The mercury here in Phoenix is inching up to 100 degrees, reminding me that summer is right around the corner. It feels like I was living through the whole high school graduation thing a few weeks ago, yet here I am again. Soon, we will be saying goodbye to son number two. Life is getting away from me.
We are up to our ears in college visits, deposits, dorm applications, orientation, graduation announcements, and BIG decisions that are his and not mine.
Will he go to college first, or on a mission? What college is the best fit when his first choice was a no-go?
What about dorm life? Living on campus is SO expensive (more than tuition), but will it be worth it? Will his roommates share his standards? And how will we pay for all of this when we are still paying off our dental school loans?
The choices aren’t quite as clear as we thought they would be. Curveballs have been the name of the game lately. I’m not gonna lie – it is a bit of a stressful time. There are SO many chips up in the air, and I’m not sure how they are all going to fall. But we are taking it one day and one decision at a time.
In the midst of all the craziness, there have been a few other things on my mind. For your reading pleasure, I have compiled a relatively unfiltered look into the random assortment of thoughts that are currently swirling around in my brain. Welcome to my world!
1. How can I keep my kids from taking their phones into the bathroom?
Seriously…if you have any suggestions here, I would love to hear them! We have a family rule that smartphones, tablets, and computers never go behind closed doors, but the kids are not actually following that rule these days.
We honestly don’t have that many rules. We are pretty chill about most things. But the phone regulations are cramping some teenagers’ desires to be on their phones at all times and in all places, including while using the bathroom. Our expectations in this arena are STUPID, STUPID, STUPID! Or so I have been told.
I recently caught one of my kids breaking the rule and took her phone away. I know she is not the only one who doesn’t obey, but I don’t know how to enforce it without standing by the bathroom door and taking kids’ phones away before they enter. That is micromanaging at it’s finest, and I know it will backfire.
But I’m stumped. How do I get the teens on board in a way that encourages them to be honest and live up to their end of the bargain?
2. Are money trees real?
I’m asking for a friend who is preparing to send her son off to college. 😉
3. Is Blogging Dead?
Do people even read blogs anymore? Especially those like mine that are a collection of essays instead of lists of how-tos and products to promote?
Everything seems to be going the way of podcasts and video. And many people now use Instagram as a platform to share their lives and thoughts in a micro-blogging sort of way.
Am I fighting a losing battle here? Most days, it feels like it.
4. How can I help my youngest child who feels like his siblings are growing up without him?
Especially when he is the most social child in my family by a long shot, and associates spending time alone with punishment. But he’s nine, and his teenage siblings don’t want to hang out with him and play chess or have Nerf wars anymore. It’s not personal, but it sure feels like it to him.
Unfortunately, spending time with Mom and Dad is not the same. And friends can’t play every second of every day. And playing alone is a fate worse than death.
There’s a whole lot of heartbreak going on in his world and, by extension, mine.
5. How long does it take to break in a new pair of Birkenstocks?
I am the kind of girl who will buy one or two pairs of sandals and wear them every single day of the summer (which lasts nine months in these parts), so they gotta hold up to some serious wear. I just bought my first pair of Birkenstocks because of their stellar reputation for comfort and durability, but they are killing my feet. These sandals have excellent arch support, according to Zappos reviews, and my feet are not used to that.
After a couple of hours of wear, it still feels like I am walking with a rock in the arch of my foot. I hope these babies soften up and live up to their reputation of grandeur soon.
6. Can I rewire my brain?
I would really like to turn my mind off and stop analyzing my problems every second of every day. (See list above, and imagine some other doozies that I am not able to share at this time.) A little non-thinking time would be better than a vacation.
Plus, I would like to be more emotional instead of logical and rational. Can somebody manage that little switcheroo for me?
It might allow me to understand the rest of my family better since they all live in a world of feelings. Perhaps, it would also keep me from thinking things like, “PLEASE STOP FEELING SORRY FOR YOURSELF AND GO DO SOMETHING!” when somebody is having a hard day. (I try to refrain from actually saying those words out loud because I am trying to be sensitive. But sometimes, they fly out of my mouth in a very unhelpful and frustrated sort of way.)
Also, I would like to rewrite the stars because that sounds like it would be a good break in the action. And swinging from a rope in a circus arena would be a dream come true. (The Greatest Showman DVD arrived at my house a few days ago, in case you were wondering.)
There you have my messy and scattered brain in a nutshell. I have so many thoughts and challenges and questions to sift through, and I’m honestly not making a whole lot of progress. Except I’m pretty sure money trees are not real, but I’m not willing to bet on that just yet. My fingers are still crossed.