Friday, August 22, 2014

The First Care Package

Leaving The Teenager at college yesterday went as well as one might expect it to go. There was excitement. There were tears. We left a fabulously decorated dorm room and an anxious/super-excited teenager in our wake, which, is a post that will come just as soon as I am capable of adequately describing the experience.

That may be later today. Then again, it may not be, see above: there were tears.

Anyway, prior to leaving for the school, I put together the first-of what I am certain will be many-care packages for The Teenager. I wanted to leave something behind that she could open upon our departure, to remind her that we are still here for her and that we love her, despite abandoning her to party with her new friends live amongst strangers.

I had a lot of fun pulling together the items for the package; I wanted a mix of things that were both practical and enjoyable, and, I think I hit a very nice balance. Apparently, The Teenager thought so, too; Hugh and I weren't three hours down the road when she texted me to tell me how much she loved it.

As an aside, my daughter lacks patience. I have no idea where she got that.

No idea, whatsoever.

Contents of the package:

-Cheddar flavored popcorn
-Goldfish Crackers
-Flaming Got Cheetos
-Thermal Care Menstrual patches
-Gilette Razor Blades
-Mango scented shaving cream
-Mango scented shower gel
-A shower puff
-Dayquil Capsules
-Tylenol Sore Throat Liquid
-EOS Lip balm
-Burts Bees chapstick
-A pedicure file
-A gift card to Buffalo Wild Wings

Working with a general theme, in this case, the color of the box and items, was a lot of fun and presented somewhat of a challenge. I will probably try to build The Teenager's packages on a theme whenever possible going forward. It makes it fun for both of us. Not as much fun as I'm sure she is already having at school, but, at this point, I'll take what I can get.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Driving Miss Crazy

Hugh and I are making The Drive with The Teenager today. Her car has been packed since Saturday, her room is empty (not of stuff, but of her energy, of the life-force that she brings into a room with her, everywhere she goes), her books have been purchased online, and we are prepared to part with the largest chunk of money that we have spent since we bought Hugh's last pickup truck.

Because she and I want one last chance at a mobile mother-daughter gab-fest; I will be riding with The Teenager in Reggie (have I ever mentioned that she christened her car the very first day she got him? Or, that the car was known by that name by every student in The Teenager's class as well as the school faculty? Or, that even Hugh refers to the car by name? Well, now you know).

We have always had the best conversations while driving together, whether it was a short trip to Neighboring City or a longer trips to a volleyball tournament in another state, and I have learned that the car is where it's at when it comes to learning the most about your teenagers (take note, parents of pre-teens, tweens, and grade-schoolers).

I'm looking forward to whatever it is that I will learn, today.

Not so much looking forward to reaching our destination, as that signals the end of an era, really. After all, The Teenager and I have been having these conversations in the car since she was an eighth grader and suitably past her Emo phase, having ditched the skull earrings, dark eyeliner, and surly attitude in exchange for a sunny disposition and a new tolerance for her ridiculous mother.

And, while I realize that I still have the Man-Cub to chat with in a vehicle when the mood strikes, boys are...different, there are not nearly as many car confessionals when riding with a male.

I guess, if all else fails, there are always those friendly OnStar operators; there's bound to be a female who's willing to chat with a mother who is adjusting to having a half-empty nest.


Shit. I am screwed.

Yeah, you are.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

A First and a Last

The Man-Cub started school today. It's hard to believe that he is old enough to be entering his sophomore year in High School, but so it would seem.

When I asked him to pose for our annual first-day-of-school photos he was happy to oblige, but, a little sad that he would be taking them alone this year....sister to the rescue! The Teenager humored us with her last appearance in our annual shot.

If I haven't mentioned it lately, I am completely in awe of the fabulousness of my offspring.

They're kind of good-looking, too.

Not that I'm bragging or anything...ok, totally bragging.

Anyway, here is photographic documentation of the first day of school for the Man-Cub and the last day at home for The Teenager.


Monday, August 18, 2014

Go Jump in a Lake

Tonight is The Teenager's last night in her own bed. Are you at all surprised that I would rather be doing anything in the world other than thinking about that? Of course you aren't.

Hey, I know! Lets talk about the awesome day that we spent on the lake yesterday! Yeah, that's much better.

Hmm, let's see, so, we went to the lake with Chris and Jana after enjoying an awesome pancake breakfast at their house.

When we got to the lake, we discovered that the level had dropped since we were there on the 4th of July, in fact, it had dropped enough to allow the children to play in the dam spillway and for us to jump from the rocks that The Teenager is so fond of jumping from. These things made The Teenager very happy and it was hard to convince her that Mother Nature hadn't arranged for that turn of events totally in her honor.

The weather also cooperated, giving us sunshine and warmth and not a dark cloud in sight, which was a nice break from the monsoon rains that have soaked the area in recent weeks.

In fact, it was such a nice day, I'm having a hard time thinking that The Teenager was wrong about it being in her honor. But we can keep that between the two of us, deal?


This gives the saying "go jump in a lake" a whole new meaning, and one with which The Teenager is happy to comply. So, she better plan on coming home quite often, because I'm sure there won't be a lake for her to jump into at college.

Or, you know, anything else that's fun to do.

(I know, I know, let me have my last moments of denial in peace, please)

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Bon Voyage, Redneck Style

Saturday evening we hosted a BBQ to celebrate The Teenager's departure for college. I'm not sure that is the right terminology, though, because I wasn't celebrating her leaving, I was celebrating her having the opportunity to attend college and to further her education; that sounds so much better than celebrating the kid moving out of my house.

Although, that is what is happening and I really need to come to grips with it.

Maybe tomorrow.

Anyway, we had a nice party. Friends and family joined us for a menu featuring The Teenager's favorite dishes and we ended the evening with a fire in the firepit and toasted marshmallow. We're sending the child off in style, clearly.


Now, to think about the party that we will have to celebrate the day she comes home from college.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

The More Things Change...

...the more they stay the same.

Isn't that how the old saying goes? And, it's an old saying because it's true, of course it is. The Teenager is leaving for college in a matter of days but the new school year for the Man-Cub gets underway even sooner than that, and, as much as I have tried to bury my head in the sand, pretending that time could somehow stand still for just a while longer, it can't, and, I'm slowly adjusting to that reality.

And, the reality is, that, for the past four years, the annual fall sports fundraising carwash has been the first activity of the new school year for my kids, and; this year is no different.

The Man-Cub was up bright and early this morning to head over to the school for the event. I would say that he was looking forward to it, but, six hours under the scorching sun is hardly something to look forward to. Instead, I will say that the Cub is a darn good sport and that he is a team player if ever there was one.

Also, he is an almost sixteen year old boy, and, there were sure to be plenty of girls in skimpy car-washing attire at the carwash. Enough said, I 'm sure.

At certain points in the day, The Teenager and I each took our cars to be washed and the kids did a fantastic-and very thorough-job of the chore. My car, in particular, was in dire need of a good washing and I was quite pleased with the results. Of course, when you have a crew of adorable kids cleaning your car, how can you help but be satisfied? Only an asshole would criticize the work of kids, I mean, am I right?

Of course I am.

So, I have the first official school event that will take place without The Teenager's participation under my belt and I am starting to believe that I'm going to be able to roll with this job of parenting half of my offspring on a daily basis.

Oh, except for the part where we came home and Hugh and The Teenager started loading up her (freshly washed) car with all of her belongings for the trip to college next week. There may have been a slight meltdown at that point, but, I can neither confirm nor deny that report.


And, on to the carwash pictures.