What It’s Really Like to Take Your Kid to College

This time last week I was a wreck. A sleep-deprived, irritable, overwhelmed wreck. My oldest was caught in a flurry of child-like behaviors while simultaneously trying to assert his independence. My two youngest felt like they were losing their best friend. I couldn’t enjoy the final moments of living with him and them. See why I changed the name of the blog from My Life With Him and Them to Hey Twilli? 

Our lives were changing. The nest was starting to become empty. The first of my tribe was spending his final days with me at home, the second was caught in the anticipation that she will be in this situation next year, and the third was anxiously preparing for her departure two years after that. I never knew that taking one child to college would open the floodgates to everyone leaving, and yet it did.

My prayer partner warned me. My mother warned me. My cousins warned me. Even my ex-husband warned me.

“I’m fine. We’ll be fine. It’s all fine.” And I truly believed it when I said it.

Then all of a sudden, I wasn’t fine. Continue reading

The Seizures Came Back

I struggled with the title of this post for a while. My blogging process always takes me through a round of “Is it witty enough? Is the title catchy? Will people want to read this?”

And in this case, I wasn’t sure with the answers.

I just want to tell it like it is for us right now. And that can be summed up in one sentence. The seizures came back.

About 10 years ago, the teenager was diagnosed with epilepsy. One day he was a typical toddler and was playing on the couch and all of a sudden he fell over into a fury of convulsions.

Admist screams and cries for help, my husband and I called 9-1-1 and sat through the 2 minutes of horror that was that was his first seizure.

That day changed our lives forever. The following days were filled with more emergency room visits (because often they send you home and tell you to follow up with your pediatrician) and endless internet searches (I didn’t even know what epilepsy was.).

For the next 3 years, we dealt with the disease. It was hard. Very hard. It was unpredictable. Anti-seizure medicines don’t work right away and have a lot of side effects, including more seizures. We also had two other children babies to take care of.

It’s hard for me to think about those years without being sad. Very sad.

Shortly after he turned 5, things changed. He had one seizure at school and that was it.  We didn’t see seizures again.

For 8 years.

After two years, he stopped taking the medicine.

We watched carefully, but nothing came back.

When I spoke of epilepsy, I changed my words from, “We are at a really good place right now,” to “No seizures in ____ years!”

About five years ago, I even started working for the Epilepsy Foundation as an Education Coordinator so I could help others.

The kids volunteered at epilepsy awareness events. It was one of our causes.

But three weeks ago, the seizures came back.

And this time the rules are different. The seizures are different. The doctors are different. The schools are different. The sisters aren’t babies, but tweenagers who get easily freaked out by all of this. During all of this seizure stuff, I still have to remember my thyroid follow-up stuff. And the obvious….this time there is no husband to change his work schedule so someone could always be with child, or sit with me when I cry, or share theories and treatment options with at 2:00 a.m.

So that’s where we are.

That’s why I stopped systematically smiling in October. I was overwhelmed with the seizures themselves, and just the thought that they returned took me to a place.

I don’t know how little or frequent I’ll be talking about it here. The boy has asked me to start a blog specifically for his epilepsy, and his sisters have agreed to write it with me.

And November is Epilepsy Awareness Month…so I’m thinking I’ll write a little bit…at least.

Because some days are better than others, and on the bad days, I just may need to talk about it here.

Either way, I hope you’ll join me for the ride…:)


One More Month of Mommy

momandcjHe reminds me every day. Every. Single. Day.

Next month, I will be the proud parent of an even prouder teenage son.  While I am not sure of where the past 13 years have gone, I am sure that it really has been 13 years since I gave birth. Thirteen years ago I entered the world of being Mommy. And I have enjoyed it…immensely.

But now, says the boy, he cannot call me Mommy anymore. Once he hits the teen years. Teenagers don’t call their mom Mommy, he says. So every day he will say, “Mommy, I am getting this all out now, but your name is about to be shortened to Mom.”

Blank stare and side eye rolled both up in one.

His sisters think it’s silly. They say they will call me Mommy forever. He told them they won’t.

So this month, I am enjoying being called Mommy. Because I have been warned that it will soon end. By a teenage boy who’s favorite snack is Dino nuggets. I’m not sure if the Dino nugget fascination will stop at 13. And I dare not ask. Because there’s some things you just don’t ask a 13-year-old. It kind of puts them on the defensive you know?

I am looking forward to the teen years, I think. I appreciate seeing the kids grow into real people. Not just little people, but real people. And I do like the fact that he is becoming more independent, but still needs to spend time with me regularly,

Let’s have cheers for my transition status from Mommy to Mom. I’m choosing to think of it as a promotion of sorts.

Tell me….is there anything I should know about the teens years? Friends don’t let friends enter this realm alone.