Hillary Chybinski: Keep Family Traditions, Even When Your Oldest Goes off to College

Monday, November 05, 2018

Keep Family Traditions, Even When Your Oldest Goes off to College

College Planning and Family Traditions

We are entering a new phase or season of our family life . . . we are about to send our first-born off to college next fall. I can't believe how quickly we got to this point. It seems like only yesterday we were taking him to the zoo and stopping in at our local fire station on a weekly basis.

I began to realize rather quickly that this year would be filled with last "firsts," like the last "first day of school picture" and the last "first fall lacrosse league game," as well as first "firsts," like our first senior portraits and our first college application. Needless to say there are a lot of highs and lows and emotions are running all over the place for all of us.

One of the things I've been thinking about a lot lately are our family traditions and how this shift in our every day will affect those traditions in the year (and years) to come. We aren't sure where he will land at this point, but at least all the schools he's looked at are less than a 3-hour drive away. So I can breathe deeply knowing that unless there's bad weather, he'll be home for the major holidays.

But what about smaller family traditions, like family dinners, birthdays and that early fall family trip to the beach? As the kids have gotten older, we rarely sit together at the dinner table, unless we're out to eat. But we do make a point of connecting over a meal at least once a week, either in our home, or out. There will only be one kiddo with us soon and that will take some adjustment I'm sure.

As for birthday's, ten years ago when we started going to the beach in the fall, it was a special trip for his birthday, in lieu of a party. Now, it's become a cherished time for our family and extended family to get together and enjoy each other's company in one of our favorite places. On one hand, it seems wrong to go without him, since it will be around his birthday . . .but the rest of us want to continue on, especially our youngest, who is only 12.

I've heard that your house seems so much emptier when they go off to college, and that you miss their laundry and the sound of their voice. Not gonna lie, I can reduce myself to a snuffling ball of woe just thinking about it. But I'm also proud. This is what everything up to this point has been for. All those parenting challenges were to help him become the very best person he can be. He's at the edge of our nest, so ready to fly and try out those new wings.

He will always have his family behind him, cheering him on and supporting him. So for now, our family traditions will continue, with some adjustments for his impending new life. I hope he can join us more often than not, and our adjustments are simply timing related.

We had the opportunity to try out the sporty and oh so stylish Mazda CX-9 on our most recent annual family trip to the Jersey shore this year. It's funny how as the kids get older, we pack less stuff. A few suitcases, some sand chairs and beach games and we were pretty much set. Although I tend to keep adding stuff until every crevice is filled.

Family Vacation Caar Packed

I haven't driven a red car since my very first car, a Chevrolet Spectrum, in 1988. Obviously, the CX-9 is much more stylish than my Spectrum and it had all the current safety and comfort bells and whistles. It was a dream to drive - so smooth and the handling was great. I really enjoyed the dash projection that tells you your speed, and other driving details as well.
 Family Road Trip

The CX-9 not only had plenty of room for our stuff, but all four of us (now three adults and one child) comfortably as well. My husband and teenager are both over 6 feet tall. The last time we went car shopping, my husband had to worry about the slope of the roof on a few SUVs we looked at. The CX-9 was roomy and comfortable and it also offers great in-car set up for all our gadgets.

Kids need Tech on Road Trips

For more info on the awesome Mazda CX-9, check out their website, or follow them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

catch you soon  -

No comments:

Post a Comment