One of the things about being a mom is that we never seem to stop encountering new terrain. Having never been in this territory (having my college daughter home for the summer) before, I didn’t really know what to expect. Here are a few things about Courtney that I really appreciated:
- She seemed genuinely happy to be home. I didn’t know how much she would appreciate once again living with rules and expectations, but she seemed happy, she smiled lots, was generous with hugs and lavished time on each of us.
- I really appreciated that she checked in constantly. Many times, before she even made plans, she checked to see if there were conflicting family plans….or what the dinner plan was – there were a few favorite dinners that she didn’t seem to want to miss. She took very little for granted and was so respectful.
- This seems really simple, but I really appreciated when Courtney would “treat” us. One treat was truffles from DeBrand for us. (If you are local, you know how awesome that was – and that it didn’t come cheap.) As parents we are used to picking up the tab for everything, this was a heartwarming gesture that meant a lot to me.
- I appreciated that at the end of the summer, after saving all her paychecks, she came to me and asked for help with setting up a new budget for the upcoming school year. As much as she is growing up and becoming independent, she isn’t afraid to let me know she still needs my help sometimes.
- The relationships that Courtney has with Erin and Zach have always been special. This summer, those relationships were as strong as ever. I LOVED seeing them together. I love that although she is moving more and more into the adult world, she hasn’t left them behind. I am thankful for the time she continues to pour into them ~ whether it was shopping, ice-cream runs, late-nights in the basement, sitting at softball games, or jumping on the trampoline, I appreciate how well she loves her sister and brother. She also took time for Kyler, she invested in him when it wasn’t always easy. I appreciated the grace she showed him this summer. I love her heart for him.
Its my first time entering this stage of parenting ~ the one where she’s less child, more adult. I am finding that appreciating her more is important. I get along with other adults where there is mutual appreciation, and so as our relationship grows, this must become a part of our growth. She is still my child, but she isn’t a child any longer. I am learning to not say things like “You’re wearing that?” and I am learning its important to say things like, “Thank you”, “I appreciate that” and “I’m so proud of you”.
I am sure there are things I did that she didn’t appreciate, I am certain I didn’t always express patience, but I did what I could, and that was to be aware of, and intentional in, our time together this past summer. I appreciated every minute in which she was a part. I really did.