Monday, June 25, 2012

Postive Thoughts on my Daughter Going to College

This evening we leave for college orientation! It's going to be a busy two days filled with lots of walking, meetings, and scoping out the campus where my child will go live come August.

Update for those who aren't friends with me on the book of faces. After clicking on quite a few "contact us" links and sending those emails, I received a phone call from the university Friday. This incredible woman sat on the phone with me and answered any and all questions I could come up with in my mind. I wanted to write everything down so I could share it with The Man and my daughter so I had her repeat until I finally grasped everything she was saying. She was patient and kind and I thanked her profusely over and over for being so awesome. By the time I got off of the phone, I felt better prepared to handle the orientation this week and was much calmer. (I think the anti-anxiety pills were kicking in- I may never quit taking them again. Ever.)

Yesterday, the girl child didn't go to work until the evening, so she went to church with us. A casual conversation between us made me realize she really didn't have anything to wear this week. Poor kid. She wears jeans and the restaurant tshirt to work and hasn't really had need for anything for summer up until this point. We did a quick run after church and Sunday dinner to see if we could find something quick before she had to head to work. We found cute knit skorts that are comfy and stylish. Add in a tie-dye'd tshirt in her school's dominant color and she is set for the all day session Tuesday! She feels good about having the cute outfit and I'm happy she's has something new and comfy to wear.

So, I've been thinking about the positive aspects of my child being on her own. What have I done, as a parent, to prepare her for the world? I've been working on a list that I will add to when I think of things, but here are a few I've come up with thus far.

1. She can cook. She has cooked for the family the past couple of years when I've been sick (or recovering from surgery) and has really done a wonderful job. If she can get to a grocery store, she can cook. This may come in handy for fellow students who are her friends.

2. She can do laundry. All three of my kids can do laundry. Yes, even the eight year old. He operates the washing machine better than his Dad or sisters. Doing laundry is important because I have laid down the law that she is not to bring home huge bags of dirty laundry unless she is planning to wash them here at home.  I have a feeling that many of these college freshmen will have no idea how to clean their clothes and she has potential to make some money if she charges to do it for them, right?

3. She can take care of business. Literally. Paige has had a bank account since she was fifteen with a debit card. She is not afraid to walk in the bank and deal with her business and handle what needs to be done. At first, she was hesitant, but I've told her the only way to learn is to just do it. Now? She's a pro.

4. My child can stand up for herself. Now, she may get a little mouthy at times and I chalk that up to age and that sooner or later she will learn to temper it and be a little more calm. As it stands now, she will not tolerate being mistreated or having those around her mistreated. She may only be 5' 2" (and a half....Lord, don't forget the HALF), but she's a firecracker when she gets angry.

These few things are comforting the Mama in me. Sure, there are more things that make her great and somewhat ready to head out into the world, I just feel good about these at the moment.

I have to share a laugh I had at her expense with you (because we're all close  friends and it's not like the world will see this, right?) On the orientation schedule, it's broken down to student activities and parent activities. On hers, it states that tomorrow night after walking and touring and meeting all day, they are doing some great stuff tomorrow night. You know, stuff like swimming, Wii, karaoke....busy exciting things! That's fine and dandy, but we read they won't leave to do that until 9:00 p.m. That makes my child blink because Grandma likes her sleep and will go to bed shortly after that time. She's already stated she'll see the bus off because she's not about all that activity that late at night. We all know better, of course, and so does she. She will be in the middle of everything and I feel sure she'll own the karaoke singing since she has an amazing voice. I also have a feeling she'll sleep all the way home Wednesday afternoon until she has to go to work Thursday. Grandma needs her rest, you know. (We've always called her Grandma because even as a small child, she has never gotten in a hurry over anything. Nothing. The child leaves for work almost an hour early (we live about 15-20 minutes away) so she doesn't have to hurry so get my drift?)

So, there you go. I am finding comfort where I can over letting my child leave home and get busy with her life. I've taught her what I can (and feel sure there will be many phone calls where I give crash course lessons on life) and she should survive pretty decently while she finds her footing in her new life.

I miss her already.....

Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Summer Miss Hope Went Crazy

People, I am losing my entire mind over here. No joke. After surgery, I quit all prescription medications while healing and the anti-anxiety pill was one of those. I never started it back because I thought I was cool and handling this thing called life pretty good.

Yeah, I started those bad boys back last night.

Two months until college.


Next week, The Man and I are taking our Baby Girl (a.k.a The High School Graduate and/or  The Legal Adult(am reminded of this on a regular basis)) to orientation at her university.

To say I am overwhelmed is a tiny little massive understatement. We have no clue where we have to go or what we have to do. I finally had my child pull up some kind of link on the computer with an itinerary of sorts.

Looking at it made me blink really really hard. It was confusing and of course they split us up from our child because *cue club music* she gets to go experience college and see how fun it is(!) and how cool life is going to be (!) while my husband and I get to do the adult fun stuff. What?? We get to go to a financial aid seminar while she has small group and gets a SOUVENIR!! (My sarcasm level is so high right now, you should be glad you can't hear my tone of voice.)

Now Miss Hope is a good person. If you're my friend? I got your back. I can take a lot and keep truckin'.

My truck ran out of gas right at that moment.

What did I do?

I clicked on many "contact us" links and I started emailing.

I mainly told them that there's nothing like dropping a few hundred bucks to go walk their campus and not knowing how to get to the flippin' campus. I also stated that we're not paying for college so how come we're attending the financial aid seminar?? (Hold your britches now. -okay, now go back and re-read that word. It's Southern for pants- We are helping her with expenses and such, we just can't whip out the checkbook and write a check for cool ten grand or more.)

I sent those emails last night when the anxiety was high and, therefore, I may have been a tiny bit  obnoxious, verbose, and not so nice. (I wasn't UN-nice....I was Southern Belle pissed off nice- there's a difference, you know.) Kudos to the university because I've already received two responses and methinks I may know a little more than I did last night by the end of the day.

I am a first time college student parent here. They need to recognize my need for communication and need for knowledge on how much debt they're going to give my child. You know, the kid that started out at 3 lbs 7 oz and right now? I just can't get past the whole watching her lay in the incubator deal thinking she would never grow up.

Medication, oh how I need thee.

Of course, my actions make my child roll her eyes and count down to the minute when she leaves this house and my froot loop acting self. *sigh* When do we stop being our kid's strongest advocate? I obviously didn't receive that instruction upon her birth and so now I don't know when to just let her do her thang.

You need to feel sorry for Makenna, too. Every road block we hit or what have you, I turn to her and point my finger and tell her she's not to do this or do that or she WILL do this and she WILL do that. Bless her laid back heart. She simply agrees with the Crazy Mama and goes about her business.

I hope and pray that the anti-anxiety medication won't take long to work in my system. That's another thing there. I don't know how the new plumbing inside of me will react, so it's a wait and see kind of deal. Hopefully, my system will say, "Hey, Celexa!! Where ya been? Welcome home, friend!" and open its arms and give it a big ol' hug and let it start where it left off ten months ago. I think my family is praying harder than I am at this point.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Paige's Graduation 2012

I woke up in January and went into panic mode. It was 2012 and it was officially the year my oldest child was going to graduate high school. Immediately, I went into planning mode because at my age, five months were going to fly by and the Big Day would be here before I knew it.

We decided to have the after party here at our home so that meant many things had to be done. There were walls that needed to be painted, curtains to be purchased, menus to plan, rooms to clean. From January up until the day everyone started arriving, we were working on this house of ours. I didn't quite get to do all I wanted, but it was sufficient and I was happy with the end results. That's one of the main reasons I suppose I've neglected The Edge in the past five months. I have had to promise others that this won't happen now because there's many things I need to update you all on and I would almost have to write every day to get caught up.

For now, this post is dedicated to my kid.

I got a little emotional around March at random times. The cap and gown hanging on a doorway would make me teary. All the correspondence from colleges would make me shake my head in denial. Finally, I think I reconciled myself that she was going to graduate no matter how badly I want her to be a little girl and need me forever. I found some kind of inner peace and made it my mission to make sure she had a day to remember.

I love how a couple of weeks before graduation, Paige and I seemed to trade emotional places. We would sit on the back porch while Prissy did her business and my girl would get teary eye'd her own self as the enormity of the situation hit her. She was leaving high school. Time to face the big bad world was upon her. I would smile and listen as I remembered thinking those same things when I was in her shoes.

I wondered how I would feel when I saw her walk across the stage to receive her diploma and would I be able to hold the tears at bay so I could truly see her face and expression. Lots of emotions rolling around in the ol' heart right there, friends.

The Friday before The Big Day, family and friends started rolling in. We had family and friends come from near and far to share the weekend and I am here to tell you, my house looked like the Walton's lived here. We had every room filled and even a few kids spread around in the living room "roughing it". It was simply amazing and good times and late nights were ours for the taking. Everyone got along and all pitched in to make sure things ran smoothly. I refused to stress over the small stuff and kept meals simple. We had the after party catered and that in itself was worth the moon. Go to ceremony, come home and VOILA! the food was here and waiting (Neighbor Debbie took over that job and supervised the delivery and set up.)

We had around twenty people go to the graduation ceremony and another twenty or so come to the party afterwards. Suffice it to say, the yard was filled with kids playing and inside was filled with people enjoying good food and company.

Paige was the Belle of the Ball. Normally, she doesn't like being the center of attention in  certain situations. This was one of them. I told her to smile and enjoy the day to the fullest because it was all hers. She was gracious and did her best to spend a few minutes with everyone she could. She opened gifts in front of thirty plus people and even stood at the end to give a very well spoken speech of thanks and gratitude. I may have bust a few buttons over how well she did the whole day.

I think my favorite moment of the day was when the graduates were walking in. They were all so adorable in their cap and gowns...trying very hard to act all proper and grown up. We were at an arena so it was a big place and parents, friends, and family, were scanning the line to see their kid. I saw my girl walk in and I admit the tears threatened, but I held them back. When they were all told to sit, I saw her looking through the crowd. When she spotted me, she started waving like a kid and then stopped and started fanning herself. She told me later that they were told to be dignified and solemn for the occasion but when she saw me, it was like she was in first grade again looking for her Mama and then when she saw me, she was that first grader waving like crazy because, "THERE'S MY MAMA!! HEY, MAMA!!" She said at that moment she almost burst into tears and had to look away. I want to squeeze her every time I think of that moment.

I am overwhelmed by the love and support that has been shown to my child. So many from near and far have shown great love for her with driving to be here, sending gifts that are just amazing and humbling, and amazing words of support and love. Of course, I think my kid is pretty dang special, but it's just a beautiful moment to my heart when I realize so many others believe that to be true, too.

Paige, you are such a special light in this world. You have made the world a brighter and much more beautiful place for me since the moment you were born. I see myself in you and I see this incredible unique person that I am proud to know and call my daughter. You have the greatest potential in life just in your smile and kind and gracious heart. Add in your gifted brain, and the world is yours for the taking. I don't know what your future holds, but I want to be there to see it with you. I want to still look around me and tell everyone in earshot "That's MY baby right there!!" while clapping like a loon. I just love you, Baby Girl. More than words can ever say...more than life itself. When I take you to college and cry when I have to leave, just hug me a little tighter and I'll make it through. And as always.....LYMI!!!!

*grabs tissue*

Okay, now I get to share a few pictures with you. Many took pictures and I haven't gathered them up yet so all I have are the ones from my camera. They may be a little out of order, but you get the "picture".  Hope you enjoy sharing the day this way....

I did this first thing day of graduation and sent it by picture message upstairs to the sleeping graduate. Woke her right up!

This was before we left for the ceremony.

This was at midnight the night before. I had The Man and Derrick outside putting up the coolest banner EVAH. She had no idea I had this for her.
Love this! I may have left this up for a few days because the world needed to know she was on the way!


The foyer coming into the house.
Michelle (USS Retired) took this. Ha ha. Uh...we also know the hat is on backwards. She had it fixed before walking out. I promise.

The MiMi and the Poppies. Two incredibly proud grandparents.
The Mama and the Daddy...
Aunt Lu and Uncle Chris
After the ceremony. One proud man right there, people.
Walking across the stage...feeling emotional just looking at this picture.
Aunt Cindy and Galyn. Can you tell these people are related?

Paige and Faryn. These two love each other to pieces and Faryn was a surprise guest that came for the weekend. These were two happy people to see each other!

Just to show how big the place was. It was a madhouse!


Miss Arlington Paige
Class of 2012

I'm missing a few pictures. I hope someone got one with her and her siblings because I can't find one! All in all, I believe the day to be successful and I am so glad my kids are five years apart. My poor heart couldn't take it if they were closer together! Please note that on the second picture and the last...she cut all her hair off! I made her promise to wait until senior pictures were taken. Two days before graduation, she went to the salon and told our stylist that she was "starting a new life" and needed something fresh. Of course, it looks fantastic on her.

Thank you all again who helped make this day so amazing and memorable for my child and our family. Your love and support mean so much to us and we will always be grateful.