Wednesday, March 1, 2017

OUR NEW NORMAL: SOLSC DAY 1

We are a pretty typical family, two kids a cat and a life in suburbia. Our first family change happened when our oldest daughter went away to college, 20 minutes away. Yes, college was close but not having her snoring under the same roof as the three of us was an adjustment.

 Somehow, we managed, and life became a new normal until the day our youngest daughter applied and was accepted to a university a mere ten hours and five states away from home. This same year our oldest daughter applied and was accepted to intern with THE Mouse Mickey Mouse, that is, maybe you know him? He lives at Walt Disney World in Orlando Florida, a mere 14 hours and six states away from our home. So there we were full on EMPTY nesters!

We puttered about our once small and now big house. We redecorated a few rooms, readjusted to our new liberties over the T.V. remote, the (lack of) noise level, and cooking (or not) for two. It was again our new normal. Were we lonely? We didn't know, not yet anyway. Then, the oldest finished her internship with the mouse and returned home to finish her final year of college. It was harder than one might believe to go back to cooking, handing over the TV remote, and adjusting to the new volume level of our house. But, here we were again adjusting to yet another new normal.

We plodded along through the school months, nothing outstanding happening just living our third new normal. Then, the letters starting flooding our oldest daughters inbox. She was applying to grad schools, and it appears she's a strong candidate. Schools (only one in Ohio) began inviting her to interviews, and our daughter was filled with excited for the new possibilities!


So, this weekend with one daughter on speaker phone, one beside me with her laptop, and me with the family calendar we scheduled parent weekend with one daughter and three flights, spring break to bring us all together for a week and one flight, grad school interviews and two flights. The time we spend together use to be the norm, but today I realized the time we spend together is rare, and soon our newest normal will be even more complicated with two college schedules, three states, and one family calendar.

We are too busy scheduling, planning and readjusting to know!

12 comments:

Vanessa Vaile said...

obviously, normal (if it exists) is not a stable condition. The good news here is that change (the real normal) trumps entropy (ultimate and permanent stability).

Normal = change that you have gotten used to, e.g. normalized. But just wait: another will be along.

Anita Ferreri said...

Your post is so so so true about the parenting of adult..sort of...independent...yet still on our cell phone plan....type of children. It's a start and stop sort of journey...for most kids...adults...but as you already know....you really treasure those moments together wherever they occur!

Katie Logonauts said...

I love the very specific, temporal nature of this post. Things are changing so quickly in both of your daughters' lives (and yours too), that it's great to capture them as they are!

Kelly Neylon said...

Love the details you provide for us! Like I'm almost there! Normal is what you make it! Thanks for sharing!

Kris Shrontz said...

I too am an empty nester as well. It seems like we spend most of time raising our children hoping for independence and then when it happens you wonder where all that time went. Now I am watching with more wisdom as my daughter tries to build independence with her daughter.

Ashley Brown said...

I'm living a new normal as of last week, when my younger brother moved across the country to Seattle. He's also lived in Australia, and he too interned with the Big Mouse! We've learned how to eat dinner together through Skype and how to quickly calculate the time change. Enjoy every minute!

Kendra said...

I love reading reflections of parents who are about 2 steps ahead of where we are. Because we've entered the phase where one has a schedule that he wants to keep, and it might not be ours. So we have to learn the balance of catch and release. Normal is fluid that is for sure!

Cathy said...

Many new possibilities ahead. I guess we spend a lot of time finding our way in our "new normal." I can't wait to hear the news of the next steps.

Cathy

Julie Johnson said...

So very true Deb! Our parenting never ends, it just changes and each new phase brings its own joys and challenges. Enjoy!

Landon Ball said...

Gosh, Deb, I suppose this is what I have to look forward to with my girls! But the tone of this is so encouraging...it's just life, right? Thanks for sharing :)

Stacey Shubitz said...

It was around this time, last year, that you redecorated your living room and turned it into your office, right? I remember you doing one of the Hangouts from your remodeled room.

So, it sounds like you've settled into being empty nesters, which is great!

Karen said...

I loved your slice from Day 2 about the internet - any teacher who has ever worked with students and tech knows the feeling you had!
But this slice is the one that really touches my heart. Those new normals - just when you get used to one, another one is coming down the pike. Glad you all could coordinate calendars and get some trips scheduled!