The Kit Kat is in her fourth year of university. The first three years she lived in the dorm, but this year she is sharing an apartment with a friend. And I have a few thoughts about that.
First, I thought she moved out on her own the first year of university. For her birthday prior to the first year, I bought a big (and I mean BIG) wicker laundry basket and filled it up with all the everyday stuff she would need to live on her own.Thought that was that - give them a good start and send them on their way, right? Maybe. But ... the first year she not only lived in the dorm, she also had a meal plan. So nothing to worry about as far as being fed or housed.
The next two years in the dorm, we skipped the meal plan (not worth the money) and for the first time in her life, she had to worry about actually feeding herself.
Fast forward to this year.
Now she not only needs to feed herself, but also to pay all those mundane every
I found myself shopping again before she moved into the new apartment. I mean, the place needed to be furnished, right? A nice lamp for the living room, some stuff for the kitchen. Wait a minute, I thought I had already been there, done that. After all, hadn't she moved out three years ago??
Yes. And no. In at least two different ways.
First, I think (hope, perhaps naively) that she is now officially adulting (as she likes to call it). Incidentally, there are some hilarious memes on FB about this process. Funny, how it didn't seem to be that big a deal for my generation (just something you went and did), but for these guys ... seriously?
There are at least two popular songs on the radio that attempt to document how terrible and disconcerting the process of growing us is. Which, they're pretty funny and I rather enjoy them, I must admit. My favourite FB meme goes something like this:
"That moment when something bad happens and you run to find an adult. Only to realize that you are an adult. But you need an adultier adult".Heh.
But for the second aspect of this growing up and becoming an adult thing, I seem to be the one who has a problem. Okay, maybe not a problem but came to a rather jolting revelation the other day.
Her university is a little over an hour away. The first three years, I saw her at least every three weeks at a minimum. It wasn't planned that way - it was just that between the times she came home (Reading week, Thanksgiving, Christmas, another Reading week, summer, etc) and the fact that I am in Halifax a fair bit for work and appointments, we saw each other fairly regularly. Never thought too much about it; it just was.
And I was amazed to find that (quick, cover your ears) I didn't really *miss* her when she was away. Heresy, I know. Don't get me wrong, I loved having her home and really enjoyed that time with her but when she wasn't home, well, I was busy living my life. And, yes, stalking her occasionally on FB as a means to check in and make sure everything was okay. As if I could actually tell how things were doing by what she posted.
This year? This year is different.
Not only did she work in Halifax for the past two summers, but she's working part-time now during the school year. And suddenly ... she's not coming home as much. Not over Thanksgiving because of her work and class schedule. Not during Reading week next month because she wants to pick up extra shifts at work. As if that wasn't bad enough, I seem to be in Halifax less over the past few months so not seeing her then so much either.
And it was bothering me. And her Dad. Yes, it was. The part about her not wanting to come home when she could. Until the other day, when it finally hit me.
When I went to University, I moved clear across the country. From Saskatchewan to Nova Scotia; 4,379.4 km, for those that are counting. That's 2,721.2 miles, for those that are metrically challenged (which I must admit, I still am somewhat myself).
I called my mother mostly late at night (or was that very early in the morning?) after I had been out partying, had too much to drink and suddenly had a truck-load of perceived dilemmas that only my mom could help with. Other than that, she wrote once every few months (yes, Virginia, there actually was a time when we survived without email) and I sent a humorous greeting card every so often - used the card technique because there was only so much space to write in, unlike a letter, where the amount written would have looked pathetic (compared to what she wrote) on a full sheet.
The Kit Kat, you ask?
Yeah, I realize now that she is just acting/doing as she is meant to. Growing up, becoming an adult, leading her own (gasp) life. How dare she?! And I realized that, although I would still really like to see her more often, I'm okay with the fact that I don't.
Unfortunately, the same cannot be said about her father. He is constantly calling her (and getting annoyed when, the majority of the time, she doesn't answer her phone). I tried pointing out to him today what I had recently realized and even asked him how often he had called his parents when he moved out West for a few years at age 16. Not so sure I got through to him, though.
So, in addition to pointing out that the Kit Kat is now starting to lead her own adult life, I commented on the difference between her and the Blue Jay (the Kit Kat's older sister). Due to her disability, the Blue Jay, even though three years older, still needs us, needs to talk to us daily and needs to see us at least once a week. I pointed out that if the Kit Kat acted like her sister does at the moment, then we would have a real problem.
** For anybody wondering about the "strong-willed child" reference, let's just say ... she was.