Monday, August 26, 2013

Words of Wisdom For Our College Bound Children (and Kindergardeners)

My fingers are running over the computer keys, wondering where to begin. 

I can hear Aron our 18 year old and Jacob our 12 year old murmuring together. Their words are not clear, but the filtering sounds are upbeat and conversational as they rise and fall in sync and at times are spotted with laughter. The two boys are inseparable at the moment, playing Minecraft together, strategizing, building, challenging, but mostly enjoying each other's company.

This scenario is particularly heartwarming, because in a few days Aron is going to college and Jacob will be home alone. (No other siblings to divert parental attention anymore.) 

Each of us is dealing with this impending separation differently.....

Aron is ready. Ready for college, for new friends, for a change but as you'd expect somewhat anxious about this whole new world and life-phase he is entering. (But not ready, in as much as he has not packed one piece of clothing yet....)

Jacob is excited about his own new adventures in 7th grade but tearful about Aron leaving. He is well aware what this new phase means and he is trying to put on the brakes, slow the days and lap up the moments with this brother he adores. The other loved brother is already in college.

And I?

 I have a pit in my stomach. This bittersweet feeling many parents have when one of their children is starting a new stage of their lives. I have loved Aron from the moment I saw him wrapped in blankets after his birth.( see what my wise Mum said about finding enough love for all your children.) He looked around his new world quietly with his big eyes and when they caught mine I was smitten. 

And  now waves of aching love sweep through me when he wonders into the kitchen hunting for a bagel or wraps his spaghetti arms around me in an unexpected hug, as I sit at the table trying to write.

I cannot believe he is now almost 6 feet tall, a firefighter and EMT and certainly doesn't need me watching over him. But watch I will, quietly (and sometimes not so quietly)  and from afar.

 After all - Once a parent always a worrier......!

And if he has listened to any words of wisdom(!)  I have tried to impart, here are some of what I hope he has heard and that I think we all wish our children to know.

1.  Your family is there to support you and love you unconditionally (whether you like it or not). You get to choose your friends, so take your time and be sure to choose wisely.

2. Be a better version of yourself.  Do not try to be like someone else. 

Sign at a Gym -Thx Abby Wynn

3. Take risks with your ideas and thoughts and goals. Don't wait for things to be perfect.

4.  Kindness cannot be measured and is priceless to give and to receive.

 Random Acts Of Kindness asked "How do you define Kindness?"

5. School and College are ordered.  Life is messy and that's OK. It's how you respond to the messiness and build resilience, that is the making
of you.

6. Stay connected and true to your code of ethics, core beliefs and faith. These give you a framework and guidance for living a worthwhile, enriching communal and personal life.

And  remember to relax and do things that make you happy after you have CALLED/TEXTED/EMAILED ME. 

Which piece of advice do you want your kids to have heard loud and clear? 

Good luck to all of you sending your kids off to the first week of a new school or pre-school, kindergarten, grade school or college and hugs to all you Moms and Dads and caregivers who are holding your breath and wishing your loved ones a happy, healthy and successful year. 

Let me know how the transitions go....Thinking of you all.


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  1. Beautiful post, Gilly! Made me tear up. I just have one about to enter middle school and can't even begin to imagine the pit in my stomach come college time. I love the quote of the week. Fantastic. Best wishes to all of you as you embark on the new phase life has for you!
    Cool Mom
    Assistant to Stanley & Katrina

  2. Thank you! I agree that quote is for all of us however old or young we are. Each step with our kids is releasing them a little more to a more independent stage. It's our gift to them, but it's hard to let go.
    Good luck for middle school. We're right in the middle of that too with our third!

  3. Gilly, shalom!

    I so love Snoopy!................

    Another great piece of writing, lovely coz. and so true. I wrote a long reply on FB to you re. your latest Brainstorm.....then "lost it in cyberspace heaven (or hell!".

    I agree with everything you say in this Brainstorm. I think what I should like to emphasize, especially, is the importance of communication. Whether it be between life partners; father & daughter; mother & son. sister & brother, I feel, very strongly, if there is communication, there are always possibilities: without communication, there cannot be a good relationship.

    After my attempt at philosophy, I want to wish Jonny; you; your lovely boys and lovely mama, a Healthy; Happy & Peaceful coming year - with everything you could wish for yourselves.

    With love & admiration -

    1. Yes -you are right communication is at the core of successful relationships and keeping those channels open with our kids and teens is the most important thing we can do - otherwise any messages we want them to hear will fall on deaf ears.
      Thank you as always for your support of my writing.
      Love to you too

  4. I always enjoy reading your blogs! I had to print this out, it was so great!! Thank you!!

  5. Absolutely loved this post, Gilly! I can't imagine when my own babies go off to college but you've captured the transition, trust and love so beautifully here!

    It was interesting for me to read about your younger son too. I went to college when my youngest brother was five years old. I've always had an amazing relationship with him yet I did not live with him full time for most of his life. I only saw the world from my life at college but never what the absence must have been like for the three siblings at home.

    Beautiful post!

    1. Thank you Alli!
      I think it is often more difficult for those left behind. There is a void to fill. For the person embarking on a new adventure, they are not expecting their family to be with them. They may miss them but do not expect them to be in their new life, on a daily basis.
      All news from college sounds good so far!

  6. Gilly,

    Just as expected, your writing is beautiful. Thank you for sharing your stories, (not that I"m stalking you or anything lol) & thank you for raising a terrific son, whom my daughter thinks is pretty terrific, as well. Because of this, I have the privilege of now knowing you. All the Best, xo Barbara