Wednesday, August 19, 2015

A Little of This, A Little of That

1- I almost had the opportunity to interview Mick Tingelhoff who was recently inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame. This assignment immediately propelled me into the center-of-attention-zone from Joe, and his enthusiasm continued right up until the moment the interview was cancelled. Joe was bummed ... BUMMED, I tell you.

2- Cooked pasta tonight and I only needed one box as opposed to two. With the two older boys gone our grocery bill has plummeted. Those two ate A LOT.

3- I wasn't planning to -- it wasn't even in the Top 20 of my to-do list -- but today I cleaned out our pantry. The reason? Ants. I hate those boogers.

4- I have a short term, part time job working for a photographer. Say cheese!

5- "Have you noticed that my voice has a deeper tone?" Timothy asked me this afternoon. I told a little white lie and said, "Yes, yes I have!"

6- And I leave you with this little cliffhanger: Jonathan, a Nonno & grandson fishing expedition, Nonno's truck, a boat ramp, and the Savannah River. Stay tuned ...

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Life Isn't Fair. Empty the Dishwasher Anyway.

"It's not fair that I always have to empty the dishwasher just because Jonathan is at college." Timothy, commenting on a chore that he used to share with his brother.

So of course I had to come up with some REALLY bad poetry:

In the time it takes to voice your complain
And moan about your incredible pain,
Try and start over, go back to square one,
And just like that the dishwasher is done.

~from the files of very bad poetry by Bia

Saturday, August 15, 2015

The Drive Home

Here's what happens every single week after Mass: Timothy and Jonathan get into an argument on the way home. The two of them begin needling, poking, and teasing each other until, just about the time we get to Washington Road, Joe has to yell at them to STOP- it-right-now-we-just-came-from-Mass-and-you-both-should-know-better!

Like I said, every. single. week.

Except tonight. With Jonathan at college, for the first time there was no arguing and the drive home was peaceful. Uneventful. Too quiet.

And gosh darn it ... I miss those stupid arguments.

Friday, August 14, 2015

College Move-In Day: Round 2

Another move-in day done.
And I already miss him, too.

One son in college over here,
the other son in college over there,
and our home somewhere in the middle.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Letting go never easy on the parents

Letting go never easy on the parents
by: Maria Novajosky

*published in today's Columbia County News-Times (Wednesday, August 12, 2015)

           Two years ago my husband and I experienced our first college move-in day when our eldest son began his freshman year at Clemson University.

            The date was circled on our calendar for months, and as we added to the ever-growing college stockpile in our dining room, in truth we never thought past that date. Everything we did was leading up to it – purchasing the bed lines, dorm supplies, and textbooks – but we couldn’t envision anything beyond. Sure, we talked about him going away to college in the fall, but all the preparation seemed more like we were planning a trip.

            The night before the official move-in day, we sat down for a special farewell dinner – the last home cooked meal for our son before he had to live off the university meal plan. We watched home videos, laughed, gave advice; we knew he would be leaving tomorrow, but we couldn’t imagine that our family of five would soon be a family of four. I mean, how could we? It was all we had ever known.

            Driving to Clemson that morning we were quiet, and with each passing mile I realized we were driving away from everything we knew and heading into unchartered territory. Our son may have been a freshman, but in many ways my husband and I were, too. When we arrived we were caught up in a whirlwind of orange: the giant paw prints announcing that This Was Tiger Country, the banners, signs and flags welcoming us to campus, and the eight upperclassmen wearing t-shirts the color of construction cones descending on our van to help us carry everything to our son’s room.

            For the next several hours as we helped him unpack, clean, and make his bed, as we met other parents and visited the dining hall, and as we poked around the dorm it was almost fun. Exciting, even.  But there came the moment – somehow we all sensed it at the same time – that the circled date on our calendar was NOW. As we walked out of his room I placed a package on his bed for him to open later – a box filled with notes from his brothers, funny drawings, reminders from Dad, and a stack of blog posts I had written on our family that I printed out and stapled together. Inside was also a bag of dum-dum lollipops because there was something funny about giving a college student something that was dumb.

            When our son walked us to the parking lot there was a moment of awkward silence. How do you take 18 years and reduce them to a single goodbye hug? I looked up at my son and reality crashed down in the form of tears and a lump in my throat that prevented me from saying goodbye, or I love you. I couldn't even say the words.

            And I’ll never, ever forget driving away and feeling as if I left a part of me behind.

            Today, I can still remember that day like it was yesterday. But with the gift of hindsight I can also see how the pain of letting go is much like ripping off a band aid – there is a moment of searing pain, but it passes and then there is room for healing and growth and newness.  These two years we have watched our son turn into a mature engineering student who has already completed two engineering internships and who is headed for a career he truly loves. So I can see how letting go was not only necessary, but good. And yet . . .

            And yet this year we have another date circled on our calendar as next week our middle son starts college. Again, there is a dorm stockpile in the dining room with piles of towels, books, and cleaning supplies stacked between a dorm refrigerator, a nightstand, and a giant, foam mattress pad. The more we add to the piles, the closer the date looms.  

            Will it be easier this time around?

            We may have been through this once before, but no, letting go is never easy. Our family of five down to four and then three; one son at college here, the other son over there, and our home somewhere in the middle. The good news is we still have our third son who, since he is only in the sixth grade, will be with us a while longer.

            Thankfully we don’t have to let him go just yet.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

The Day Before the First Day of School

And so it begins ...

"I don't know which is worse, today or tomorrow."

"Whoever invented homework was dumb."

"Can't you just homeschool me?"

"What's my bedtime going to be? I mean, I've had to go to bed at 8:30 the last three years and I think this year I should be able to stay up at least until 9."

"Do you think I'll get detention this year?"