Thursday, August 22, 2013

It's Much the Same

He's a senior in college now. Sniff.
A colleague came into my office yesterday. We've worked together for many years and gone through a lot of life transitions together and she was looking  a little frantic.

"We moved my mother-in-law into Beautiful Retirement Community over the weekend and she hadn't even been there 12 hours when she told me she didn't think this was going to work," my colleague sighed. "Is this normal?"

I didn't hug her because she isn't the huggy type, but if ever there was a moment for sympathy that was it.

Yes, this is normal, I told her. My own mother-in-law didn't want to spend the first night by herself at Beautiful Retirement Community so one of her sons slept that night on her couch, but within a few weeks she was settled and happy.

In so many ways, all first days are alike. First days of school. First days at camp. First days in the house you just moved into. First days in the dorm at college. First days on a job. All of them are scary and exciting and exhausting and so many emotions all wrapped into a big ol' ball of new intimidation.

Tomorrow Boy#4 will be on the road back to his final year as an undergraduate, and Boy#1 and Lovely Girl will be loading a U-Haul as they get ready to move to their first permanent location with grown-up jobs. The House on the Corner will feel empty and lonely until Husband and I readjust to the new/old normal.

As they leave I'll be bombarding my children with the same words of advice I've given them for at least the past quarter of a century, advice that starts with "get some sleep" and ends with "do at least one thing a day for someone else." It strikes me that I should have told my mother-in-law the exact same things when she was making her transitions from her own home to communal living at age 87. (Well, except for the part about backing up data. At age 87, feel free to let the data roam free.)

So I'm thinking about all of you in transition today--the Small Town parents whose children are going to a new grade of school; my colleague's mother-in-law; everyone who is scared that this isn't going to work.

Hang in there, and check out #10 on the list of words of advice. It's the only one that really matters.

No comments:

Post a Comment