An Italian-American living la dolce vita in the Deep South

An Italian-American living la dolce vita in the Deep South

Sunday, August 23, 2015

When Your College Student Doesn't Call Home

I’m going to begin with a disclaimer: I have sons – three of them – and so any advice I have is a result of the male mindset. From what I hear, it seems as if daughters are better than sons about emailing, texting, calling, and being more communicative, but I’m aware that this is a huge generalization. There are daughters who don’t call home, just as I know there are sons who faithfully call their moms. In our household, we fall somewhere in-between -- sometimes they call, and sometimes they don't. But now that we have two in college, here is what we've learned along the way.
  1. When our sons don’t call home it doesn’t mean they don’t love us. Or need us. Believe me, the second they need their winter jacket or help with a resume, they will call. And they will be so nice about it.
  2. We ask for one day a week – we let them choose – in which they are expected to call home. This puts the ball in their court and allows them to take the lead. A friend of mine once told me that she had to train her sons in this area, and I am so glad took her advice. For us, Sunday evening is the time we catch up with our sons. That doesn’t mean we don’t/can’t talk during the week, but at least on Sunday evening our sons take a break from their busy college lives and think of their family back home. Sometimes the call comes in the afternoon, sometimes in the evening, and sometimes late at night – but that’s okay.
  3. They are expected to respond to our texts.  We have watched our sons arrive late for dinner, stop in the middle of a conversation, or rush out at the end of church in order to answer a text from a friend. We know they will do anything to answer a text, and as parents we deserve the same courtesy. But there is a caveat . . . and it is IMPORTANT so listen up: We do not text our sons all they time. They need their space, and the last thing we want to do is hover-text (and yes, I just made up that word).
  4. When they call, we don’t grill them about everything they’ve been doing. It’s a conversation, which means information flows both ways. They share a little of their life and then we give them some news from home. For them to hear about Dad’s new car, their baby brother’s latest Lego creation, or what we did for Friday Family Night will remind them that we are still family and that they are still an important part of it … even though they are way over there, and we are over here.
Of course, things happen. Sometimes they will “forget” to text back, sometimes Sunday’s call comes Monday morning, and sometimes they call but aren’t talkative, but it’s all good. Besides, I know how to get the communication flowing ...
Two words: Care Package

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Life Lately: 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.

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?"

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Everyone Needs an Uncle Bill

One day this summer an uncle and his nephew sat down to talk about cars. They talked about models, makes, and engines. They talked about fast cars and cool cars. The uncle told a funny story how the hood ornament of his 1999 MB C289 snapped off when he was brushing snow of the hood.

They talked a long time.

An uncle and his nephew talking about cars.

Still talking ...

Two weeks ago the uncle sent his nephew the very hood ornament that used to be attached to his 1999 MB C280.

The nephew was excited. A REAL Mercedes Benz hood ornament!

Then, two days later ANOTHER package arrived in the mail with the following note ...

The note

Inside was a vintage Mercedes micro racer that does tricks -- it can go straight, it can go in circles, it can go fast, it can go slow.

And we all agree that everyone needs an Uncle Bill.

He's got mail!

Saturday, August 1, 2015

If You Give a Teen a Job

Today is Jonathan's LAST shift at Arby's before leaving for college. Here are some interesting stats on how this impacts college:

-employed 26 months (June 1, 2013 to August 1, 2015)
-worked 108 weeks
-clocked in 2052 hours
-received 4 raises
-earned 1 week paid vacation

-Result of all this hard work? First two years of college paid!

Way to go, Jonathan!
We are so proud of your hard work and dedication!