Thursday, June 17, 2010

Life Changes

by Christie Kelley

My oldest son graduated high school on June 3rd. It was a
lovely ceremony filled with laughter, tears, and some wonderful memories. As I sat in the stands watching the some of the children that I’ve known since my son was in second grade, it hit me that not only is my son’s life changing, but mine as well. It was time to realize that my son was now an adult.

What a strange concept!

The idea of having another adult in the house is finally starting to sink in. He still won’t be 18 until July 4th, but he certainly isn’t a child any longer. I started noticing the change him in about a year ago as he came out of the hormone induced middle teen years. Suddenly, my son wasn’t just telling me what video game he’d played that day, he was talking to me on an adult level. We were having philosophical conversations about life and the world.

And the trut
h is, I love it.

He’s turned out to be a wonderful young man. I count myself fortunate that he’s decided to live at home for two more years and attend the loc
al community college before transferring to a bigger university.

My younger son just turned 13 so as he enters those awful teen years, it’s nice know that he too will eventually come out of it. Hopefully, he will get through those years as well as my oldest did.

All these
things made me think about other upcoming changes that we all go through. Several of the bandits are going through their own changes. Some have children leaving for college this year. Others will be empty nesters for the first time. Others have to deal with an ailing parent. I know change is supposed to be good, but it can cause all kinds of emotions to run through us, too. It's nice to know we can share these emotions with our friends.

So what about you? Do you have any upcoming life changes you’re dealing with? If you have children, how will you (or did you) deal with your kids leaving home whether for college or for good?


limecello said...

Congratulations to your son, Christie! Graduating from high school is exciting and a great milestone - the summer of graduation parties.
As for life changing... no not really. I think I've mostly "finished" mine that I can plan for. :X

limecello said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jane said...

Congrats to your oldest son, Christie. No upcoming life changes here, but you never know what might come your way.

Helen said...

Well done Lime have fun with him

Conngrats to your Son on his graduation it is always a moving thing for me all of mine have graduated and I only have 1 at home now and she is 23, my son who is my 2nd child was the first to move out and although I missed him I have to say that life at home was a lot easier with only 3 and not as much arguing between them LOL, then quite a few years later after Bec graduated from university and started teaching she then moved and that was hard but still again things did become even easier at home then of course Brooke told us she was having a baby and she stayed at home till Corey was 4 months old and that was great having him living here then they moved (Corey is 18 months now) very sad then Kirsty moved out for about 3 months then came back home.
I gotta say being empty nesters for those 3 months was great but my 3 kids and their partners and kids are always here they haven't moved far away and I see them all every week and that I love.
Not much happening at the moment although I have just had hubby in hospital he is doing well. Unfortunatley I have to go back to work in about a week and that I don't like I really would love to stay at home LOL. It is always great to share with friends.

have Fun

Christie Kelley said...

Congrats on the GR, lime! I like your comment about finishing all the changes you can plan for. It's the unplanned ones that throw us for a loop!

Christie Kelley said...

Jane, you are so right. Seldom can we plan for those changes. And even when we do, rarely does it turn out the way we plan.

Christie Kelley said...

Helen, you're so lucky to have your children close by. I can only hope that my kids decide to stay near. I have a feeling my oldest won't.

Laurie said...

You'll be amazed at the "free" time!

I've been an empty nester for 2 years. I love the freedom! no school activities, no crisis to deal with, no noise at home, no cooking at a set time, no food preferences.

I have 3 sons attending the same university: 2 grad school, 1 a junior. They get along beautifully. They keep us posted on their activities.

My oldest, a daughter will be married 3 years this month. Time flies!

I'm happy, my husband's happy, the kids are happy.

Life is great!

Christie Kelley said...

Laura, great post! I'm sure when my kids finally do leave the house, I'll be ready. I'm just glad it's not happening this year!

Deb said...

Hi, Christie. There will many changes in my family this next year (2010-2011).
1) My niece Meghan will graduate from college. 2)My niece Ali will graduate from high school. 3)My niece Karalynn will get her driver's license. 4)My stepson just became engaged--no wedding date yet. 5)My parents' health is okay, not great, and my dad has made the decision not to farm, but to rent out the land instead. It makes me sad to think about them selling the homeplace when they eventually decide to do so. My husband and I talked about buying it, but my job is an hour away from their place.

My baby is 10 and it amazes me how fast the years have flown by. A friend told me they go even faster when kids are in high school. I'm glad you have your son home for awhile yet. (I think going to a community college is a wise decision; get all that gen. ed. out of the way.)

Louisa Cornell said...

Lime got the GR ! No major change there!

The only major change I experienced lately was the death of my dog, Waya. I had her for 18 years and it still takes some getting used to at this point. To walk down my driveway and not hear her deep rough bark, rather like the raspy voice of my Nana, who smoked entirely too many cigarettes. She was the head dog in our "pack" and I think we are all a little lost without her.

One life change I would LOVE to experience is getting a publishing contract! Now that, I think I could handle!

Christie Kelley said...

Wow, Deb! You have quite a lot going on this year! I didn't get into my nieces and nephews mostly because I have so many (22 of them).

The speeding of time starts in middle school. It seems like they just start in and then they're filling out their schedules for 8th grade.

Christie Kelley said...

Oh, Lousia, I'm sorry about your dog. Eighteen years is a very long time for a dog. It's incredible that she lasted so long.

I'm sure that contract is coming soon for you. And it is life changing!

Louisa Cornell said...

Christie, my brothers used to call her Timex, because they thought she would NEVER stop ticking. She was a Rottweiler / German shepherd cross and looked like a woolly mammoth most of the year.

I have a sneaky suspicion I am not really ready for all that a contract changes in one's life, but I am waiting to find out!!

Hard to believe you have a child old enough to be graduating from high school. Of course, my nephew just finished his first year of college and it seems like only yesterday I was buying him coloring books!

Virginia said...

Congrats on your son. My son has been in college for about two years. The main thing that bugs me is when he is in the dorm he doesn't keep in touch and let you know what's going on. To me he is still a kid that has a lot of growing up to do but I guess it will always be that way.

Christie Kelley said...

Louisa, no matter how prepared you think you are when the call comes, you feel overwhelmed. Still, it's a fantastic feeling.

My son is in the younger group of his cousins. I already have one niece married and a nephew engaged. It's strange to see them in their late 20s and early 30s.

Christie Kelley said...

Virginia, I think it's a boy thing. I'm not looking forward to him leaving because I know he won't call and tell me about his week like I do with 82 yr old mother.

jo robertson said...

Thoughtful post, Christie. Those life changes can definitely be harder on parents than the kids. I taught seniors for many years and loved the point at which they turned the corner from childhood to adulthood sometime during that year. It's very rewarding as a teacher, knowing you had a small part in helping them on their journey.

I've gone through most of the major changes and I'm expecting (hoping!) for the next huge change to be as a pubbed author!

TerriOsburn said...

Congratulations to your son and to you for turning out what sounds like a really good guy.

My kiddo goes to middle school next year and it's the start of the pre-teen phase in my house. I see the hormones coming at me like a fright train at full speed. The eye rolling, "this isn't fair!", and stomping off have already started.

Add to this that I'm attempting to buy a house. However, find the right house in the right area is proving trickier than I'd ever imagined. If I survive the next few months of missing said kiddo (she'll be 1000 miles away all summer), revising my first MS, pitching said MS, and actually buying a house, I'm taking the rest of the year off. LOL!

Pat Cochran said...

Honey and I have been empty-nesters
in varying degrees for quite a few years now. We've had a "rebound" or
two, but everyone is fairly well
settled now. We still are all in
the Houston area. We get together
for birthdays or just for lunch on
1-2 weekends a month. Honey and I
are blessed in that our family is
so close! My hope is that when we
are gone, that the children will
continue to stand together!

Pat Cochran

Anna Campbell said...

Congratulations, Lime!

Christie, your son sounds absolutely lovely. I love it when I see that transition from boy to young man or girl to young woman. And it seems to happen in the blink of an eye too!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hey Lime! You got him again! :>

Congrats on the graduate, Christie! He's going to do great. Grins.

Life changes...well, that's "so 2009" for me. Ha! So many things changing for me in '09 and so few of them good. Sigh.

But, I got through it! Now, my life changes are positive, though a bit wistful. I have a graduate too - from Pre-K to Kindergartner in the fall. Grins. Wow. Both kids in school. How weird will THAT be?

Wait...that's more writing time. Hurry September! Hahahah!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Pat said: Honey and I
are blessed in that our family is
so close! My hope is that when we
are gone, that the children will
continue to stand together!

What a lovely sentiment, Pat. I'm sure they will. My family has, and in some ways it cements the siblings to be so loved by the parent. Good your you and your Honey! Congrats on such a lovely family.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Deb said: I'm glad you have your son home for awhile yet. (I think going to a community college is a wise decision; get all that gen. ed. out of the way.)

Deb, I second you on that. getting those general studies out of the way at a CC is so much more cost effective, AND it can give a kid who doesn't know where they fit a good boost of confidence toward knowing where they WANT to fit. I saw this with a friend of mine and her kids. They all three went to CC (mom too!) and it was a really important step to directing their career paths. Excellent choice all 'round! Grins.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Louisa said: One life change I would LOVE to experience is getting a publishing contract! Now that, I think I could handle!

*lifting glass* Here's hoping 2010 is YOUR year, Louisa, because you really know how to rock a story, you're persistant and I'm telling you, it's just TIME! hahaha! :> Pink Ribbon! Pink Ribbon! Grins.

Fingers crossed....

Nancy said...

Christie, congratulations on the graduation! I know what you mean about changes. The boy and I went to dinner one night this Spring, and we ended up discussing The Great Gatsby, which he'd read in English and I used to teach in my 1920s course. As you say, quite a switch from the nuances of the day's video game action (though I still get those, too).

He won't graduate until next year, but he's already starting to chart his long-term path.

Nancy said...

Helen, I'm glad your hubby is doing well. Maybe in that final week of leave, you can whittle the TBR pile some.

Nancy said...

Limecello, congrats on the rooster.

Nancy said...

Laurie, I'm glad your kids are all doing so well in school together.

Just having the boy gone for a while this summer is changing our routine in odd ways. It will be a big change when he leaves for college.

Nancy said...

Deb, you have a lot going on! I was sad when my parents sold their house, but the dh and I, after much consideration, decided not to buy it. We like where we live, and my hometown isn't the same as it was when I grew up there. It's much more a bedroom and commuter community now than it was back then. There's actual heavy traffic through town to subdivisions outside it, and I actually got tailgated going through town one day, which hugely ticked me off. It was never that kind of place.

Nancy said...

Christie, I forgot to say that in NC, going to community college to get an AA first and then transferring to a state university is a great bargain. The kids come into the university system as juniors, with their required courses considered met, and they can focus on what they want to study.

Joan said...


Congratulations on your son's graduation! Sigh....I remember mine....kind of... :-0

I have no major life changes in sight (unless a publisher would like to call and offer for my mss!) and that's ok as I've had my fill for awhile.

As to children, my Cricket will not likely attend college but she IS growing up. Yesterday, when I laid down on the couch she curled up in front of the door to nap!!!

Sniff, sniff...she didn't want to cuddle with me!

PJ said...

Congrats to your son, Christie and to you and your hubby for guiding him to this point!

No life changing events coming along for least none that I know about. ;-)

PJ said...

Sniff, sniff...she didn't want to cuddle with me!

Come visit me, Joanie. Rachel (all 65 pounds of her) would be more than happy to cuddle on the couch with you! :)

Gannon Carr said...

Congrats on the graduate, Christie! My oldest will graduate next year so that will be the big one for us. My middle son will be starting high school in the fall and my daughter will be in 6th grade. That's two teenagers and a tween....Calgon, take me away!! LOL

Joanie, I have two dogs (34 and 68 pounds respectively) who are champion cuddlers. They were both piled on the bed napping with me this afternoon. *g*

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

Right now I am trying to adjust to my son being in AZ for a few weeks. It is the farthest he has been away from me in 20 years.

Joan said...

I don't know PJ and Gannon...going from 2lb of fluffy fur to 40 and 60 lbs?

She's licking me now (which beats biting) so I guess she likes me again....

Nancy said...

Louisa, I'm so sorry about Waya. Our first golden lived to be 16-plus, though we had her for only the last 9 of those years, and we couldn't believe how empty the house was without her.

Like you, I believe I have sufficiently built my character through dealing with rejection and would now like to see how it handles success. Maybe 2010 will be our year!

Christie Kelley said...

Hi Jo! And everyone else. Sorry, I've been MIA for the past few hours. I had to go out and get a new cell phone. Then the day job go in the way. But I'm back now!

Jo, you're do amazing when you get that call. You're so ready for a publishing contract! And I can't wait to read your book.

Christie Kelley said...

Terri, those middle school years are hard on both the child and the parent. Doesn't seem to matter how good the school is either. It's just the time in their life.

As far as the house stress, well that's my day job. Buying and selling a house is one of the most stressful things anyone ever does. The biggest thing you can do is be patient. It's takes time to find the right house.

Good luck with your summer and your house hunting!

Christie Kelley said...

Pat, it's always nice to hear when kids stay near their parents. I'm hoping my will so I can be there to help them with their children.

Christie Kelley said...

Anna, it's amazing just how fast it happens. Seems like only yesterday he was out playing with his friends in the backyard. Now he's driving to his friends' house.

Christie Kelley said...

Jeanne, it's totally awesome when both kids are in school. You will get so much writing done! You'll love it!

Christie Kelley said...

Nancy, I still get some of those video game comments. Then again, he's going into video game programming so I guess it's good. Two days ago, I had five 18 year olds on my sofa watching the live gamers conference (E3) and playing Pokemon. My 13 yr old thought they were crazy.

Christie Kelley said...

Nancy, it's pretty much the same in MD with the transfer degrees from the CC. And they get an auto acceptance to the state colleges.

Christie Kelley said...

Joan, Cricket wasn't really napping. She was guarding the door. A lot of cats like to be like guard dogs and make sure nothing happens to their owners. Misha stays downstairs in the foyer until my 17 yr old comes in at night.

Christie Kelley said...

PJ, thanks for stopping by! I've been absent from the Dishes lately because of all the school stuff and work stuff. Hopefully, I'll do better this coming week.

Christie Kelley said...

Gannon, I enjoyed being done with the elementary school. They needed so much volunteer time and the middle school is much more self-sufficient. Good luck with senior year. There is so much going on and a lot of drama too.

Christie Kelley said...

Dianna, having your son so far away must be hard. Hopefully, he'll be back soon!

Joan said...

Joan, Cricket wasn't really napping. She was guarding the door.

Awwwww....that's sweet. I swear, she is like a little puppy sometimes. Follows me from room to room. She was sniffing the floor in a "new" room I allowed her in just like a bloodhound, LOL

flchen1 said...

A huge congrats to your son and your family, Christie! My upcoming change is on a much smaller scale--my youngest will be starting kindergarten this fall :) I'm still at the excited stage, but I allow that I may be sad when the day arrives :)

As for my kids leaving for college, that's still thankfully years off. Many milestones to survive before then ;)