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. Becca’s is in October, David’s is in November, and Caroline’s is in December.)

Becca 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 Becca 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 Becca going back to in-person school this week, we got word that David’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, Caroline 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 David 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. (David 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!