Adjusting to Change

Several of my son’s friends are still in college. Some are undergrads at ND; others are in grad school or medical school in various parts of the States.

And I can’t help feeling just a wee bit jealous of the time their families get to spend with them during the holidays.

Because I only had a week with Domer.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m grateful he’s got a job.

And wants to work.

But a measly week off at Christmastime just isn’t enough to do all the things we wanted to do.

I’m not alone in my angst. Darling Doggie Dallas is feeling it, too.

He got used to playing “Chase” every night after dinner and now he’s at loose ends.

Domer made the game FUN. He’d hide, I’d encourage Dallas to find him, then he’d pop out and chase him.

Round and round they’d go, until somebody “got got” or the poor Sheltie nearly collapsed from exhaustion.

(The last time I tried recreating it, I slipped and fell face first onto the kitchen floor — you can appreciate my reluctance to continue!)

It wasn’t so long ago that Domer had an entire month off over the holidays. Sure, he had Band duties for bowl games, and I had to brave winter weather driving him back to campus, but it was all good.

And I miss it.

But at least he’s working. Paying bills, being useful, learning to fend for himself outside the protected cocoon that universities often are.

And that makes me proud.

It’s a parent’s job to give kids roots and wings — roots, to ground them in the fundamentals, and wings, to encourage them to soar.

Kids don’t come with an instruction manual. Some parents do “a better job” than others, but often, that’s either luck or they had a lot to work with from the get-go.

So I’m fortunate to be missing my son. My late dad used to say, Every stage of life is beautiful.

It is — Once we get over the adjustment period!

P.S. I love y’all, so be careful out there. Happy New Year!

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24 thoughts on “Adjusting to Change

  1. Never enough time with our loved ones when they live away from us. Got both mine at Thanksgiving and was over before I knew it. Got to see one Christmas and talk to the other, but it wasn’t like having them home.
    Glad you got some time with Domer.
    Your dad was a wise man.

    • He was indeed, Suzi. Not a day goes by that I don’t miss him, his advice, and even his corny jokes!
      Glad you got to see your kids during the holidays. Being with family and dear friends is what Thanksgiving is all about. Oh, yeah, and the FOOD, ha!!
      Happy New Year to you and yours!

  2. “It’s a parent’s job to give kids roots and wings — roots, to ground them in the fundamentals, and wings, to encourage them to soar.”

    You’re so right, Debbie. And knowing you these many years, I know what a wonderful parent you are because of how well Domer is doing. It’s because of YOU that he’s soaring!

    But I can also imagine how bittersweet it must feel with him being away from home and that, yes, it is adjustment.

    ((((((((( You ))))))))

    Happy New Year, dear friend! And I look forward to blogging with you in 2015!

    Cheers and X

    • Ah, Ron, your praise will be ringing in my ears for a long time to come — thank you for it! I know you’re not a parent, but you’re perfectly capable of empathizing. Yes, Domer is soaring — he has a lot of confidence and ability, though I’m not sure how much I had to do with it, ha!

      Happy 2015, dear, and I’ll see you in the blogosphere!

  3. I feel your pain Debbie. I’ve been so blessed to be in Germany and France with my youngest son since December 11th – and three weeks has been a welcome respite. Adjustments are always difficult but help us grow. I send you love too and wish you the best in the new year (including some extra visits with Domer).

  4. Damn kids. They grow up much too fast. Especially when you love everything about the Mom gig. It is true that parenting gets better and better and it’s also true that each new phases brings some joy and heartbreak. I haven’t gone through the moving out and on stage yet but I can imagine it feels pretty empty and sad until your own life starts to fill in the hole. Good for you for raising a son that is making it on his own and wants to spend a week of his vacation at “home.” Must be Dallas :-D. And yes the sussie (what we call a little surprise something) was from me. I thought it came with a happy peeling card.
    Happy New Year. it’s going to be a great one.

    • You’re the BEST, Katybeth! No, the “sussie” didn’t come with anything. Nada. Just a label that proclaimed its origin as Middlesex, England. Obviously, I don’t know anybody living there, I hadn’t ordered anything, Domer professed ignorance, and I was stumped. Then I remembered something you’d written way back when, and so I took a chance, figuring if it wasn’t you, you’d understand! Thank you most sincerely, my friend — I’ll be glad to put it to good use!

      Thanks, too, for understanding about the adjustment. I guess all moms must go through it eventually. Funny, nobody tells us how to navigate this — every kid, after all, is different. You’ll have smooth sailing, too — Cole is a fine young man, and I predict good things for him.

      Happy 2015 — looking forward to blogging with you in the new year!

  5. I suspect part of your restlessness comes from having had a hoiday “routine” in the past. From this point forward, it’s entirely possible that every year will be different. Domer will announce he’s going skiing with friends, or staying where he is to entertain new friends, or he’ll stop and spend a few days on his way to somewhere else.

    There’s never a time when life doesn’t require adjustment, and I’d say you’ve done beautifully. The very fact hat he wants to come home is proof of that. I’ve had friends whose kids left home at a dead run, and never looked back — at least for several years.

    He’s growing up, and a very good thing that is. On the other hand, he’s still enough of a kid to play with his dog and need time with his mom. That’s pretty special, too!

    • Thanks for putting it into perspective, Linda. You’re absolutely right, of course. I know how fortunate I am that he opted to come spend some time at home (the previous week, he was visiting college buddies in Texas!!)

      Thanks, too, for the encouragement. Being a parent is harder work than most people realize, and a kind word — well timed — is often just what is needed for us to hang in there. If there’s one thing that’s constant, I suppose, it’s change!

    • Hi Dennis, and Welcome! Growing up, we were FAR from our grandparents, so I imagine they felt much the same way as you. Time has a way of moving, though, doesn’t it? Thanks for stopping by — Happy New Year to you and those you hold dear!

  6. This was sweet. Change is both sad and beautiful at the same time. I’m glad you had the week together, though. It always seems loneliest the first few days after loved ones have gone home. I hope you have a happy new year!

    • Thank you, Janna. When kids are little, we spend a LOT of time wondering when they’ll grow up. Trust me, it happens far too fast! Blessings to you in the coming year, and I guess this comment means you’re officially back?! Hope you enjoyed your break and managed to tackle some of your to-do list!

  7. I love your dad’s saying. “Every stage of life is beautiful.” I think he’s right, although it’s taken me a lot of years to start realizing it and I’m afraid a lot of times have gone by completely unappreciated.

    I’m enjoying having my daughter home for a month. It could be the last time she’s home for such a long stretch over the holidays and I know I’ll miss it as much as you miss your time with Domer. Lucy Pie will miss it too. Kacey plays very similar games with her and she LOVES it!

    • Aren’t our kids wonderful, Terri, entertaining the furry members of our family the way they do?? Dallas keeps looking expectantly at me to play Chase with him. Maybe it’s best he associate that fun with Domer!

      Daddy used to say that lots. I guess kids don’t fully appreciate the wisdom of their elders, perhaps until they’re gone.

      Enjoy your time with Kacey — I know she’s as glad to be home as you are to have her!

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