Back Again

Hello, all. Thanks for your patience. I had to take a blog and writing hiatus for a few weeks, because of life. There have been many milestones for my family — a prom, an anniversary, a concert, a prom — and I had to make the milestones the priority.

I’m still not entirely done. We successfully got Ian and Steve on the bus at 5:30 am for an eighth grade class trip to DC. Tomorrow, Jonah turns 18. He started his first job busing tables at a restaurant last night. On Friday, we go back to his college to register for classes. Then I have to get Jonah some black pants and shoes for his high school graduation. There’s the graduation ceremony, a family bbq, and college orientation coming up, too.

It’s all good stuff, but getting everyone at the right place at the right time with the right clothes requires a lot of organization and lists. I’ll post pictures when I get the time to download the camera.

This morning, I’m having some panic attacks. I’m neurotic and that’s what I do. I’m desperately worried about life after these milestones. What’s going to happen when Jonah goes to college? School has structured our lives in the suburbs for thirteen years. His sporting events and school functions have filled our calendar and formed our social groups. What happens when that structure is gone?

Yes, we still have Ian here, but it’s not the same. He’s a special ed kid who goes to a public school about thirty minutes away. Special ed kids never get access to those same events, particularly when their schools are far away. He does do a lot of activities, because his brain never shuts down, and I need to keep him busy as much as I can. But his activities usually involve me waiting in a waiting room or in the parking lot. They are not social events. He’ll be in the marching band next year, so I suppose we’ll have that.

So, what will life be like in the suburbs without a typical kid to participate in community events? Will it be boring and lonely?

A number of Jonah’s friends’ families are moving a couple of days after graduation. Nobody wants to pay New Jersey taxes for a week longer than they must. One family is moving to Missouri. Another to Michigan. Once the kids are done with their education, there is no reason to stay.

We aren’t moving for a while, at least while Ian is still in school. My extended family is all here within 20 minutes of our home. Steve’s job is in the city. In fact, in the midst of all this, I’m also planning a kitchen renovation for this fall. So, I’ll suppose I’ll fill our social gaps with more work and volunteer activities. I’m sure it will be fine, but the suburbs are a weird place, and it’s hard to know whether or not we’ll still feel at home here in a few months.

Well, I’ll do some proper blogging this week. There’s the Comey testimony tomorrow. Yay! I know people who are having viewing parties at their homes. We’ll just hang out here and have fun.

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9 thoughts on “Back Again

  1. I hear you. Last weekend was graduation and a rare visit from my family. This week is “Make S get a job” week. I nag her every day. E is done a week from Friday, and I can’t wait to see the back of that 9th grade English teacher. 9th grade English teachers are the bane of my existence, and I myself *am* an English teacher.

    I am learning to get out in town by pursuing my hobbies, which are education/politics and genealogy. We went to Town Meeting on Monday to make sure our full-day kindergarten got funded (it did). On Sunday I went to the local historical society’s annual Strawberry Festival and worked with people in my Genealogy group to do a kind of “Genealogy Road Show.” It ends up that one of my fellow group members has a son who develops some kind of musical notation software, so I totally begged her to let me have E meet him. My plan is to fan this spark into a flame….

    And S the Jobless still thinks she should gallivant to concerts, so I am probably going to head to NY this weekend so she can go to a club in Williamsburg to see one of her favorite bands. I might head down the street to a movie theater (Williamsburg has movie theaters? Since when?) and see Wonder Woman again.

    Oh, and I’m teaching a summer class at 8 am in June. This sucks. Stupid college expenses.

  2. Exciting times, indeed!

    Socially, after hs kids’ sports, has been a challenge. We just don’t run into those parents much anymore (how often do NCAA nationals happen? answer, once a year).

    KId after college needs to find a job. Two weeks of relaxing is about all I can take in the room next door (as I’m teaching and finishing a sabbatical). We did move after high school (not really downsizing, but out to the country) because our jobs are in the area. I don’t see staying here in MN forever. Family is in Chicago and Israel.

    Wonder where the kids will settle after college.

  3. First, wow, viewing parties for the Comey testimony? These are some hard core political junkies or… these are such crazy times they may as well be witnessing history unfold in front of their eyes.

    OK, now… this post made me nostalgic, stressed out and… I don’t know… maybe sad? All at the same time. Wasn’t it the other day when we all had babies and toddlers? Time flies and these milestones are indeed a palpable reminder of this. We are also planning to move soon after our youngest graduates from high school — we only live here because of the kids’ (private) schools. We live far from work (20 miles for my husband, nearly 90 for me) and in spite of the fact we have good friends here, the tiny town (more like a village) where we live is not where we want to be. We will just need to decide where to move to.

    I don’t want to think about the kids going to college yet, Kelvin has only finished his first year of high school.

  4. My kids are in middle school/making the transition to high school. I’m reminded of the old adage – the days are long, but the years are short. On the one hand, they drive me nuts laying around all day. On the other hand, I can’t even think of them leaving. When I try to think of the fact that there will be a point in my life when I stop seeing them every day, I can’t even go there – it makes me cry (in fact, my eyes are welling up as I type this).

  5. With respect to moving, even if you don’t leave the area, several of our suburban friends moved out of the “good” school district once the last child graduated. In a lower quality district, the houses (hence the mortgage) and the property taxes can both be 20% lower. You don’t have to be appreciably farther from family and friends.

    This doesn’t apply in NYC, where the property taxes are not significant, and rich people send their children to private school. We sometimes think very idly about downsizing, but that would only be to a slightly smaller apartment in another upscale co-op somewhere in Manhattan, and we probably won’t do it anytime soon.

    1. One of #1’s first jobs after high school was helping the family of his twin friends who had graduated with him move from the expensive apartment in our school district to a less expensive and nicer apartment in the less favored district in the same town. They had been there four years, during which they had gotten Arlington to spend about 150 on their education, at 20 a year per. Rent about three grand a month, so 100 for rent. Pretty good deal, if I do say so.
      We plan to stay where we are, because we like it and our children have threatened to excommunicate us if we get rid of their beloved childhood home. It’s all good. Taxes are noticeable, though.

      1. dave s. said:

        “We plan to stay where we are, because we like it and our children have threatened to excommunicate us if we get rid of their beloved childhood home.”

        Then they don’t get to move away either, do they?

  6. Thinking about moving. I’ve realized it’s unlikely our children will choose to live with us after graduation. Too many places to go and things to do. Many of my friends have started talking of downsizing as well. The taxes are really high, the houses will sell easily. There’s a turnover of generations.

    On a separate note, my college graduate is receiving credit card offers and student loan offers in the mail. The credit card offers are more up front about interest rates. I suppose a college graduate is a good risk for student loans? Or some law changed recently to make it profitable to send such unsolicited mail?

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