Time for the Wise and Foolish Year

Sophomore –   compound of the Greek sophos, “wise” + moros, “foolish”

Our soon to be college sophomore has had a year of living alone, making big kid decisions and being away from the parentals. And as much as she seems grown, she is not. From experience, I know that she will still make foolish decisions.

But what  happens when we go all foolish?

We learn from it and become wiser.

It’s how we grow.

It’s a lifelong process.

I feel like a true sophomore parent.

In just a couple of hours our plane leaves for Texas to get Alli back to college for her second year.

This time last year, I was going crazy making sure everything was packed. I had lists and lists of items to remember and things to purchase once we got there. Emotionally, I was choking. I didn’t know what was ahead.  I was foolish. I was listening to the empty nest hype.

This year, I have no concerns. Alli is doing her own packing. I didn’t even make my usual excel spread sheet of items to carry. Larry had to remind me to get our boarding passes. (Which he so kindly did for me.) I really should be in the shower and have my bag packed, but instead, here I am writing! I feel some new form of parental wisdom.

So, do you see something here?

What sometimes comes off as wisdom is really just foolishness in disguise.

Bottom line, we are all sophomores in life.

Today, I feel so calm and okay with this next change, but I’ll probably have a nervous breakdown on Sunday when we say our goodbyes. Who knows?

Right now I’m going to seize the day and leave you with a link to a post from last year. It’s especially for those of you with first year college students.


Love to all,

Libby Lu


Olympic Tears and Brassieres

In just a few days we will be flying out to Texas to get Alli moved in for her sophomore year of college.

Today though, I’m doing everything I can to not think about how I’m feeling about her leaving again.

I think I’m fine. I really do.

This should be a cake walk compared to that freshman move-in last year.


Someone, please tell me I’m right.

The good news is that this time last year I was on the verge of tears on any given day. So far, I haven’t shed a tear this week about Alli going back to school. I’m a sentimental fool as it is, but put a huge change on my plate and I’m going to cry. It’s truly a Christmas miracle that I have not been emotional yet. I even looked at old photos this week and didn’t shed a tear.

1st day of Kindergarten – August, 1998

Well, I guess I did cry a bit yesterday. We were at my parents for a little visit and for Alli to tell them goodbye. They had their TV on the Olympics and our U.S. women’s basketball team had just won the gold. What an honor…to be an Olympian.

The camera scanned the team’s faces as they sang the anthem. You could see relief, pride, and joy.  I wondered what some of them and their families had sacrificed to get to this point in their life. I wondered what was next for them.

Where do you go next when you have reached the top of your game?

I snapped out of my story weaving imagination state to realize that tears were running down my face.

It had nothing to do with the fact that my daughter was telling my parents goodbye again. It had nothing to do with the thought that it could be the last time.

It was all about the Olympic win.

Really, it was.

I tried to forget that thought that may, or may not have contributed to my emotional moment of weakness.

Instead, I focused on a recent event of hilarity with my parents.

As most of you know, my mother has not been doing well and my father is her care giver along with minimal home health care. It’s not perfect, but Dad likes having her home.

I always ask if there’s anything I can help with.  On my visit last week Dad told me that he did need my assistance. Mom needs new bras. She has lost so much weight that she doesn’t have any that fit. He was at a loss. He didn’t know where to go or what size to get.

Honestly, I’ve never measured anyone but myself and my daughter for personal apparel, but I do know how to do this. I asked Dad to get me a measuring tape.

He came back with carpenter’s measuring tape.

It was metal.

I’ll let you think about that for a minute.

Well, I figured I could make it work, but how could we go about measuring Mom?  Bless her heart. Her eighty-four year old breasts have gone south and this caused a dilemma. How could I measure under them?

Okay, you may want to go relieve your bladder right now.

I had an idea!

I had her stand up and hold on to her walker.

I got Dad to stand in front of her and pull up her bra straps, thereby holding her breasts up so I could measure under them, then around them.

It was pure professional bra sizing at its best, (but with a metal tape measure.)

The three of us were laughing so hard that we couldn’t stop.

These are the kinds of things my family bonds over. Scary and crazy, huh?

And speaking of bonding, you know how much I love my critters.

Well, I went in one morning last week to feed our fish and there, sitting by the castle like a little fishy statue was Gucci Mane. Dead as he could be, but not yet floating.

Poor Mr. Pooey was swimming around in a panic. Gucci Mane was his best friend. They had been aquarium mates for about three years, and now Mr. Pooey would have ten gallons of lonely water all to himself.

Do fish have feelings?

I think I will ponder that, and chuckle to myself about the Great Bra Sizing of 2012, instead of worrying about how I’m going to handle this next season of change.

The empty nest thing really isn’t what it’s made out to be. It’s not that bad at all. It’s actually a good and glorious time of discovery for all involved.

So, I will enjoy these days with Punky at home and we will enjoy the visits with family and friends, and our trip to Texas. Life really is too short to think beyond the moment at hand.

Have a great week with whatever life brings to your plate.


Libby Lu