Momhood

Motherhood, insanity and everyday life.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Homecoming Score

It's starting to get tricky all of a sudden, this multi-child parenting. It never used to be a problem. I have 3 children. I have an almost-18 year old son going to school 6 hours away, a 13-year old daughter in 8th grade and an almost-19 year old son who is severely developmentally disabled and lives in a care facility an hour away. Because of ages and circumstances, I could generally give them equal bits of my attention, time and love. Suddenly, I've created a mini issue.

My college son is coming home this weekend. We haven't seen him since August 16th, 2005 at 7:45 am. (Not that I'm counting the days/hours/minutes.) Up until college, we never spent a lot of time apart. There was the week he spent at Boy Scout Camp about 5 years ago. Then there's the 5 days that my husband and I spend together, every year, without the kids. Besides that, we saw him a lot and that was fine with us...and him. Fast-forward to this summer and suddenly we find ourselves miles apart. We miss him a lot, and he misses home quite a bit. His sister, on the other hand, doesn't miss him at all.

Sooooooo....I've been really looking forward to his visit this weekend. And I realized that I've been voicing that excitement just a bit too loudly. Parents approach me at school and ask about college boy, to which I, apparently, practically shout: HE'S COMING HOME THIS WEEKEND! I did this about 5 times until I realized that my daughter was both watching me and keeping score.

Two months ago, in my daughter's world, all things were pretty much equal. Suddenly, her brother's greatly anticipated appearance is the social event of the season...at least to me and my husband. I can sense that she's feeling...a bit less important. She was with me at the grocery store when I started stocking up on her brother's favorite foods and I could just hear her thought process: "Man, how long do I have to be gone before she starts stocking the pantry for me?"

It's a natural reaction on her part and she forgets that she's been the only child for the past two months. But it's also my responsibility to be sensitive to her feelings and tone down the festivities a bit. (Perhaps the marching band was a tad much. I kid.)

What she doesn't notice is my clandestine plot to keep her nearby when it's her turn to head off to college. Just yesterday I mentioned a program at the local university that might interest her...but first she has to get through 8th grade. Um, I guess I'm going a little overboard there. Hey, I'm a mom. Can you blame me?

21 Comments:

At 8:51 AM , Blogger Tyra said...

Nope, I don't blame you a bit.

Enjoy your son's visit and thanks for visiting my blog. Come back anytime!

 
At 9:03 AM , Blogger Indigo said...

Hello Karen, Michele sent me.

Enjoy having your son home for the weekend. I can't imagine how it feels to have your child move away for college. I'm hoping my daughter, who is only 4-1/2 now, doesn't have any interest in going away to college. I'd miss her terriby!

 
At 9:20 AM , Blogger ma said...

I am so jealous! I wish my guy was coming home too. I miss the family we were before he left. Oh well, a month till Thanksgiving. Enjoy!

 
At 9:43 AM , Blogger mar said...

Can't blame you a bit. That's what moms are for when the college kids come home. Have a great weekend! thanks for trying to visit my blog. I had a "white vision" too and thought everything was gone...

 
At 12:38 PM , Blogger Juliabohemian said...

I think it's great that you are that excited about your children and that you are sensitive to their feelings -or even considering that they have any.

 
At 1:02 PM , Blogger Erin said...

Just a suggestion (as it worked for me when I came home from college to my family, including my 13 year old sister), have him bring something just for her. A university sweatshirt, key chain (she likes those right?), or ball cap. She'll realize that while you all missed him, he missed her too.

 
At 8:08 PM , Blogger utenzi said...

You're so right, Karen. Kids have amazingly sharp perceptions when it comes to how much attention siblings get.

 
At 8:44 PM , Blogger Star said...

My "kids" are 32,29 & 27. All college graduates, living their own lives. One a parent herself. And I still find myself in the same situation you are. I guess it is a never ending challenge.

 
At 10:04 PM , Blogger FattyPants said...

Enjoy your sons visit. Thanks for stopping by.

 
At 5:48 AM , Blogger Chatty said...

Completely understandable! Just tone down the spotlights and red carpet when he steps onto the front walk! LOL :)

Michele sent me.

 
At 7:42 AM , Blogger Oreo said...

AAAWWW. Kids are so sensitive. I've got three boys myself, 12, 9 & 7, so I can relate. I've yet to find the solution to this other than to watch my mouth & my actions!!

 
At 11:35 AM , Blogger InterstellarLass said...

Don't blame you one little bit! Enjoy seeing your son! It all equals out...he had you before she was born, and now she has you now that he's 'gone'. Here via Michele! Have a great weekend!

 
At 11:40 AM , Blogger flu said...

Tell her she'll get plenty of this type of special attention once SHE moves out.

ok, so that may not work well.

anyway, Hi, Michele sent me.

 
At 11:44 AM , Blogger Shannon said...

hey karen michele sent me, i hope in the future it'll get easier for us to let them go... i have 10yrs before the 1st one leaves...

 
At 2:34 PM , Blogger Jon the Intergalactic Gladiator said...

Ah kids, you spend 18 years trying to get rid of them, then 18 more missing them

Michele sent me.

 
At 4:28 AM , Blogger Jean-Luc Picard said...

Multi parenting sounds as tricky as multi tasking on a computer. Thanks for visiting my Journal.

 
At 10:20 AM , Anonymous Last Girl On Earth said...

Hi Karen.
I don't have kids, and my kitties don't get uptight when I pay more attention to one than the other! lol

But it just seems like you have every right to be excited about your son coming home. Maybe you can do something special with her WHILE your son is home so that she feels a little special, too!

Michele sent me. I hope you are NOT blogging while your son is home! Have a GREAT time with him!

 
At 10:16 AM , Blogger Aginoth said...

Hi Karen Michele sent me.

Our three are 5, 2 and 9 months...oh how I miss sleep.

 
At 5:53 PM , Blogger sophie said...

Have a great visit. I think just noticing your daughter's sensitivity will help.

Here from Michele's.

 
At 6:28 PM , Blogger Maggie said...

It's fantastic you noticed your daughter's feelings. I think by you being excited, she is too since she hasn't seen him also.
Have a great visit w/your son.
Michele sent me

 
At 7:49 PM , Blogger Captain Typho said...

I'm an only child, so I never had to compete with someone for my parents' attention. If I had multiple kids, I wonder if it would take me awhile to recognize the jealousy thing.

Thanks for commenting on my blog earlier!

 

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