I have a kid home from college for the very first time. It’s been 3 days. Here’s what I’ve learned so far:
1. The Freshman Fifteen is a real thing. Unfortunately, there’s a little known Freshman Fifteen sub-clause which states that if the freshman neglects to gain it herself, her mother has to do it for her, which I have dutifully done. (NOTE: She and I are not finished discussing the importance of her doing her own work in the future.)
2. Be grateful for ANY AND ALL COMMUNICATION, no matter how pathetic. Listen; she’s been away and on her own for several months. She’s used to doing what she wants when she wants to do it. She’s been putting up with your constant, helpful texts, reminding her, for example, NEVER TO DO CRACK. Now’s your chance to pay her back for her patience by not losing your ever-loving crap when you ask her for information and she says “unknown.”
3. Set clear, but reasonable rules like NO DYING and NO GOING MISSING.
She will agree because you are being reasonable, and then — BONUS — you get to punish her if she ever does die or goes missing.
4. Admit when you’re being a freaking freaker who freaks. Like when you wake up gasping and sweating at 1:15am and wondering where the hell your kid — who told you she would be at “unknown” with “unknown” — is.
5. Do not correct her grammar, even when she uses your instead of you’re. It’s petty and not worth it, and she’s a grown-up and can use the wrong form if she wants. Besides, 20 years from now, your and you’re will be interchangeable. Language is evolutionary, after all; it’s supposed to shift, and this is how it happens. IT’S OK.
6. Be open to learning new things; even if the new things are things you maybe should have known all along.
And 7. When your kid ultimately responds with the inevitable, disdainful OMG, retaliate with that grammar thing.
Sure, it’s totally immature, but it FEELS SO GOOD, and, as Debby Boone always says, it can’t be wrong when it feels so right. (That kid, though; she lights up my life.)
P.S. I COULD HAVE BEEN TRACKING HER ALL ALONG. Why is there no one guiding me through this mom thing?? I am clearly ill equipped to be making this up on my own. :/