Coffee Talk 11.15.20

Well, we’re halfway through November, and less than two weeks away from Thanksgiving! 2020 continues to throw us curveballs, but I guess all we can do is keep on keeping on.

This weekend, my son’s 21st birthday came and went with little fanfare. We had a cake for him last weekend when my parents were in town, and he has a big gift coming, but he wouldn’t let me do anything else. Not that we could have a big shebang with Covid, anyway…

So yesterday R came downstairs and suggested we get a basket and fill it with a bunch of his favorite things. I had already been planning to go out and get some balloons, so we put it all together, and I think it turned out really cute.

We presented it to him when he came downstairs for lunch, and he seemed to enjoy it. So now I officially have a child who is an adult.

Or was that 18? I don’t feel like 18 really counts as an adult these days.

In other milestone parenting news, I took my middle child up to the Boston area this week for a college visit at my alma mater.

I was nervous about traveling during a pandemic and using rest stops and staying in a hotel, but it all went fine. Everywhere we went, they were clearly taking all possible precautions, and for the most part the people around us were being compliant with masks and distancing.

I was also nervous about making the drive by myself — it’s 6 hours and right through New York City. We’ve done it plenty of times as a family over the years when we go to Maine, but Paul usually does the bulk of the driving. I tend to fall asleep about 2 hours into any road trip, but for whatever reason, I didn’t have any trouble this time.

C drove for about an hour and got some practice on the Merritt Parkway, but I did the rest. It’s such a harrowing drive, you don’t really have time to get bored and sleepy.

We had beautiful weather for the trip — well, until it was time to leave; it rained for most of our drive home. But we had a really nice time together, and I thought the college did a great job with their programming.

She seems to still be processing the experience, and I haven’t been able to really gauge how she feels about going to college there, but she talks like it’s her plan.

If you’re like, Wait, what!?! I thought C didn’t want to go to college… You would be right.

Until just a few months ago, she didn’t want to go to college at all, but she’s been saying for years that she wants to get out of Pennsylvania. We’ve encouraged her that college is the easiest way to do that, albeit not the cheapest, but it will give her the chance to experience another part of the country and maybe even opportunities to study abroad.

I guess she finally saw the light because she recently started talking like she would go, and she applied right away when she found out the essay requirement was waived for early decision applications.

That’s why we decided we needed to get her up there this fall and make sure it’s what she really wants to do. She had only seen the campus one time before this, and it was during the summer so not a great time to judge a college.

She was also able to get her interview taken care of on this trip, so that completes her application. And now we wait!

Now that this college trip is behind me, I feel like the countdown to Thanksgiving is on. I was hoping to get all of my Christmas shopping done by then, but I have barely started, so that’s a tall order. You’d think with all the gift guides I put together, I’d be way ahead of the game, but nope! It doesn’t work that way.

You know how the saying goes. The cobbler’s kids never have shoes… Or something like that.

Well, I better hop off here and get ready for my day. Maybe I can get to some of that Christmas shopping this afternoon…

I hope you and yours are staying safe and well. Have a restful and very blessed Sunday!

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15 Responses

  1. Curious how it goes thru NYC…seriously? I’ve always wanted to drive the Lincoln Highway starting in NYC to the Pacifoc Ocean. Bucket list!!
    Loved your son’s basket — what a great idea! Cake looked yummy too.

  2. Glad your college trip went well! We travel to New England once or twice a year to visit family, and we tried driving through NYC and the George Washington Bridge but said NEVER again! We love the more relaxing (but more mileage) way of the Tappan Zee! That bridge is a architectural wonder!! And if we ever have any traffic issues, it’s usually around Hartford, CT! Happy birthday to David, 21 is a big deal of you want to gamble in Atlantic City! HA!!! Enjoy this sunny and brisk Sunday.

    1. Yeah, we go that way sometimes, but I find it stressful in a different way. I liked how taking the Merritt bypassed Hartford, but usually it’s too trafficky and we take the other parkway. That’s how it brought us home. I just followed Google. 🙂

  3. I love how you love your children and how you meet them where they are and accept them as they are.  You support them, you are always there for them, you let them have time to themselves, and you are beside them when they want your company. 

    1. LOL, I’m not sure they would see it that way. 🙂 I don’t feel like I’m as present as I should be, and I definitely have some regrets, but I guess no one thinks they’re the perfect parent. Thanks for your encouragement.

  4. LOVE the study abroad idea…. our daughter did two terms abroad- Bangkok Thailand and Prague. not only does it give them such a vast world perspective- it gives you another place to visit when you go check on her 😉

    I was so pleased at her experiences and growth. Both kids attended private Christian college and this was a contrast to campus life…which was so valuable. Darn, it’s so bittersweet when our kids go off and do everything we’ve prepared them to do!

  5. Happy 21st David!  The basket of his favorite goodies was a great idea.  Great picture of you & Caroline!  It is interesting how often and quickly we can change our minds about things, albeit big or small decisions.  Two weeks after my high school graduation I headed off to college, three hours from home, in a city where an aunt & uncle resided.  I lived in campus for two semesters then asked if I could come back home and attend a local community college.  I had lived a very sheltered life and I did not like all of the decisions I had to make.  I found out growing up wasn’t all it’s cracked up to be.  Oh, I thought you’d want to know that the Grand Grill Master grill cleaning brush you shared with us, from Williams Sonoma, will not ship until Feb. 2021.  Needless to say, I did not order it for Larry.  It was going to be a bonus gift.  It is available on Amazon Prime.  Enjoy the rest of your day!

  6. Kids grow up so quickly, don’t they?! I share a similar parenting style in that I let them be themselves…who they want to be. I will love and support them just the same. My youngest daughter (17), has always maintained that she did not want to go to college. She wanted to attend a local cosmetology school. Well, just the other day, she was asking me all sorts questions because she was completing a college application…much to my surprise – and excitement! Of course, if she doesn’t go to college, I will help her find the best cosmetology school possible!

    By the way, I Love the glass table in the pic with David’s awesome birthday basket – happy birthday David! Would you mind sharing where you purchased it?! It’s lovely!

  7. Happy 21st to David! That is a real milestone! The basket of his fav things is a great idea. Will have to do that for my hubbie for his birthday. You are a terrific Mom who meets their kids where they are at and supports them to grow their wings. Parenting sure isn’t easy. No one has the recipe card or manual! Have a blessed Sunday.

  8. When my older two turned 21 we took them to Atlantic City over night (They gambled and I stayed in the hotel room or went shopping with the younger ones.). We went to Miami with the youngest.  We went out for her first(?) drink and she forgot her ID.  LOL. Have a happy day.

  9. Great coffee talk. Love hearing all about your family. Happy bday to David and looks like great trip with Caroline. Becca had great idea for a bday basket. I’ll have to say you do a great job with your kids. All kids are different and you’ve embraced that and let them make their own decisions. Doesn’t time go fast? We just got restrictions put back on us out here in Oregon. Suppose to stay home other than essential, only 6 in gatherings and no more than 2 families , 25 for churches, don’t leave our state etc. Hard as I’m on border of OR and WA and doctor in WA so that doesn’t make sense. I do lots just 15 min over the boarder. Guess doctor could be considered essential so hope I can leave the state. Not sure how the police could monitor it anyways. WA getting their restrictions today. It’s for 2 weeks and I’m sure it’s to get us through Thanksgiving safely. The numbers are going up. Seems it’s never going to end. I have my Christmas shopping done but my mom in memory care. No idea what to get her. I won’t be allowed in to give to her. :(. Just sad. Her bday in Dec. too. Hope you get more shopping done today. 

    1. So much of these rules seem arbitrary, don’t they? But I guess they have to draw the line somewhere. It’s a mess. I’m sorry you can’t see your mother. That would be heartbreaking.

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