Monday, September 27, 2010


Hubs landed at 9:30 Friday morning after a week in South Africa. He got to the house about 11 asking if we had sudafed, benedryl, NyQuil, Dayquil or ANYTHING because his allergies had gone into overdrive while he was away. It is springtime in the Southern hemisphere which didn't occur to us until he was actually there. I gave him a couple of sudafed, he took a shower, repacked his suitcase and, at 12:30 we hopped in the car and headed back to the airport for a trip south. Parent's Weekend was on tap at Daughter2's university and we had booked it before hubs South Africa trip was rescheduled for the umpteenth time for the same week. Ugh. For him anyway. If it had been me I'd have gotten into my nice comfy bed and said have a nice weekend and say hi to the girls for me. He travels better than I do though. He would not disagree.

The weather was gorgeous Friday and Saturday and we enjoyed being outdoors most of the weekend. Daughter1 was working Friday night so we took Daughter2 to dinner and then for some ice cream and a walk down Main Street. Their sorority has a really nice tailgate for parents on Saturday before the game so we had lunch under the trees before walking over to the rugby pitch to watch Daughter1's boyfriend play in a match. Rugby is a tough sport and I didn't have a son on the team but I cringed a few times like I did. I'm pretty sure God knew I needed to spend years sitting in an audience at ballet recitals as opposed to sitting on the sidelines of a rugby pitch. That's why He gave me daughters. Not the only reason but I bet He considered it.

Anyway, did I mention it was hot? Because, wow, it was hot. We were melting and we still had an afternoon of football to watch. It's so much fun to sit in the stands at a college football game. And of course winning makes it all a little bit sweeter.

After the game we went back downtown for a fantastic meal...having my whole little family together for dinner makes my heart happy. Sunday we awoke to gray rainy skies but thankfully the temperatures had dropped too. The girls took us to the church they attend and having my whole little family sitting side by side in a pew also makes my heart happy. Sometimes I think it might actually burst.

Now I need to ask a question and that is this- are we the only parents in the universe who make one or both of our children cry on Parents weekends? No. No we are not. I know this for a fact because daughter2 told me the day we arrived that one of her friends had already been in tears over something her parents had gone on and on and on about gently advised her to do or not do.

Parenting is hard work isn't it? When my kids were young and I looked out into the future I somehow saw myself feeling less and less parental. I know I have some readers here with young children and I just have to tell you that is not how it works. Parenting does not get easier. In fact it gets trickier. Much trickier. Because young adult children have opinions y'all. So do four year old toddlers but they can't drive or live away from a mother's watchful eye or have boyfriends now can they? They also are not choosing careers and lifelong mates and making a myriad of other big decisions, the weight of which you as a parent will feel.

I love my girls with all my heart. And one of the things I love most about them is that they feel things deeply and passionately. This is all well and good when we're talking about changing the world but it is sometimes hard to take when we're talking about day to day life. I'm sure I said this about my 20 year old when she was 2. I'm also pretty sure my mother said the same thing about me.

And I do remember being 20 years old. I know my own parents tried to share with me the benefit of their hard earned wisdom and especially the benefit of perspective. At 50 you can look back and see full well how the decisions you made as a young adult have impacted you for all the years that came after. I'm not saying my daughters don't listen to us. They are thoughtful and bright and mature and they do take to heart what we say. It isn't that kids this age think parents don't know anything. It's more like they think they know an equal amount. And while they do know more with every passing year there are some things that can only be learned by growing older and looking back. When you are 20 years old that's not necessarily something you want to hear.

So this Parent's Weekend was like most Parent's Weekends we've experienced. Lots of fun, lots of laughter, lots of happiness at being together, and at some point in the weekend somebody sheds a few tears. That's just how we roll. At this stage of the parenting game we see our job as one of loving our children, praying for them every day of their lives, and then helping them consider issues they may face and decisions they must make from all angles. They will continue sifting through what we say, taking some of it on board and tossing some away and in the end making their own decisions which is as it should be. Everybody's growing up. And I don't mean just the kids.


  1. You are supposed to tell me it's gets easier, not trickier...... Then again, I can hope with boys it will be different. Ok, I'm being delusional, but it's Monday morning and I can't think of that right now.

    Great pictures!

  2. I feel that my experiences with my kids force me to grow up a bit everyday. Just some days I don't want to grow up but rather want to throw a full blown tantrum. Some days I resist and some days I don't. Yes, we are all still growing up.

  3. It does get trickier. My tongue hurts from biting it because of all the things I shouldn't say to to 20 and 23 year olds. They both are now about tricky! But oh so rewarding to see them grow into amazing adults that love Jesus! (I must say, we've had our share of teary college visits. Even brother and sister have had to figure out how to relate to each other as grown-up married people.)

  4. It is definitely an adventure. Our kids now range in age from 17-27.


  5. Couldn't have said it better myself!

    Glad you had a great weekend with the girls!

    Hugs, Catherine

  6. Yep, definitely an adventure and a process of learning and growing (for all involved.)

    Looked like a fun weekend though! :)

  7. It does get trickier, but once they have kids, and you see them in the parent mode, you realize "wow they were listening!" You start seeing yourself in them, and it actually is a good feeling.
    until next time... nel

  8. I so enjoyed this post! We have daughter #1's sorority parents weekend coming up soon and I am looking forward to it.

    Parenting sure does get more tricky the older the kids get. Even the most easy-going baby/toddler/youngster can become difficult to deal with. Daughter #3 was the most easy-going, even-temperamented child we had...we often joked that her personality was what gave us the courage to have daughter #3....That independence turned out to be a sticking point now that she is a teenager...we aren't in the habit of correcting or managing her and none of us are comfortable with it. just this morning we had to have a discussion about her options of activities after the dance Saturday night. She was not at all pleased that we were narrowing her choices. At the end I told her that when she was in her 30's and had her own family, we could meet over coffee and she could list all the mistakes I made as a parent and how they adversely affected her life...I am hoping that by then the list will have diminished greatly....jeez....

  9. Thank you for this. I'm finding it a little difficult to try to parent 1000 miles away. Letting go is very hard. But I'm learning and so is she.

  10. I am so feeling the pain of parenting an adult. Our #1 is going through some things right now--fun, exciting things--but also some with lifelong results. I can't blog about it yet, (the posts are all in my head) but I'm still struggling with where to speak up, where to gently cheer and heartily pray and where to shrug and say, I made mistakes, too.

  11. So very well always! We share so many of the same sentiments, you say them ever so much better! Don't you wish we could prepare with our handy mother's guide: "What to Expect (not When You Are Expecting but instead) When You're Heading to Parents' Weekend?"

  12. Well, I am still stuck in toddler/poopy/naughty land, so I can't relate, but I can definitely imagine it is tough.

  13. Hi Joyce! Thanks for stopping by bouffe e bambini! Nice meeting you! I'm following you now:)

  14. I like hearing your perspective on college age kids. Mine are teens now and I agree - the mental game just gets tougher and tougher.

    But hey - at least no one pees their pants anymore. ;)

  15. I love reading your posts about your girls. By the way, the photo of you three at the football game is precious. You and your husband should be very proud of the young ladies you have raised. I find that our job is never done as a parent--prayer lasts a lifetime.

  16. Exactly! We try to give the guidence of doing something and failing but they have to fail on their own to get it. I am sure it was an awesome weekend. I can only imagine how hard that was for your husband after his trip to Africa.

  17. Joyce, it sounds like you and hubby had a wonderful weekend with the girls. Your weather was like ours...HOT on Friday and Saturday and cool and rainy on Sunday. I am so ready for fall. You are a great Mom and I know your girls love their time with you, tears and all!!!
    You are like me, I feel like my girls are not only my daughters, but my best friends too. We love being together and sharing things with each other. Great post, Joyce. You definitely need to be a writer. You have such a way with words. Are you going to be at home for a while now? Love & blessings from NC!

  18. Joyce,

    Its always a blessing when you get to spend time with the girls now that they are out on their own. There are so many parents who are missing out because theirs don't come home to visit or much less call. You have done a great job at parenting and by your example, it shows.

    Love and Hugs ~ Kat

  19. Looks like a great weekend! I always loved when my parents would come to visit me at college. Parents weekend was always fun.

    I am feeling your husband's pain, except it's fall allergies that get me and I am suffering big time!

  20. I know exactly what you mean. About all of it. Although, we are finding it amusing that our 21 (almost 22) year old is finally realizing that we're not as stupid as he thought we were!

  21. So glad you had such a good weekend with your girls and hubs and hope he is feeling better.
    No, parenting doesn't get easier when they get older because you don't have the influence over them that you did when they were younger and under your roof and that can be so difficult.
    I think the most difficult adjustment for me with our son is learning where the new boundaries are. Where did they move to? Where do they begin and end?
    He is now a married man, a father, a salaried employee with a good job. An adult. And it all happened so quickly. I'm still suffering from a little motion sickness. :-)
    It can be a tricky path to navigate but with the help of the Lord, we are doing pretty well, I believe.
    Enjoyed this post, Joyce.

  22. I agree, Joyce, parenting gets tricker as our children get older. I agree with Nel's comment, once our children become parents themselves, things get a little easier. Great post!