Coffee Talk 10.11.20

Good morning! It’s been a big birthday weekend here in the Shane household. My youngest turned 15 yesterday.

And so begins the pandemic birthday parade. (All three of my kids have fall birthdays. R’s is in October, D’s is in November, and C’s is in December.)

R was planning a visit to the pumpkin patch and a sleepover with her best friend on Friday night followed by a day of shopping on Saturday, but at the last minute, she got word that the marching band was allowed to play at the football game.

That put a kibosh on her Friday night plans, although she didn’t mind at all. She was so excited to play at the game, and she had a great time.

She still got her shopping trip yesterday, and she also got her ears pierced! These are her second holes, and I think they look so pretty.

Usually I cook whatever the kids request for dinner on their birthdays, but R asked to go out to eat instead, so we had dinner at an Italian restaurant nearby and came back home and watched a few episodes of Survivor to end the night. (She is Survivor obsessed; we’ve started watching old seasons on Hulu.)

All in all it was a fun day, and she seemed happy with her small celebration. Even without a pandemic, she probably would have chosen the same thing. She’s not into mixing friend groups and doesn’t care to be the center of attention at a party.

But this is 2020, and of course not everything works out quite so nicely. Just when we were getting excited about bigger crowds at outdoor events and R going back to in-person school this week, we got word that D’s college has extended their virtual classes through the spring semester.

That’s right, he will not be going back to college at all this year.

This is his junior year, for anyone following along. His sophomore year was suddenly cut short back in March, when the lockdown went into effect, so this means that over a quarter of his college experience will be virtual.

Needless to say, this was not at all what we had in mind when we sent him off to college two years ago.

Of course, he could still live in his apartment down there if he wanted to, but he doesn’t seem interested since all of his classes are online. I don’t know if it’s mom’s home cooking or that most of his friends are still in this area, or what is keeping him here, but I’m kind of glad I can keep an eye on him. I worry he doesn’t eat enough and doesn’t get outside enough and all of the mom things.

I encouraged him to consider taking the spring semester off, getting a job, and going back to finish up whenever in-person classes resume, but he doesn’t seem interested in doing that. I guess he will just continue trying to make the best of it, living here at home, and taking all of his classes online.

In the meantime, C has started looking at colleges for fall of 2021, and I’m just hoping and praying that by then, life is getting back to some semblance of normal.

She wasn’t really interested in college at all until very recently. She’s never liked school (which is why we moved her to a cyber charter school back in 8th grade) but she wants to go away and live in a city somewhere. She’s been talking about that for years.

I told her that if she wants to experience life in another city, unless she has some well thought-out career plan that doesn’t require further education, the best way to do that is to go away to college.

She’s finally “seen the light” so to speak, so we’re planning to visit a few colleges in the Boston area next month. Yes, some are allowing campus visits.

On the one hand, I’m relieved that she’s coming around, because I really want this for her; but on the other hand, I’m wondering how on earth I’m going to send my daughter off to live in another state in less than a year.

I know parents do it all the time, but I’ll never forget how gut-wrenching it was to drop D off at a college that’s only 35 minutes away. And how relieved I was that he was close, even though we had encouraged him to go further away.

The irony is that he’s back home, and she may be the only child leaving the nest next fall. (D was already talking about living at home for his senior year and commuting to classes.)

Anyway, only time will tell how it all plays out, and there’s no sense borrowing trouble… as my mama would say.

In the meantime, we’re trying to enjoy the process, and do our best to prepare her for whatever comes next.

I need to get a move-on here! It’s overcast and threatening rain, but I think I can get a run in before that weather system moves in.

Speaking of weather systems, I hope you all down in Louisiana and Georgia are safe and dry. It sounds like a mess down there, with back to back hurricanes and tornado warnings last night.

As for the rest of you, have a restful and relaxing Sunday!

Join The Conversation

46 Responses

  1. Thanks so much for sharing what’s going on with your children, Jo-Lynne. It makes me smile to hear about families “making it work” during the pandemic. I feel like there’s so much ugliness in our world right now that I have to search every day for the light in the darkness. Thank you for your little ray of sunshine– even on a cloudy day!

    1. I totally agree!  I look forward to your posts and insta stories every day.  I feel like we are friends and it’s nice to check in with a gf instead of the news and pandemic!  Thanks for sharing your life 😊☀️

  2. I love Boston! Our son went out there for Law School and ended up staying a total of ten years. He met his wife there and they just recently ( early Covid days) moved here. I’m so happy to have them and our grandson here but I do miss the excuse to visit Boston. It’s such a young, vibrant city with all the colleges and universities. Doe she mind sharing which schools she’s interested in? Such an exciting ( and bittersweet, this Mama remembers well) for her and you!

    1. I’ve been debating how to handle that. I’m worried about making it public where she goes, for her safety. Does that sound paranoid? It’s just such a crazy world, and I put so much out there.

  3. I am so glad the birthday was a fun day for your daughter.
    My daughter left New Hampshire to go to college in North Carolina the year after my divorce. Talk about empty (even though the divorce was my idea and should have done it years and years before that). It was hard, and it is hard that they are still in NC (with grandbaby) while we are still here. Hopefully that will end in early summer when we sell and move. It is hard to let go, but it is the best thing in the world to see our children succeed and go out to live their lives. The saddest time and the happiest time (if that makes sense.)

  4. Jo-Lynne, My 29 yr old son and I are also avid Survivor fans. I have been binge watching past episodes on hulu. I have a suggestion for
    Becca for a Christmas present. They have “survivor” face masks or super soft lap blankets. Go to “CBS store” website. I purchased a Survivor travel mug and blanket for my son, his birthday is Dec 4,, they arrived last week and I was not disappointed. Just a thought for something unique

  5. Boy, you and Paul get hit good during the cold months with the birthdays of all three children and Christmas.  It sounds like Becca enjoyed her special day.  I always thought that boys couldn’t wait to head off to college and get out from under his parents rules.  Fortunately, the weather has not been severe in our part of GA like it has been in other areas.  It’s still very tropical today, with pretty strong wind gusts, clouds, etc.  We’ve had 1” of rain thus far, which is great for our food plots!  We are back to highs in the 80’s and lows in the upper 60’s to low 70’s.  They keep saying fall temps will return on the 17th, which will be perfect timing for opening rifle season for us deer hunters.  Have a blessed day!

    1. Yeah, David’s always been a homebody. 🙂 In our house, it’s Caroline who wants to get away. I don’t think it’s that she wants to get out of from under our thumb, but she wants to see the world.

      1. I can so relate to you right now!! I feel your pain! My college junior is in the same boat as David. She’s moved home for now, and looks like she’ll be online in the Spring too. Not the college experience we wanted. She’s reluctant to take the semester off too. Also have my high school senior son looking at colleges  for next year. Hard though, most colleges around here are not allowing visits on campus. Atleast band / football is happening for you. That’s good news!  We’re in Massachusetts and my son lost all football recruiting opportunities for college. So sad. We are hoping to play in February as the season got pushed out. 

  6. If I were advising a kid like your daughter I’d suggest serious consideration to Northeastern with their strong extern program and city living. The focus on work and experience over “ school” seems ideal. She may be  already planning on it, but her application essay seems easy as what better is there to write about then being a remote ( cyber charter) student before it was what everybody was doing. What she sees as the advantages, how it made her a better/ happier as a student etc….

  7. So I’m originally from Boston (love it and will be moving back to New England in not so distant future). Now living in SoCal. Just got back last night from a 2 week family vacation there. Something to think about, which I never would have before the pandemic… I’ve never worn a mask to much as I did there, even walking around outside and away from other people– it was mandated. Even here in SoCal, in my county, the restrictions are less. There were even some public City streets in Cambridge blocked off from anyone walking on them who did not live there! So areas of the country, obviously, are more or less locked down. I don’t know if this is something you would throw into the equation…

    1. Yeah, masks are mandated here too. We are used to it. We have to get Covid tests before we go too. But it’s ok. At least we get to go somewhere, lol! 🙂 Thanks for the heads-up.

  8. Happy Sunday!  I feel for you with the momma concerns.  My youngest finished college away, came home for a bit and then moved himself and his degree (he’s a master electrician) out to California.  We live in New York!  It’s been 4 years now and he’s very happy so I am happy for him, but I miss him terribly 😢.  

  9. We left our teenage daughter behind when we moved across the country for my husband’s work. She wanted to finish high school with her friends. She was adamant, so what were we as parents to do? Fortunately, very close and dear friends of ours said she could live with them for the final year of high school. What a relief! She continued onto University, found a high paying job and is very successful. We are proud of all she has accomplished. 

     I think it’s exciting that Caroline has decided to further her education and has the desire to live in a big city. As a young person, the hustle of a big city is exciting. Caroline seems quite mature so will do fine and I know you’ll find lots of reason to visit Boston and she’ll be coming home often. 

    1. That must have been really hard. Yes, we love Boston. Both Paul and I went to school up there, and we have family in the area. I always said I wanted to live in the city for a few years before settling down and getting married, but God had other plans…

      I don’t regret getting married and settling down in the suburbs instead but I still think it would be cool to live in the city (Boston OR Philly) for a few years. It will be great if Caroline gets that opportunity.

  10. I always enjoy your Coffee Talks as they are a bright spot in this crazy world. What an exciting time for Caroline and I’m glad that Becca had a fairly normal birthday. Thanks, Jo-Lynne!

  11. Jo-Lynne,

    Sounds like a nice birthday celebration!  My youngest daughter is 24, a college graduate and lives in another state. She has struggled a bit and it’s hard for us as parents because we live 4 hours away. We care for 2 adult sons with muscular dystrophy and the pandemic has put us on high alert and shut our life down even more than before. Our daughter has needed our support, but with all things considered, we can’t go visit her. It’s hard because we feel like we are putting one child ahead of another, really 2 ahead and that is not how we parent. Having special need children requires extra effort to make sure we try to support the other 2 equally. It’s interesting how life plays out with children as they become independent adults. My niece and nephew are college students and my nephew is at home like your son and it’s so sad that his college experience has been so different. It’s wonderful that your daughter is exploring college options. I hope your she stays close enough for any of you to just hop in the car for a visit.

    I love your Sunday Coffee Talks. The world doesn’t seem so huge and disconnected when we can see what daily life looks like for other people who are trying to live their best life.

    1. Hey, Kim. My heart goes out to you. I can only imagine how hard it would be to find the right balance in that situation.

      So happy my blog can be a source of community for you, and others looking for some camaraderie during these crazy times. I honestly don’t know what I would do without it. It’s so nice to hear from other moms going through similar situations.

    2. Kim…..So sorry to hear your struggles. I can’t imagine that and making the decisions, but you can only do what your heart tells you and maybe find other ways to support your daughter from afar. How hard, as I know you said she’s had some struggles too.  That age is hard in a young persons life.  Maybe more letters, cards, little gifts in the mail to uplift her; just to let her know you are there thinking of her 24/7.  My prayers for you and your family as you care for your 2 sons. I’m sure they are blessed to have such supportive parents to care for them. Know you aren’t alone in this pandemic. Everyone has their struggles and some worse than others, but community is important, so I encourage you to stay connect where you can and feel safe.  🙂  Blessings.   

  12. Your Coffee Talk post are always a joy to read. I like to hear all about your family and how you are managing it all throughout the pandemic.  I have 3 kids and went through the whole college process with all 3. They all have been out and in their careers for years now, but I don’t forget how hard it was to let them go and drop them off at college……tears every time.  Fortunately, they weren’t too far away.  We was close to our kids, like you are and so I think its harder to empty nest when you are.  We loved having our kids around and did things as a family.  I know the pandemic has made your situation different for sure, but I think between you and your kids, you all will pick what works best for them in this time.  Sounds like your daughter had a great b’day and fun time at her HS game. I loved going to the games and watching my son play football. Fun times.  Enjoy them as long as you can at home. 🙂  

    1. Yeah, I mean… sometimes I wish they would be MORE annoying so I’d be a little less sad to see them go. Haha!

      I really do have good kids. I mean, we all have our “stuff” and I try to respect their privacy and don’t share all our struggles, but I’m so grateful that for the most part, we all enjoy each other and don’t mind being all at home together at this stage of life.

      1. LOL…..Yes, when you have good kids its harder to let go for sure.  All families have their stuff and you do a great job of sharing family life without going to deep to take away your kids privacy.  I read above about you not wanting to share college Caroline decides to go to. That is not being paranoid. Its ok to keep that private.  

  13. Your mama was right…no need to borrow trouble. I cried buckets a year ago as we sent our oldest across the pond (we live in Portugal) to university in the US. Then March came and he came back home and is now attending university here. I never would have imagined that those tears didn’t really need to be shed, or at least not so many. Ha! 
    Love knowing that my struggles are the same as most moms. 
    “Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” 
    Proverbs 19:21

  14. That’s  a busy few months of birthdays. My husband’s was September and our sons is a week from Monday(19) so we will celebrate it next weekend.!This weekend is our Canadian Thanksgiving. It’s been sunny warm and cool, with wind since Thursday (perhaps some affects from the hurricane). Our temperatures are starting to drop it seems and feels  like fall and the colors are beautiful! Glad to hear Becca had a great birthday and enjoyed her day ! Our sons university is hoping for some in person classes by the new year and hopefully he gets to have his graduation in the spring! Thoughts and prayers for those being affected by the hurricane 💕

    1. I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration!

      Yes, fall is always crazy. I feel like Becca’s birthday is when the starting gun goes off, and then it’s Halloween, then David’s birthday, then all the holiday things, and Caroline’s birthday is Christmas Eve, and of course Christmas, and then NYE…. Plus all of the blog stuff during this time. It’s no wonder I usually get sick over Christmas break. LOL!

  15. So glad Becca had a nice birthday! Its nice to read others’ comments and be a part of your community of lovely, kind women. Happy Thanksgiving long weekend to all your Canadian readers! We are having a nice fall. It is 72F. We will take it! Making a roast turkey and watching football. We usually get our 1st snowfall by Halloween. It melts but its still a rude awakening of winter arriving all too soon for our liking. You are wise keeping Caroline’s college plans under wraps. Its her business; not ours. Good luck and have fun touring colleges when the time comes!

  16. I enjoy reading your Coffee talk posts. Our kids are close in age so it’s fun to see them going through similar experiences. My oldest is a sophomore in college and she attends a university about 1500 miles away. Miss her but thankful she was able to go back in person this semester. My second daughter is a senior as well so we are going through the process of making plans for next year as well. Most of the schools she is interested in are not having in person visits (we are in California). We are going to do a visit at the school my oldest daughter is attending in a few weeks so that will be fun. Definitely a different experience this time around with a senior that’s for sure. And then there is my 13 year old son. It will be interesting  only having him at home next year! He’s not as chatty as his sisters. 😊 Anyway, glad your daughter had a nice birthday and you could enjoy watching her Friday night!

    1. Yeah, and I’m in the opposite boat. My youngest is the chatty one. She’ll keep us entertained if the others are away, but she is getting busier and not around as much, so it will definitely be weird.

  17. My kids are almost the same ages as yours. My oldest son is a junior in college. He also has an apartment this year, but opposite your son, said with a hug and a smile that having an apartment means he won’t be coming home to live at all this year, no matter what! I’m glad he’s happy on his own though! One daughter is a freshman in college and has definitely made lemonade from lemons. She goes to each class once a week and is virtual the other sessions. Making friends has been a challenge but she participates in everything she can and has made great friends. It’s been hard though. Daughter 2 is a senior in high school, and it’s sad to have all fall events cancelled. Seniors are allowed to go to the next home football game which might be fun but they have to socially distance. At least she’s able to go to school in-person and has been since early Sep. Fortunately, we got all her college visits done last fall before Covid. Then my youngest is in 7th grade, and he’s been doing in-person school since August with no problems. His life seems hardly effected by the virus anymore. Lucky boy! 

    1. Where do you live, that you’re doing in-person school all 5 days? I hope ours goes well so we can get them back in school full-time. They’re starting out 2 days a week, this week.

      1. Atlanta. The GA gov was criticized about opening up too fast, but our numbers are down and most businesses survived, so I guess the plan worked. School hasn’t been a problem at all. Hope that’s the case for your daughter as well! 

        1. I’m so glad to hear it. Yeah, I remember the kerfluffle on the news. It seems like the virus is weakening, and people aren’t getting as sick from it as they once were. I certainly hope that’s the case, anyway.

  18. I hear ya re our seniors! Not looking forward to sending our oldest off to school. His first choice is in Scotland and just typing that is difficult. Best to you and your daughter as you navigate college selection during covid (surreal for many reasons). ❤️

  19. I can relate to the college woes.  My oldest is a junior this year.  He transferred from community college to a 4-year school for his junior year (both in Montana).  They have some things in person and some online.  My daughter is a senior in high school this year.  She’s been accepted to a college in Georgia for next year.  It’s a hard enough thing to send your kids off to college, but all the uncertainties with the Coronavirus make it worse.

  20. Happy Birthday to your “baby girl!” I find it hard to believe that your kids were such littles when I first started following ‘Musings of a Housewife! They are lovely young people now and I know you are soaking in all the experiences you can with them. Hope this week is extra good to you! Love from East Texas.

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