Articles abound on how to prepare your kid for college (Reminder to self: Buy him tylenol, ibuprofen, tums, benedryl, neosporin and bandaids.) Even though some are cheesy and some are ridiculously expensive and over the top – I’m reminded of just how many onesies I was told he would need when I brought him home from the hospital – it’s nice to have a list to check.
But where is the list of what every parent needs before their kid (selfishly!) takes all their knowledge to another zipcode?
My personal list:
- Brush up on all football knowledge so I can ease my husband’s sorrow at losing his #1 football companion. Practice high-fives, cheers, and memorize stats on Ravens’ players. Try to stay awake through all 4 quarters.
- Begin practicing staying up late so I am awake to pick my daughter up at curfew – No longer will her older brother be around to save me that task. Warn her that her curfew may change to account for parents who need sleep.
- Have him teach me: To set the DVR, to log-in to the cloud, to back up my phone, to update my phone, to work my phone.
- Don’t put too much pressure or pay too much attention to his sister who has 2 years left at home, in an effort to express all that parental energy that has no where to go. Instead, get a life. (Trust, that like nursing and weaning, that energy will reset to match the need.)
- Reconcile self to reality: I’m getting old, even if 50 is the new 30, an entire phase of active day-to-day parenting energy of keeping track of and worrying and is coming to an end. Figure out: Now what?
- Trust all the research that says adults whose homes do not include children are far happier and have a higher quality of life.
- Remind self: It’s okay to cry when you drop him off. But take tissues, and plan fun outing with husband. Right – re-connect with husband.
Again, I am reminded of how potent these life transitions that are so universal, but so gut-wrenching when they are YOUR life transitions. The days ARE long, the years ARE short. This is life.