Friday, August 28, 2009

Going, going, gone!

Our last night together was sweet. We packed the car, ate dinner together, and watched the Giants in what was the most boring game of the year.  Giants lost. Before bed, in an uncharacteristic show of emotion, we heard how her dad’s humor was what she’ll keep close to her heart while away.  She actually said, “close to my heart”. Wow! For me, it was my kindness.  I like that.  Upon exiting our room, she turns and tells us that we have been very fair in our parenting.  Well, that was good to hear. It was a sweet night and it made it even harder to pass her along.  As our bedroom door closed, the tears came. I slept well.

The next morning the drive was uneventful, although back to her true nature she proclaimed we were not to take photos once at the dorms. Entire family in tow, we moved her in, helped her unpack, set her up, hooked up all necessary equipment and spent the day getting things done, including shopping for cords and a pillow that she forgot to pack. Arg! We walked for what seemed to be miles on campus in search of the bookstore and gym. 

By the time we said goodbye, we were too tired for any kind of sentimental goodbyes.  A solid hug and kiss and several I love yous would have to sustain us for the time being.  The drive home was quiet. 

Our first night by ourselves, we heated a frozen pizza, made a drink and watched the Giants.  Giants won.  It was a sweet first night.

Thursday, August 20, 2009


The roommate has been selected.  Let the texting begin.  Quite different from the college days of yesteryear when one didn’t find out who would be sharing living space until move in day.  So far the girls seem excited and appear to have a lot in common.  Who will bring the frig and who will bring the microwave got cleared up early on.  The conversations have progressed naturally from high school, to sports, to boyfriends. 

What thrills me is the potential.  Will these two who were thrown rather randomly together get along?  Will they build memories? Will they be there for each other in times of distress? Will this young woman become a life long friend of my daughter’s?  I hope so as I just spent the weekend with my college roommates and friends.  From boyfriends, to careers, marriages, children and now the illnesses or deaths of our own parents, we are here for each other.  We’ve soothed, counseled, cried and laughed with each other.  We’ve grown up together and it’s lovely.   I can’t imagine life without them. 

Time will tell if this new relationship for my daughter will endure.  The anticipation for that first meeting is exciting.  The possibilities for the future are profound.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

What is in a name?

O E F as in frank , I N G E R.  This is what we say EVERY time we are asked to spell our last name.  Took me some getting used to, as my maiden name is Curtis, easy, simple,  very common but not too interesting either.  We have been called O finger, F finger, D finger, and an often very difficult to understand mumbling pronunciation from well meaning Safeway clerks.  It never annoyed me when the name was mispronounced.  It has, however, annoyed our daughter.  It has annoyed her to the point of her informing us years ago that she would change it when she was 18.  Whenever possible she would intercept a teacher before her name was called on the first day of school instructing them on the correct pronunciation.  In fact, one teacher could never get his head around the silent E in the OE combination and during roll call simply called….Alyssa, while the other students were on the last name basis. We would argue with her about this silly insecurity.  We even sought therapy around it concerned if it was a deep seeded need to not claim us as family?  She pleaded with us not to over analyze.  She loved us.  She loved our family. She simply did not want to go through life constantly correcting people.  The conversations around this were exhausting.  Finally, we gave up.  Told her if she wanted to do it, she was on her own.  We would not invest one cent or one minute of time into this name thing change.

 Good to her word, come 18th birthday, she began the process.  She saved her money, researched, called, emailed, then applied for the change, spoke to her college, informed her high school of the change, DMV, social security, bank, friends, family and others.  It was not an easy process and she did do it all on her own, knowing better than to ask us for help.  Today it’s official this new last name of hers. Thankfully, she only changed 2 letters, perhaps in an effort to temper her mom and dads insecurities.  So, I can look at it as rebellious.  I can look at it as silly.  I can look at it as an insult to our family.  Or, I can look for the truth, a strong, fiercely independent young woman who knows what she wants and will go after it.  These latter qualities will serve her well.  

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Making Progress---Until:

We have a pretty darned good partnership going on here.  After reading my call for help blog, Gary, took the bull by the horns and propelled us forward.  Bedding purchased, locks acquired, payment installments made, our to do list is beginning to shrink.  My satisfaction of feeling a bit more in control quickly waned when our daughter showing me her proposed daily schedule hour by hour went something like this:


7:30 - 8:30 get up and exercise

8:30  - 10:30 shower and breakfast

10:30 – 11:00 head for class

11:00 – 4:00 classes

4:00 -6:00 back to dorms, relax and dinner

6:00 to 8:30 if needed, homework

 IF NEEDED! Devil on one shoulder, I had to decide whether to inform her that that amount of time would cover one unit of one three unit class of her 15 units! Angel on the other, keep mouth shut and let her figure it out. Aack!  No wonder I’m feeling a tad anxious!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Things Missed

Running the dog, never missing a curfew, taking care of her grandmother, watching baseball with her dad, the funny text messages, the unexpected hug and the constant I love you, this is what I will miss most on a daily basis.  Bottle caps left all over the house, dog leash left on the table, shoes on the front porch, this is what I won’t miss.  Things missed= 8  Things not missed=  3  Not so bad. 

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Going Soon

27 days and counting!  You'd think the second go around on getting a daughter off to college would be easier.  I'm either more relaxed about what needs to get done or just incredibly lazy.  I should be ordering dorm sheets, helping her shop for things like bike/computer locks, asking for the day off to move her in, anything to move this laborious process along.   All I've done to prepare for the grand exit is buy 3 in 1 laundry soap.  Hadn't even heard of it until the orientation. As helpful as orientation was, really the best piece of advice was about laundry soap.  I even practiced using it at home.  Amazing!  Clearly I am not ready for this transition.  Help!  Teresa