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#12 - A Baby Boomer Real Story Series about Helicopter Parents -------- by Nancy Geiger

July 13th, 2008
The second year of college doesn't necessarily mean the send off is smoother.

The second year of college doesn't necessarily mean the send off is smoother.
By Nancy Geiger

I’m slipping. Not only did John and I not drive Brittany back to school for her sophomore year last week, but I allowed her to leave in an incredibly disorganized fashion.

I’ve decided sophomore year is kind of like the second child. You know you don’t need to do certain things and you don’t take as many pictures.

We had decided we didn’t need to take her this year for a lot of reasons: she already had her room in the sorority house from last spring, everything she needed to take fit in her car, if we went we would be in a separate car for the two hour drive so not spending quality time with her anyway and we knew she would want to run off with her friends the minute we got there.

I did, however plan on helping her pack.

Somehow that never really happened.

She had gone to Charleston with some friends the weekend before and worked Monday and Tuesday. We decided we would do all of her laundry Monday night, move everything going out of her room Tuesday night and pack her car Wednesday morning. At least that was the plan.

Due to a last minute babysitting job and several “farewells” for other friends she said she would do her own laundry around 2 a.m. Monday night and everything else Wednesday morning. I said fine and asked her to wash some of my whites with hers.

She said she wasn’t going to do a white load. She was going to cram everything she had into one big load.

I told her my whites could wait.

Wednesday morning I finally heard her rummaging around upstairs about 10 a.m. An hour later she headed out to meet some friends downtown for a lunch break. Assuming that “break,” meant she had actually done something, I thought “ok”. After she left I went up to her room and saw how wrong I was. The closet and drawers did seem empty because the room was strewn with clothes, but nothing was folded or even looked clean. I was pretty sure she had spent the morning on the computer and phone.

Gritting my teeth I began pulling out suitcases and folding clothes. By the time she returned I had made a dent and she and her dad began carrying things to her car. I had pictured a box of school supplies, a box of shoes, clean folded clothes packed neatly into suitcases, and bath and cosmetic products in little plastic matching containers.

Instead I watched an armload of dirty clothes (which had been hidden under the bed) get tossed into a box of room decorations, shampoo bottles and 4 single shoes get thrown on top of the clothes I had managed to fold, papers gathered up without even looking to see if they were something she needed and stuffed into an empty purse. And it all got carted down to the car where it was pretty much tossed inside.

After waving her off I headed up to clean what was left of her room and the first thing I found when I opened her bathroom cabinet were the other 4 single shoes.

I suppose it could be worse. A friend of mine said his son forgot his alarm clock and called his mom to ask her to call back and wake him up at 8 a.m. so he wouldn’t miss his class! Brittany at least has figured out she can use her cell phone as an alarm.

Nancy Geiger and her husband are Baby Boomer empty nesters with their daughter Brittany (their only child) now a junior at college. When she left home Nancy started writing a monthly column for their local weekly paper about parenting a college student long distance. After 17 years as a travel agent for American Express, Nancy decided to commit herself to freelance writing and starting an online store, 2 blogs, a website and LOTS of volunteering! She even just published a cookbook called A Brides Cookbook or surviving the First Year.

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Nancy Geiger

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