Tag Archives: parenting

Long Distance Mom-ing

10 Dec

Being a Mom is the most wonderful of all blessings, and one of the hardest when your “little one” is not so little anymore and not even living in the same town.  I have new-found respect for what my Mom must have gone through when I was 19 and far away in college.  Back then, the only phone was in the hallway of the dorm, shared by every girl on the floor.  How did Mom stand the lack of contact?  Was it a good thing to be blissfully unaware and hopeful that all was well?  I can be in touch with my son via text, cell phone or Facebook messaging instantaneously.  I get to have a peek inside his college life as his friends tag him in pictures and posts.  A comfort to me, maybe not so much for him.

This week is finals week for many college students. My son, being a music major has finals, but also juries–solo performances in front of the entire woodwind faculty of the college.  He is in both the saxophone and oboe studios, so is required to present a piece demonstrating his skills for each.  Much of the time spent in lessons for oboe and sax each semester are devoted to polishing the literature he and his teachers have selected.  Many of the hours of practice time are spent going over and over and over the pieces–practicing until they become a part of him.

zach selmer nov 2013

And then, at 3am the morning of the juries, he wakes up with a horrible earache.  Imagine having a test that requires controlled and forceful breathing with your ear plugged and screaming at you.  Not good.  Not good a all.  Here comes the long distance Mom part.  He posted his frustration with the situation on Facebook, allowing me to know as soon as I opened Facebook this morning.  All ready, many of his friends had advised he go see a doctor.  I did as well, also asking to be kept in the loop of what came of the doctor visit.  Seems all too easy and matter of fact as I write this, but my Mom worries kicked in.  A monstrous desire to be able to instantaneously transport myself to him to give him a hug, wrap him in blankets and make chicken soup.  Who doesn’t want their Mom to come take care of them during times of sickness?!

He’s 5 hours away, so I had to settle for texting as he filled out forms in the waiting room of the clinic.  A quick diagnosis resulted in prescribed antibiotics, and he was sent on his merry way to determine (with input from his instructors) on whether juries are a go or not.  I still haven’t heard how that will shake out.  I feel fortunate that he is someone who is very good at taking care of and advocating for himself.  It helps me worry a bit less.  He also has a great network of caring friends; people I know will help him with whatever he needs–possibly even bringing him chicken soup.

When will the desire to rush in and make things “all better” end?  According to other Moms I’ve talked to, never.  It’s been a long, long time since a kiss was able to fix a boo-boo.  My little boy is a man who is quite capable of taking care of himself.  I’ll always be his Mom, though, and can’t wait for him to drive those 5 hours to be home this weekend so I can take care of him PROPERLY.  Off to the store I go to get the ingredients for chicken noodle soup–it’s better than sitting here worrying and waiting for the next text or Facebook update.

He’ll be fine and things will work out as they should.  How many times have I heard those words in my Mom’s voice?!  All those years of what I took as patronizing, turn out to be the best you can do when you’re long distance Mom-ing.

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Heart Roller Coaster

13 Mar

Tonight I’m writing with a heavy heart, all squinked up and small, just days after my heart felt like the Grinch’s at the end of the story, where it grows 3 sizes in one day.  A Mom’s heart has to be pretty elastic for the many ups and downs of raising a baby to a boy to a man.

The sheer joy of his birth.

The times when he cried and continued to cry after I had fed him, burped him, changed him, rocked him and bounced him.  (So I cried with him.)

His cute little gummy grin.  His first tooth…marking the end of the gummy grin.

The funny, silly way he said things; the way he put words together.

The time he tearfully sobbed, “Momma, you hurt my heart.”

Learning to ride a bike.

Crashing the bike and getting a huge owie–as his dad put it: “he left part of his knee at the end of the driveway.”

Finding out how academically talented he is.

Finding the work he hadn’t turned in, in his locker.

Playing the “you WILL be in music in middle school” card, he picks band, ends up with trumpet, hates the trumpet and wants to quit band.

“Pick a different instrument.”  He falls in love with saxophone.

Learning to drive, getting his license.

Watching him drive out of the driveway the first time on his way to school at 6am.

High school: alto sax, soprano sax, tenor and bari, clarinet, oboe, flute and euphonium.  Marching Band, 3 Concert Bands, top Jazz Band.

Girls.  Nuff said.

Acceptance to a university, oboe and sax auditions, acceptance to the university’s school of music.  A state-wide honor (or honour, using the British spelling he prefers) band, an amazing alto sax feature with Spectrum, the jazz band.

And today.  I found out he had changed dorms, not necessarily for the better.  We had a text discussion over Facebook postings and what growing up is and is not.  Times like this when I feel compelled to let the air out of his exuberance raises little barriers between us.  He chose to stay at his dad’s tonight to let things settle out a bit. 

He’s an awesome kid.  He’s accomplished so much, has a pretty good plan for his future–all the way to a doctorate.  He’s always been so easy.  Days like this, when some sort of guidance must come from me and is not exactly well received, well, they hurt my heart.  I know this is what parenting is at times, and I know I’ve been amazingly lucky.  I also know we love each other the most-mostest, and the barriers will go away.  New ones will happen, but love, and maybe a cup of coffee, will help us keep taking them back down.  So proud to be his Mom.  ❤