by Nancy Geiger
Frequently phoning home from college, most of the time it doesn’t seem Brittany cares which of her parents she talks to. Either one will do. Many times we have sat at the dinner table and the kitchen house phone will ring. During dinner we usually screen calls, but often Brittany won’t leave a message because it’s not like she has any real message. A second later we will hear John’s office phone ring. Then my cell (usually in the kitchen drawer). And then John’s pocket will ring.
We usually answer at that point. In fact one time we put her on speaker phone, pulled out another placemat, set the phone on the placemat, made her say grace and just talked with her through dinner.
There are times when she only wants (needs) her dad and times when she (needs) wants her mom. Twice lately I’ve answered John’s cell when he’s left it lying around:
“Where’s dad? My car won’t start!”
“Quick, get dad! I just dropped my phone into a glass of soda!”
When she specifically calls me it’s usually, “He hasn’t called me in 12 hours! Should I call him?”
Or recently, “This 80 year old lady staying at the hotel called the front desk to say there was no Kleenex in her room. I looked everywhere and we were out, so I offered to bring her a roll of toilette paper. (Since it was 10pm at night and I was working alone and couldn’t go to the store.) The lady actually said, “What the ‘blank’ do I need a roll of toilette paper for?” Mom, what kind of 80 year old lady talks like that?”
None that I know.
She once called to complain about a friend who only talks about himself and never asks her how she’s doing. I said, “Really, people are like that?” She caught my meaning and said, “I always start by saying, “What are you doing?””
So I quizzed her. “What was I doing when you called?” Silence.
A friend of mine whose son is a freshman in college this year got a “need” call from him. He told her he had done laundry for the first time. (I think this was about a month after he left home.) He said he forgot to put detergent in and asked her if his clothes would stink? She told him that she didn’t know, because believe it or not she had always used detergent. She did solve his problem by signing him up for laundry service.
Brittany doesn’t call for laundry advice, but she often calls while she’s waiting on it to finish washing or drying. This is a great time for her to catch me up on who said what to who and why. And I usually give in to the inevitable and mop the floor or clean out a drawer while remembering to say, “Really?” or “Huh!” at appropriate times.
John just snickers because his calls are usually short and to the point. Fix and move on. But, you know what they say…a mother’s work is never done!
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. http://abridescookbook.com
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