Okay vs. Not So Hot
Since I whined in my last post about how my daughter is off on her new college adventure while I'm stuck in the old adventure without her, I thought it might be helpful if I shared some tips I've gleaned from my own personal experience in dealing with this transitional time in a parent's life. The following is my brief compilation of Okay vs. Not So Hot advice on handling a firstborn going off to college:
OKAY: Keeping tabs on your offspring by performing silent-as-a-ninja Facebook stalking. It's even all right to hit the "Like" button on occasion.
NOT SO HOT: Commenting on every new picture, status and profile change. Striking up conversations with other commenters (whom you don't know) in your desperate attempt to discover what's happening each and every second of her daily life. You may soon find yourself blocked and your quaint witticisms deleted.
OKAY: Short texting exchanges a few times a week to check up, see how she's doing or to share something funny.
NOT SO HOT: Whining to everybody and his brother about how she doesn't call enough. Telling her how much you're crying and missing her when she does call. Inundating her with burning text-messaged questions like:
"So, whatcha doing now?"
"…How 'bout now?"
"What did you eat today?"
"What time did you go to bed last night?"
OKAY: Learning to use SKYPE and "chatting" with her briefly when you both happen to be online at the same time.
NOT SO HOT: Lying in wait for the moment you see her SKYPE status change to "online." Then bribing her with promised webcam images of the family pet in your attempt to get her to videochat with you every night.
OKAY: Appreciating the cleanliness of her now-vacated bedroom—sighing in delight at its clutter-free beauty.
NOT SO HOT: Re-arranging her room, and re-organizing her drawers, shelves and closet the way you've always wanted it. Raiding her wardrobe for clothes that she left behind…and wearing them.
OKAY: Dusting off your old hobbies. Developing some new ones. Getting together with friends you haven't seen in a while. Taking a new class. Volunteering.
Turning your focus outside will help you on the inside, and eventually you'll work your way into a new kind of normal. Then you'll be okay… instead of not so hot.