School starts for teachers tomorrow. Most of us have already been back for weeks, preparing our classrooms for the kiddies to arrive on Thursday. Our two days of professional development begin tomorrow.
It was a busy, fun and productive summer. We celebrated my grandmother’s 100th birthday, (the “real” day is actually this Thursday.) Our cousins from all over the country came to New Jersey and we celebrated for nearly three weeks! I think I wound up seeing more of New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New York with my Western cousins than I would have ever done had they not been here!
We took a “historic” tour of Greenwich Village, visiting the places Grammy grew up, the apartment she and my grandfather lived when they were first married, the church my grandparents were married in and another church where my father and his brothers were baptized.
We went to the beach – so incredibly close, yet for some reason, a place we hadn’t gone in over a year, and to the Poconos with a trip to Bushkill Falls. We got to see another one of our cousins play in a performance of “Rock of Ages”. We went bowling, to a trampoline park, to the zoo and to the pool. We watched a Mandala be constructed in my own home town!
All of this happened in just those three weeks! The rest of the summer, I worked at Camp Maple, where I have worked for the last seven summers, so although we were outside and having fun with our campers….it wasn’t quite “my summer” yet.
On Friday, we take DJ to college. He is one of the last of his friends to leave for school and he is ready to go. Dave and I….maybe not quite so ready to have him leave, but we are excited for his new adventure. That might officially end summer for me. A new batch of Kindergarten parents, leaving their babies with me as I leave my “baby” in Massachusetts. It is going to be a week filled with bittersweet tears for all of us!
DJ and my dad have always had a close relationship. My dad was a huge help with his child care when he was very young and they did everything together. Sports are their common bond. My dad has season tickets to the New York Giants and the New Jersey Devils which allows DJ the opportunity to get to many games! Lots more than we ever went to when we were kids.
As we get closer to DJ graduating and leaving for college, I have noticed him pulling away more from my dad which I know is causing some friction. He is much more social with friends and sports as well, but we are more open to this, whereas my dad doesn’t understand why he doesn’t want to spend as much time with him. Perhaps it is a generational “thing.” My dad was pretty strict and rigid with rules, curfews and where and when we could go when we were growing up. Dave’s parents were not. Dave and I have sort of met in the middle as parents, giving DJ the chance to have his independence as long as he proves to us that he is being responsible. So far, he has 🙂 DJ has never been a rebellious child. He’s our easy one!
We are actually happy that he has become more social and independent. I was worried about this for awhile – thinking it might be difficult when he went off to college. This doesn’t worry me anymore. Perhaps this is why he is not rebelling with us in the way I am noticing him act out with my dad.
When he leaves for college in the Fall, I am going to be weepy, I am going to miss him, but I also know that he is going there ready and prepared socially and this makes me feel confident that he will do fine. For my dad, it will be like he is losing his best friend. He is already asking him how often he will come home for games and how far he plans on going away.
I get angry at DJ when I hear the tone in his voice when he speaks to my dad on occasions but at the same time I understand because my dad did the same thing to me. He cares deeply for his family. It is the most important thing in the world to him. He allowed me to go away to college and I did great. I flourished. It was my first time away from home and I needed that independence to create the person I am today. I am happy to see DJ doing the same thing….even earlier than I did.
DJ will come home and visit. New Jersey might not be where he winds up though and I am prepared for that. Our family is a bit of an oddity in this regard, all of us living within ten miles of one another.
We cannot foresee the future. What ever happens, will happen for a reason.