|My baby boy, circa 1998|
But, this year felt so much different. For starters, he had been living on campus mostly year-round, as he took summer courses in addition to his fall and spring semesters. When I moved in with my partner last summer, my son had only stayed at my house about ten nights of the year. Even when the pandemic hit, my son was one of the few allowed to stay on campus. But when the college opened up its campus to students again in September, my son decided he wanted to learn remotely.
|This pandemic brought us closer together |
with family nights on the couch
Being in a new place and having my son move into that place took a lot of adjusting on all of our parts. Mike had to renovate a room for him; we had to figure out where to store all his belongings; we all had to learn to live in harmony together, while having different daily routines and eating habits. After a few rocky weeks, we found our living together groove. We established family routines, such as eating dinners together no matter what the rest of our day looked like; going for hikes and walks and runs together; watching a dedicated TV show together.
|So proud of his achievements!|
When my son got accepted into a new college more than three hours away, I felt a little anxiety about the distance, about the pandemic, about him being so far away in a new place on his own. But I was also very excited for his new adventure. I was also ready to go back to the calm, quiet lifestyle that Mike and I had become accustomed to before my son moved in. So I set about packing my son's life up once again and making sure he had everything to be self-sufficient and successful at his new school.
|IllumiNITE's cool, reflective design will keep|
my son visible to drivers despite dark and winter conditions
My son's been living in Vermont for the past few years, so he's fully equipped for Vermont
winters with thermal wear and a heavy duty jacket and gloves. Since he doesn't have a car, we bought him a mountain bike so that he can get around campus—and have some fun in Vermont's epic wooded trails! I made sure he had all the safety accessories: helmet, blinking lights, reflective strips. But on the drive home, I realized exactly how remote he was, remembered how quickly it gets dark in the winter, and panic seized me. Why didn't I buy him reflective clothing before he left? And then it really hit me: my baby boy has once again left the nest, and I missed him terribly already.
|Who's that sneaking up in the dark? |
Phew! It's just my son being silly
on our evening walk!
"He's only a car ride away, not across country." I nodded.
"We can finally watch whatever we want on TV." That one made me laugh.
And now that we're watching The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel on Amazon Prime (highly recommend!), I remembered that it's a good thing to have such an ambitious, driven child who wants to venture out on his own.
"He takes after him mom," Mike said.
|Safety orange will keep my son safe from hunters|
when he's on the trails in the woods
IllumiNITE is more than an athletic apparel company; they offer a variety of products for women, men, kids, and even pets; Safety is IllumiNITE's top priority. From tote bags to Halloween capes to dog leashes, IllumiNITE has something for everyone.
|My favorite Valentine's|