Last year at this time, I was getting ready to move my eldest to college…7 long hours away. This period of time is also known as the season I should have been in counseling but self medicated with Swedish Fish, Milk Duds, and irrational fears and emotional meltdowns.
Do you know what my eldest has the nerve to do again? GO BACK TO THAT SCHOOL! SEVEN HOURS AWAY! (WPS!) Look at me, I’M YELLING! AND EXCLAIMING!!!
He’s obeying us, I guess. We told him to “live courageously,” “live a good story,” “make His (as in God’s) name famous.” Whatever. He’s such a rule follower.
I kid. I am eternally grateful for his obedience. I don’t mean Kaden’s obedience to Stefan and me as much as I mean Kaden’s obedience to Christ. I couldn’t be more grateful and humbled for how Kaden is working out his salvation. Don’t get me wrong, I celebrate with Kaden today, but I know that Kaden is as capable as you and I are to rebel.
Oh, bind our wandering hearts to you, God.
I’m getting WAY off track here.
It’s that time of year, again, though. Some of my dear friends are walking through the “firsts” with their eldest. Many are packing up their first-born daughter or son and preparing to move their child to the University of Not Under My Roof or the College of They Are Stealing My Baby so that their child can pursue the dreams and work God has prepared for him or her.
Contrary to how we ‘feel,’ let’s remember that having our children live with us till we die is not exactly a realistic, nor healthy, dream or goal. Although, it’s normal to feel that way this time of year and there’s room at the table for you, too. 😉
And, now that we are ready to shoot out our precious Arrow, let’s send them off with gifts for college.
Friday Favorites: Back to School College Edition
1. GIFT CARDS FTW
(that means “for the win” for those of you not yet familiar with the vocabulary of teens. At least, that’s what I think it means. It could mean something totally inappropriate and cringe-worthy. Most of what I know I learned via stalking, I mean looking, at instagram. So it probably doesn’t mean that at all. Forget I even mentioned it.)
I’m sure the person that made this up meant well. (And, has a lot of time on her hands.)
But, “emergency” is loosely translated in college, so the glass will be broken with 12 hours because a midnight run to the Border or Whataburger is always an emergency. Always. Especially if you need fries after a night of dancing in da club. So I’ve heard.
Then, there’s the issue of the glass. It will never, ever, ever get swept up. Ever. Oh, right. You thought that the kid would actually open the back and remove the cash the reasonable, makes-the-most-sense way. Awwwww. That’s cute.
So, let’s give our students practical, pragmatic things like:
- Amazon Gift Card – E-mail
(Did you know some textbooks can be purchased on Amazon now? I guess so can other non-essentials, but let’s believe the best.)
- Apple Itunes Prepaid Card (5)
- Gift Cards to Campus Book Store
- Gift Cards to fast food restaurants around campus
- Target/Walmart gift cards
Disregard this next tip if you have an organized, methodical, and systemized teen. If you do not have the previously mentioned child (can it go without saying that I don’t?), punch holes in the corner of the cards, buy a hinged key ring, and put all the cards on the ring. I make no promises that your child will not lose them, but maybe we decrease the chances this way?!
We’ve used several different kinds of portable chargers in this house and I come back to this one every single time. It’s worth every cent.
Or a small coffee pot. Doesn’t have to be a Keurig. I happen to like Keurig because it’s a single serve use and sometimes in a regular coffee pot, if one forgets about the grinds and the filter long enough, mold and various other scientific experiments (lots of fuzzy stuff) can grow on the used grounds. So I’ve heard.
4. Eno Hammock
Sometimes your child will need a break from college. and roommates. and responsibility. and people. and parents. So I’ve heard.
5. These next two are more specifically for girls, but if you want to buy them for a boy, no judgment. But, please don’t mention my name or that you got the idea from me. I’m all about being here for you, but when your son starts getting made fun of in the dorm shower because his “mommy bought him a monogrammed towel wrap,” I will not be able to help you. You will be a mom on an island.
(with a hanging clip so it doesn’t sit crumpled on the floor)
My favorite thing you can give your child is wisdom for what lies ahead for them. Kaden shared his thought about the first year of college here.
Oh, before I forget, here are some things I would refrain from sending…as thoughtful(?) as they are:
Deck of cards with family portrait on all the backs.
Sewing kit in a cute burlap covered lidded Mason Jar (unless your kid actually does know how to sew a button on)
Fishing tackle box filled with cute, little notes, candies, change, and dental floss. If you’re going to send a tackle box, fill it with tackle. Maybe. Just an idea.
Framed picture of yourself. And, if you’ve autographed it, repent. Seriously. I may even suggest you fast and repent. Turn from your ways.
Okay, Mama!! God has been preparing you for this moment. And, you and God have been preparing your child (for 18 years!!). Walk in that confidence. YOU CAN DO IT!!