Tag Archives: college

Time To Cry Tuesday – Graduation (the final one)

A graduation post? Again? Didn’t I just do one of these? I suppose three years could be considered ‘just’ in some circles.

Each time my kids donned a cap and gown, I came here to share the overwhelming emotions attached to watching one’s child ‘grow up’.

There was Jana’s HS graduation; my first experience of letting go. I reread it today and it seemed like both yesterday and 100 years ago. (yes, I cried)

Danny’s HS graduation post brought back the memory of the pending empty nest (which by they way empties and fills again a few times before it is truly vacant). For some reason that was the first of two posts where I had an overwhelming emotional experience in a Starbucks. What the hell is that all about? (Yes, I cried again)

Then there was Jana’s college graduation. I marveled at the woman we had grown as I continue to do every day (yeh, more tears).

So many milestones, so many emotions.

But this time we finally got it right. Instead of all that overwhelming emotion, our graduation trip was a true celebration. We simply had fun! And although I felt very sentimental about leaving Madison after 7 years, I was more excited about my second child starting his life. Danny, in his matter-of-fact, self-assured manner, set the tone. He cut us the slack to be proud but kept the reigns tight on not making it all too big. We have simply had way too much big this past year, and he knew that. With humility and confidence he taught us how to do what he does best… be here now, go with the flow and most of all – enjoy life. (with shades on, of course).

Sure there were mixed emotions, how could one not miss a town with this view that had flyers for a band named Diarrhea Planet and reverse evolution graffiti on the sidewalk. This place is awesome. And my kids are more awesome for having lived there. But all things change. And change is good.

Here is my net of it all:

When your kids first leave for college it feels like an amputation. You think you are losing something you can never get back. You worry about your life changing drastically. Your heart aches as your head is telling you to knock it off and lose the drama. You dread your parental obsolescence.

Here – on the other side – you realize that your kids are not part off you, they enhance you. And you them. You never lose them, for no matter where they live they share their lives with you. Your life will change drastically, and that is a good thing… if you kept going at that custodial parenting pace much longer you would explode. And being someone again, instead of someone’s parent is the natural progression. Let’s face it, you have stuff to do!

Sure your heart will ache from time to time as you watch them struggle and grow, but it is a good ache. It is the physical manifestation of how much you love them. Just like when they were little, they will most certainly fall. The hard part is not trying to fix it for them when they do.

But most of all, parental obsolescence is simply a contradiction in terms. They will always need you, just differently. It’s all good.

Congrats Danny boy, thanks for the best weekend ever. You make us so very proud.




Now go out and be all you can be (and be careful).



Filed under advice to my son, college, danny, education, family, graffiti, moms, music, relationships, Time to Cry Tuesdays

Time to Cry Tuesday – The Flying of Time


Time flies. Where did the years go? How could he be so old? All those cliché lines of motherhood… why do I roll my eyes at these sometimes and at others they bring me to my knees?

Today I am teetering. Yes, I am more emotional than usual these days. And yes, having him home during the hardest 3 months of my life has been both a comfort and a joy. But the straw that broke this mamas floodgate today was this yearbook ad I did for my son when he graduated HS (yeh, it is both a blessing and a curse to have a mom who is a graphic designer). I came across it today on my Pinterest motherhood board (don’t make fun, I work in the mom blogger market). 

That ever-changing face. The same one that now sports a scruffy beard and fronts such a level head for an almost 21-year-old. This boy has turned into a man that I am so proud to say I raised. Part luck, part skill, parenting him has been such an amazing ride.

I am watching him this week between an internship and the journey back for his senior year in college. Gone are my days of checklists and phone calls, Bed Bath and Fed Ex, doctors appointments and errands. He has his list and he is checking things off as they are complete. He may not handle it the way I would (seriously, Dan, are you really moving into an apartment you have NEVER seen?), but he handles it all.

Also gone are the butterflies I used to get when my children would leave. Volumes are written this time of year about the leaving of the nest – but not many write about being comfortable with the dance. If we do our job correctly, they are good to go. And we should be ok with that, even if we get a little weepy during the transitions.

While perusing the motherhood board (for work, I swear!), I came across this quote that says it all for me:

It is easier to build a boy than it is to mend a man.

– Mahatma Gandhi

He is surely ‘letting his life proceed by its own design‘, of that I am quite certain. But he is using the foundation we built to spring from. And that is all any parent can ever hope for.

Faring thee well, my (man)boy, faring the well.


Filed under advice to my son, college, danny, parenting, Time to Cry Tuesdays, wisconsin

Time to Cry Tuesday – Letting Go, Global Version


As a parent, every few years you are faced with another rite of passage, another adventure your child is about to embark on, another chance for you to show your chops as a parent. Although your heart is hanging on to the hem of their pants as they walk through that door, your head is ready to let them fly…


The last time I wrote one of these my boy was off to college. Seems like yesterday, yet here we, are 3 and half years later and he is off for a semester abroad in Seville, Spain. I thought now would be a good time to give him one of my famous lists of advice. I do this every so often to remind him, or more likely myself, that I am not quite through imparting wisdom just yet. If I write it here instead of tell him all this to his face, I spare myself the humiliation of the sighing and eye-rolling. So here goes, in no particular order.

  1. Don’t be THAT American. This is similar to what I told my kids when they were first starting to experiment with drinking. Don’t be THAT girl/guy, the one that gets wasted and pukes on themselves. Don’t be THAT American simply means respect the local culture.
  2. Try to really SEE Europe, don’t just drink Europe. This is obvious to me and quite ridiculous to him. Hopefully somewhere in between will be his reality.
  3. Keep your eyes open and soak in everything. You never know what might wind up being the answer to what you want to do with your life.
  4. Be Smart. If it feels wrong, it probably is. If it seems unsafe, it probably is.
  5. Eat Everything, within reason. No explanation needed.
  6. Don’t be a dick (not that you ever would be). Again, the international version. This is like number 1 on steroids. Check the ego at the door and you might as well leave the egocentric there to keep it company.
  7. If you have to play beer pong, make sure you win the 100 Euro. Self-explanatory.
  8. Amsterdam – you MUST see the Anne Frank House. As Jana said, as a Jew it is your responsibility. Period.
  9. The rest of your time in Amsterdam. I do not need details, thanks.
  10. Have the time of your life. This one should be easy.

In all seriousness, you are an amazing young man and have always made us proud. We have no real worries about this trip. We are just a more than a little jealous.


Filed under advertising, animals, college, danny, Time to Cry Tuesdays, travel

Time to Cry Tuesday – Laundry and Toilet Paper

I am so very fortunate to say that my family is whole for a few weeks. I have said this before but I never get tired of the feeling of laying my head down on the pillow knowing that both my kids – albeit no longer children – are sleeping in their own beds.

The window is short, but NEVER under appreciated. There is always too much laundry and not enough toilet paper and I love every moment of it.

We fall back into the usual banter:

Q. What’s for dinner?

A. I’m not up to that yet?

Q. Do we have rolls?

A. Nope, and while you are out picking them up can you get me a Starbuck’s iced latte (don’t forget the chocolate and cinnamon)

Q. Do you want to sleep in my bed tonight?

A. No Mother.

Q. Be careful (upon leaving)

A. Yes Mother.

This mom thing, it’s like riding a bike!

All joking aside, in light of the very tragic disappearance of Lauren Spierer and her incredibly brave and dedicated parents, I do not spend one moment taking for granted how very fragile our lives are. Please join the effort anyway you can. Help these these parents find their beautiful daughter.

I am posting these links again this week. If you know or hear anything, speak up. If you can, donate. If you are in the area, help with the effort.

Official Website where you can make donations to help fund the search effort.

This page has been added as the official family page in reaction to false information and irrelevant comments on other pages. They are verifying info and request that there be no comments on the page.

Facebook group Missing: Lauren Spierer

Facebook event: Please help spread the word about Lauren Spierer’s disappearance!

Facebook profile page: Lauren Spierer missing

Facebook community page: Help find Lauren Spierer – Missing from Indiana Universtity

Follow the effort on twitter. And the twitter blog

Follow hashtags #LaurenSpierer#FindLauren

Bloomington Police Tip Hotline: 1-812-339-4477

America’s Most Wanted: 1-800-CRIMETV

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Filed under parenting, Time to Cry Tuesdays

You know you are in a college town when…

I found this to be a fairly impressive list for an establishment that served blue drinks out of fishbowls. One of the grandma’s (not our family) that joined us with the grads at the bar told us never to drink blue drinks because you will inevitably find yourself face down on the table.

Good rule. Sage wisdom.

I particularly like bullet number 3: No sagged pants or shorts (must cover your underwear/Above your ass)

Classy joint!

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Filed under carry a camera, college, signage

Toy Story 3D

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I’ve always been a huge Toy Story fan. We had a Buzz Lightyear back in the day and probably a Woody. And is there a house in America that did not own the Potato Heads? I seem to remember a bunch of other vegies as a kid: cuke, carrot, pepper. Anyone else remember these?

I digress.

When Jana asked us to see the 10:10 3D showing tonight we could not resist. I am convinced that we were the only ones in the theater that paid (tonight is Optimum Triple Play free night – we only have double). We could have also been the only ones over 25.

And of course we were the only ones tearing up at the end when Andy and his mom are in his empty room as he is leaving for college. No seriously, I can’t get away from this crap.

Jana: Mom, are you crying.

Me: Yes.

Jana: Oh jeez!

Hey, it was still Tuesday! Nonetheless, it was fun and I only napped a little bit at the beginning because, well because it was 10PM on a Tuesday night for G-d sakes.

Long and short of it, Toy Story is still great the third time around and kids leaving for college will haunt me for at least a few more months.

Haven’t had enough of me yet? You can also read me at 50-Something Moms Blog. For photo enthusiasts, visit Leaving the zip code, photos from outside the comfort zone.

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Filed under family, movies

Congrats are in order

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Today was the big pre-college Bed Bath and Beyond shop. I believe this is branded as Pack and Hold, or Equip Your Space, or spend as much money you can on crap that you will throw out in May when you move out of the dorms (which was the tagline that got killed I am sure).

For those who have not done this yet, if your kid goes to school out of town, they give you a price scanner and you pick out all the stuff you need. Then they contact the store in the town where the college is, check the inventory and pack you up for storage in their ‘pods’ till you get there. Saves a lot of aggravation and shipping costs.

Apparently the same scanner is used for bridal registry. (admit you were all getting worried about the illustration looming up there at the top of this post)

Jana came with us to boss her brother around help her brother pick what he needs for the dorms. As I was trying to force the pop up laundry basket back into the package it exploded out of examining the pop-up laundry baskets, an employee passed by:

Employee: Congratulations (I thought this was a sarcastic remark about my struggle with the laundry device from hell).

Jana: For what?

Employee: Aren’t you two newly engaged?

Awkward silence.

Then awkward hysteria.

This guy thought my kids were a couple about to be married!

I am sure this is illegal in NY State.

If only we did not have to go back and ask the guy where the duvet clips were. (don’t even ask what a duvet clip is).

Haven’t had enough of me yet? You can also read me at 50-Something Moms Blog. For photo enthusiasts, visit Leaving the zip code, photos from outside the comfort zone.

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Filed under college, conversations, danny, education, humor, Jana

Time to Cry Tuesday – Firsts and Lasts

So sorry for the late posting of Time to Cry Tuesday. I am sure there are many of you who are thanking me for not starting your day with a good cry but then there are others who might have missed it and I hate to disappoint. Hey, it’s still Tuesday!

Today is the first day of Jana’s internship.

Tomorrow is Danny’s last day of classes in High School.

This past weekend was Danny’s first time registering for college classes.

This coming year will be Jana’s last one in Wisconsin.

This was the first time I took both my kids to Madison to give them a glimpse into their year to come.

The flight home was the last time I will fly back with them both.

New beginnings and doors close.

The wheel is turning and you can’t slow down
You can’t let go and you can’t hold on
You can’t go back and you can’t stand still
If the thunder won’t get you then the lightening will.
The Wheel – Grateful Dead

Haven’t had enough of me yet? You can also read me at 50-Something Moms Blog. For photo enthusiasts, visit Leaving the zip code, photos from outside the comfort zone.

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Filed under danny, family, Jana, moms, Time to Cry Tuesdays

Winging to Wisco

Headed out to Wisconsin today with the kids. This state is really serious about their badgers, enough so that they feature one on the wing of the Midwest Airlines plane.

For those who live under a rock do not follow college sports, the badger is the UW mascot. We are here for my son’s orientation and my daughters sheer pleasure to be back after 5 months away.

The realization that both my kids will be living in the same college town has hit hard today. They could not be happier and for me, knowing they will be here together makes letting go the second time a lot easier.

Ok, I lied. I am insanely jealous that they will be here together, but in a good way. As I told Jana today, I may be losing him, but she is getting him back.

Go Badgers!

Haven’t had enough of me yet? You can also read me at 50-Something Moms Blog. For photo enthusiasts, visit Leaving the zip code, photos from outside the comfort zone.

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Filed under college, danny, family, Jana

Equal time for my boy

Seems that this is a monumental week in our household. As Jana is packing to leave for her semester abroad, young Daniel made the big announcement at dinner tonight. Friends, it would appear I will spend the next four years continuing to book flights from the midwest and cheering on the Badgers.

Danny boy is going to Wisconsin in the fall.

The upside for me is no learning curve. I already know the ropes and maybe after 7 years I will finally have enough points on Midwest for a free flight.

UW Madison will continue to be the single largest holder of our family’s income for a little while longer.

Congrats to my boy and may you enjoy the rest of your senior year knowing where you will be in the fall.

Now about that empty nest…

Haven’t had enough of me yet? You can also read me at 50-Something Moms Blog. For photo enthusiasts, visit Leaving the zip code, photos from outside the comfort zone.

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Filed under college, danny