. I hate to misspell.

Marion, I needed to be reminded. Thanks. I like what you say about giving him the time.