Friday, October 26, 2012

random access memory

I was sitting here, yesterday afternoon, preparing for a student.  The sound of Meego's video game humming and crashing nicely to my left.  When I heard a car door shut in the driveway followed by the pitter patter of big feet, I assumed that Wolfgang was  home earlier than usual from cross country practice.

The pitter patter crashed down the stairs to where we were, and Chaco appeared.

Recall that Chaco is "away" at college.  About 7 miles "away".  Since he lives in the dorm, though, he could be in the next state over.  He doesn't often bless us with his presence, and I think that's a good thing.  He really seems to be loving the college life.  I knew that he could barely wait to be done with high school last year, and managed to keep his grades up mainly because that made getting into college easier.

He'd known for some time what he wanted to study.  He visited one other state school, but in the end, the local university was an easy choice.  It has one of the top programs in the country for his major.  Plus, three of his good friends were going there, for the same program.

Magnum and I were silently tickled.  It's a good school.  I love that it's so close.  Plus, it's a relative bargain.  Add the fact that his major is both in demand and quite nerdy, his enginerd parents are geekily  happy.

College:  all about the merchandising

Now, Wolfgang is in that soup.  He's not as honed in as Chaco was.  He's a lot like I was at that age.  So many different interests, how to choose one?  Our visit to CU last week was fun for us both, and I think  enlightening to him.  Since then, he seems to have a new fervor for looking to the future.

Magnum and I suck at helicopter parenting.  On purpose.  We think the kids should figure out their own paths, knowing that we ARE watching and interested and supportive (within reason).  They should also learn from their own mistakes (within reason)

Wolfgang has been asking more about college admissions and grades, etc., since it's often part of my job to advise on these things.  His grades have slipped the last couple of semesters, which is why we began enforcing The Agreement regarding his participation in extracurriculars.  They're not horrible, but I know he can do better.  NOW, he cares.  It really is all connected, hello!

I'm glad he's seen the light.  As cross country season is coming to an end, I was hoping for alternative incentives.

And Chaco?  He came home to get one of our card tables, so the guys can play poker in their "living room".

"Hmmm, I was going to ask you something, but now I forgot", I remembered.

"Oh yeah", it came to me,"Do you have our wool blanket?", I asked

"No", he asserted.  "You mean the wool blanket you put in here?", he said while opening the small closet to my right.

"Uh.... yeah, that one".

There.  Got my blanket.

And, so far, a couple of good sons to care for their mother in her senility.


  1. Good thing he stopped by or else you would have had to sleep in the cold, card tables and wool blankets it appears you have to give up one to gain the other :)

    1. He can have the card table. I'll play Go Fish on the floor if I have to in order to stay warm this winter.

  2. I am on your heels as far as this college thing goes; listening and learning.

    I'm trying to keep the helicopter parked, too, and let the babes use the tools I've been giving them. So hard.

    I always like seeing the family pics, modeling and all. :)

    1. I don't know if you should be listening and learning from us. We're pretty much just making it up as we go.

      And he's a reluctant "model". I had to sneak snap this one as he turned. I think he's saying "what's that fo..."

  3. My "helicopter parenting" involves actual helicopters (albeit toy ones). Fun!
    But hovering over them to ensure "accomplishment"? Not so much....

    Cool about the unexpected visit. And what, no laundry?

    1. I never could get those dang toy helicopters to go where I wanted them to go.

      I know, right? No laundry? I thought he had the college boy thing all figured out, but maybe not. He's straight A's in asking for munch money, though.

  4. I have never been a helicopter parent. I liked feeling needed when they were younger, but it didn't take long to want them NOT to need me so much. I leave myself open if they ever want help, or need to talk, and I try to give good advice without nagging or judging.
    Yet I have spoiled them rotten in some respects. Oh well.
    I'm really glad you found your blanket, but now I'm more and more curious about where your jeans will turn up...

    1. Independence is a good thing. If they're in a pinch, they know where I live. One thing I know is, the jeans were not with the blanket.

  5. You have good boys, maybe due in part to a bit of luck, but more, I think due to your confident and positive parenting.

    I was never a helicopter parent by nature. One of the kids forced me to be one to some degree. I couldn't sit back and watch him fail to graduate high school. Once that mountain was conquered, life became so much easier. His life so far is not what I would have dreamed for him, but he's a good person and relatively happy.

    Once the other two hit college, we all expected they would manage on their own unless they needed help. When they need help, they ask and I gladly assist. I didn't realize how different parents can be when the kids are this age. I have friends who know their kids logins for the school website, who monitor class schedules and grades and tuition statements. To me, that is just one more thing to worry about. This is the time for the kids to take on that responsibility!

    Glad to hear you found your blanket! Did you ask him about the jeans?

    1. I'm with you. Through tutoring, I run into my fair share of helicopter parents. Seriously, the kid's trying to get into college and the mom is bringing the calculator to tutoring?!

      I didn't ask about the jeans. I like to keep some mystery in my life.

  6. When it comes to our kid, I'm not the helicopter parent (that's his mom's role) but I do try to keep up with his status/situation. With kids, each one has a different outlook/persona and you have to learn to adapt your approach. Sometimes is requires a bit of encouragement/support/love to motivate them. Other times you have to resort to the old two-by-four approach to get you message across. I think you've done a great job with all three. Glad to know Chaco came home for the right reasons (card table for poker). At least he wasn't looking for a beer pong table (yet).

  7. What great kids you have been raising so wisely.