Sorry Michael, I should have listened.
About two years ago, I stood in the back of a lecture hall listening to Michael Miller speak about being involved in the life of your “soon to be” college student and how to stay that way without being overbearing. My purpose in being there was to take pictures of him for our website and other promotional products. However, I was the parent of a current college student and had another son, Sam, a few years away from going. Of course, the advice Michael gave was spot on for most parents but I knew everything I needed to know, right?
Well, I have just celebrated Thanksgiving with our younger son, who now attends college out of state. I am thinking that I probably should have not only listened a little more closely, but taken some of that sage advice to heart. One piece of advice he gave was to set aside some specific time at Thanksgiving and other holidays long before they get home. We have a pretty good relationship with our kids and I believe in good, open communication, so there was no need to do this, or so I thought. Now, don’t get me wrong, we had a great visit and plenty of quality time with both kids this weekend. There were times that I had one expectation and then things seemed to change last minute. I was thrilled when Sam asked if I wanted to play Monopoly one night, but then a little disappointed when he changed plans to go out and see friends. He is far more social then I ever was or will be. Fear not, Monopoly and family dinner was moved to Saturday night his last night home.
I knew everything I needed to know, right?
After sending Sam back to college on Sunday, his visit made me realize that Michael was absolutely right. Taking time to schedule family time long before he ever got home would have been a great idea. Again, I am lucky my son actually still likes us and he wants to spend time here. Listening to some of his friends and hearing stories from other parents, not everyone had the same experience this Thanksgiving. Sometimes I forget what it is like being a college student under your parent’s roof and rules. Not that I ever did anything horrible in college but you go from making your own rules and schedule to having to clear things with other people. It is not always an easy or a smooth transition.
Yep, I vaguely remember hearing Michael talk about all that. Of course, it is hard to admit that perhaps taking notes or paying closer attention would have served me well. Consider it a lesson learned. Christmas and the winter break will be here before you know it. So maybe before he left on that plane, we should have talked about the schedule for when he is home next. Now that I think about it that would have been a really good idea! Oh well, there is always spring break, right? Thanks anyway Michael Miller, your great advice had I taken it, was spot on.
Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving and have a wonderful Holiday season.