Sunday, August 24, 2008

Well, we did it….We got Chelsey settled in for her new start… She off and running for college. Tons of firsts…. New friends, new responsibilities (Mom can’t rescue stained clothes), sharing a dorm room, and sharing a bathroom with three other girls. While she does have a flair for the dramatic---I believe she’s very capable of solving her own problems… it’s called growing up.

I think Don and I must be growing up too. It’s hard letting go and it’s hard not rescuing her at the ‘drop of a hat’. We are learning to settle her spirits down --- breathe--- and give her a chance to first brainstorm a solution to each problem. Not easy for two incredibly driven parents… and two pretty “structured” people…

I sent her off with this pink box. I didn’t give it to her until the moment we left. I had been collecting items for a while for this day. Thinking about necessities and things she would need without “Mom“ around.

We doodle together. We have every book Lindsay Ostrom has written.
I remember days of sitting at the kitchen table practicing together. I remember, “Mom, mine are never as good as yours…” Now, she doodles with the best—the book is really just a memory because she doesn’t even need it. I included Sharpie markers with a tag—‘No one is as sharp as you…’ There is the emergency can of Spaghetti-O’s to go with her pink can opener.
When she was little, I always wanted her to have Little Red Shoes, but they were hard to find, expensive and probably impractical.
I found a tiny pair and tagged them . If you are going to be a writer, you definitely need journals. I included twistable crayons. Coloring is cheap therapy on days with the blues.

I thought of things she always borrows from me. Panty hose, Eyeliner and mascara, my silver and gold hoop earrings.
Thinking I wouldn’t be there—she definitely need them in the Survival kit.
There’s an umbrella because both my college kids think they are too cool for an umbrella until it’s storming outside.
I found two Barbie ornaments that just seemed to fit.
The Little black Dress and the Wonder Woman outfit because I know in reality she is stronger than I ever was at that age.

Oh -- and Dark chocolate M & M's sorted by color......you definitely have to have chocolate.

Don and I …. And Ransom will begin to settle in to our new routine…

28 comments:

Journeying said...

My thoughts and prayers are most definitely with you.
You are soooo ahead of the game in so many ways and have demonstrated much wisdom and insight nicely tempered with humor. (wish I'd thot of such cool yet meaningful things when Beth and I were at that stage!)
I predict great things for you and Chelsey and the coming levels of your relationship. The next weeks and months will unprecedented growth and change for you both. It will be wonderful.

Sweet P said...

What an absolutely wonderful gift for your DD. Every young adult should be sent off with a gift as thoughtful as yours.

Crazy for Primitive Quilts and Gardens said...

Mel... how wonderful! What a precious gift for Chelsea. I wish you comfort and peace in your transition and I wish Chelsea all the happiness and success in the world.:o)

Kerri said...

What a wonderful idea, a survival kit for your DD. She will remember this alway. You are so sweet.

Kez

Tazzie said...

What a special gift for Chelsey. She can't help but feel warmth from home when she peeps into the box. You're such a honey Mel.
*hugs*
Tazzie
:-)

rachel griffith said...

oh my gosh mel.
i actually cried reading this.
the breaking point was seeing the red shoes...i immediately went to 'there's no place like home.'

you are the sweetest mom ever.
:D

Libby said...

She probably rolled her eyes a little and put away the 'dorky' box from Mom . . . but just wait until that first little hint of lonely for home hits and she'll be pulling it out for the long distance hug.
Now you and Don go do something that breaks the rules . . . eat in the living room while watching television and no napkin in sight. You are empty nesters now - you don't have to always set an example *s*

Diane Fay (littlealma) said...

Wow - you are such a great Mom!!! What a neat gift idea!!! My daughter has one more week at home before she goes back to her junior year - I will have to try and see what I kind find for her to do something similar!!! (are the layers of colored candies M & M's? Skittles? - and how did you layer them?)

And we recently went to go see first son in the U.P. again - he is all graduated and working in Houghton, but we still enjoy camping up there! But I thought of you - when we were driving through!

Hugs to you and your empty nest!

Diane

Diane Fay (littlealma) said...

Oops - I see they are M & M's - guess I should have finished reading!

Just Diane

Stina said...

Oh...that was a wonderful gift for your daughter...very thoughtful of you... :o)...love the idea...!

Leanne said...

What a great survival kit...I know how you are feeling Gemma moved out on the weekend...she is not that far away but I find I miss her terribly just the day to day chit chat...we did lots of that.

Carolyn said...

You've set a wonderful example for me...I'll be sending my daughter to school in 2 weeks. My son has been away for 3 years, but is close so we see him often. Ellen is going 5 hours away, so it will be different. I'll have to start working on her box...thanks!

Cara said...

What a great little going away kit! I felt misty eyed and nostalgic at the same time reading through it...I know she will cherish it! Thanks for sharing...think I will go call my mom now : )

Juliann in WA said...

What a fun send off. Now you can think of little goodie boxes to put together and before you know it, she will be home for a one of those breaks and you won't believe she was ever gone. Enjoy this time with Don.

Carol said...

Mel you are just the BEST mom! What a wonderful gift for Chelsey...she'll have lots of treasures from home whenever she gets a little homesick. Here, here to what Libby said...step out there...you and Don do something crazy...well not too crazy...LOL! Seriously, I'm sending you tons of good thoughts...(((((HUGS)))))

Karen said...

The pink box contents was a really cool idea! What a good mom you are.

anne bebbington said...

Oh Mel - I'm wiping away the tears as we speak! What a big mushy I am! What a lovely idea - will have to squirrel it away for two years hence for Sarah. It's so painful bringing them into the world but I guess just as difficult to send them on their way. However from all I've read about your daughter you couldn't have equipped her better and I hope your newfound 'us' time with your husband is a bonus (((hugs)))

Debbie @ ribbonwoodcottage.blogspot.com said...

I'm right there with you. Left my two boys at college, one is actually married. But saying goodbye-wow that is never easy. I am soooo glad they like to call me! I am thanking God for cell phones! Bless you, I know your heart will heart for some time, mine does! Bless you, Debbie
PS. Maybe we need a new project to keep ourselves busy!

CARole said...

Those little red shoes gave me goose bumps. My grand daughter is startingher junior year at West Chester University in PA. Hard to believe. The years are going to start flying by. Enjoy your new found freedom, your daughter certainly will.
Best Wishes
Carole

Morah said...

Your post, the box....it brought tears to my eyes...

Carole said...

What a great idea! That's so sweet! An emergency menory box! Oh, how time flies! My baby is in middle school this year! Sigh! The summer, what ever we had, has just slipped by! Keep well! Hugs!

CJ said...

I LOVE the survival box that you made for your daughter! I might copy your idea and make one for my daughter leaving for college in about 4 weeks. I LOVE the little red shoes. She would SO get that too, since we saw WICKED together.
Hang in there! You have done your job well.

Evelyn aka Starfishy said...

So sweet! I am sure she will appreciate it and will never forget her survival kit! My LB heads off to kindergarten on Tuesday, oh my!
Cheers!
Evelyn

CJ said...

I found little red shoes!! I actually saw the adult sized ones first at WM but I didn't think she would wear them so searched and found little girl shoes. Mmmmmmm, I can't wait to give them to her. I might just leave them in a box for her to open once we leave. I told the checker what I was going to do with them and she started to cry!
Thanks for sharing your idea.

Shasta said...

My daughter just left for college, and I wish I had seen this idea earlier! You are so sweet.

Quilt Hollow said...

What an awesome idea. We took our son to his first year college just a few weeks ago. I posted it to my blog....I didn't do very well...I'm thankful son #2 is just starting high school. Things are already so different around here without son #1. Oh...and the umbrella....son #1 came for a quick visit this weekend and asked about the umbrella we wanted him to take!

Lea of Farmhouse Blessings said...

Goodness, you've got me all teary eyed. Such a sweet mom you are!

Lea

CJ said...

We took our daughter to school just this past week. School starts the 29th for her. I left her with a large tin full of surprises. I don't think she has opened it yet. The shoes were the last item in the tin, to open last. I will post on my blog the other items once she has opened it all up. THANKS for the awesome idea!!
DH was all teary eyed taking photos for me. :D