When I was a young mother with toddlers I would talk to my coworker about problems with my kids, ear infections, diaper rash, not sleeping through the night, Bryan biting his classmate, etc. She would listen to me and say "Little Kids, Little Problems, Big Kids, Big Problems." She had been through a husband in prison, her brother dying from AIDS, her teenage daughter pregnant and on welfare. She probably thought to herself, you ain't seen nothin' yet!
Her words of wisdom stuck with me and I always thought some day I will be in for it! That time is now. It is amazing how even though your children are adults you are still there, sweating every moment.
Yesterday Bryan got packed up and on the road after a lot of girlfriend drama, he is off for his second semester. Two hours into his 4 hour ride I get a call. "My rear tire blew out while I was driving" I about had a heart attack. He was shaken up but fine, he didn't harm any other drivers and he got the truck to a rest area so he wasn't on the side of the highway. His truck has body damage, which is a shame because of the age, it is hard to replace parts. My mind started immediately racing "what do we do? While I am panicking, Jim calls and happens to have a buddy in Macon who is willing to go to Bryan and help him, since he had no spare tire, he was stranded. They removed the tire had a new one remounted, $180 later he was back on the road.
This was not the only excitement during Christmas break, some of his friends were in a bad car accident, another got a DUI, one was getting evicted from his apartment. Now these are all seemingly good kids and I know they have great parents. The road to adulthood sure is rocky!
We went for our first visit to see my son's life down in Statesboro at the Georgia Southern University campus. It was game weekend so the campus was alive with activity, which was nice to see, the first time we were there to drop him off was a week before classes started and it was deserted.
We tailgated, hit the bookstore, took him shopping to restock his pantry, got to experience a game at the stadium and the traffic jam afterwards he has been talking about. After a day of togetherness we said our "see you in the mornings" and he took off, no doubt to party with some buddies. Sunday morning we picked him up for breakfast, he looked rough, with stamps on his hands and a wristband from some party or club. I had to laugh I remember those crazy weekends.
Jim and I sure felt old while we were people watching on campus but are glad those days are behind us! Chris was observing everything and I am sure thinking about his future days at college. My only regret was stepping foot in their apartment, not the way I would chose to live, 4 guys living together can make quite a mess!
He almost has one semester under his belt, and I can tell he is feeling more confident being on his own.
For years now I have not spent more than $20 total for cut and color ($13 for the cut and $7 for the bottle of L'Oreal) I guess it was starting to show so my friend and co-worker had mercy on me and gave me a gift certificate from one of our awesome advertisers who gave it to her as a Thank you --$160 --I was dumbfounded--who would ever pay that much for something that only lasts 4 weeks? That is the equivalent of a plane ticket to go see my folks I thought, how could it be so special?
I went in nervous as could be on a Tuesday at 4 pm -- four hours later I emerged a new woman, I just let the hair dresser work her magic, I didn't give her much direction, I figured she knew what she was doing. I have never sat still in a chair and been fussed over for that long in my life! -- Confession by the last hour I was up and pacing around--I was SO not used to this!
So for the last month I have felt beautiful, my hair styles like a dream, who knew? Well apparently all my girlfriends, I had no idea how much money has been exchanging hands with out my knowledge. It is hard to justify, in my mind but I can say I haven't felt this good in a long time.
Now it has grown out and the old hair is starting to emerge, so Friday I am going to go back for a touch up and treat myself to start out my 45th year in style!
After spending the weekend dropping off my son at college I was feeling nostalgic, remembering all the good times. What I seemed to have forgotten, which is all flooding back to my memory now is all the struggles, being a fish out of water, having trouble finding your way around, having trouble socially, making bad decisions. It is all coming back to me as I hear in his voice through his first weeks, the anxiety that goes along with being a Freshman. I have to say many of the memories are not ones I care to relive, but as they say, it made me the strong person I am today. So when he calls me with all his worries, I will remain tough and just listen and remind him we have all gone through this awkward stage in our lives, and we survived.
Ever since he was born we dreamed about this day, off to college! East Georgia College for now with a plan to transfer into Georgia Southern. The toughest thing for me to witness was him and his girlfriend saying goodbye, both in tears, I can say I remember that feeling well!
He is now settled in his college apartment. Jim and I did our best to get him all set up with everything he needs for a good start, hopefully I will be able to say he took advantage of the great opportunity he has. Even as we were pulling away in the car we were spouting last minute advice. It was strange driving away and giving up "control," he is on his own now. Except for the fact that he can call and text any time day or night! Going off to college doesn't seem as final as it used to be, when kids had to write letters to their loved ones. I am excited for him to start his own journey. Although, I did sneak him a text last night "Goodnight son" to which he replied "Love you Momma." I think I will let go in baby steps. . .
I have been having a busy couple months I got a promotion at work and am now using every ounce of brain power and don't have much left for blogging. We have managed to have some fun this summer. It started of with a big graduation party, Jim did a great job transforming the backyard and feeding the crowd. Bryan requested a Southern BBQ so we fired up the neighbors smoker and made a bunch of pulled pork and chickens, it was a big hit. We slept 17 in the house, it was really special having everyone come to wish Bryan well. Weren't able to "get away" but have made the most of the beautiful area we live in. The best thing we did was go to my boss's luxury cabin on Lake Nantahala seen below.
It has been a long and uphill battle but my son is graduating this week. Academics are not his passion, to put it in a gentle way. He has had me sweating bullets, talking with teachers, nagging him incessantly, all the while he is cool, calm and collected. Never doubting himself for a minute. I was always an overachiever and would not accept less than my maximum effort. So you can imagine my befuddlement with my child, the one I had raised, just fine with low marks, as long as he accomplishes his goal of passing. It is nothing short of maddening.
But he did it, I can breathe a sigh of relief for now. Time to celebrate! Hopefully all the aggravation will fade away from my memory.