September TearsWritten by Dr. Dorree Lynn
September is that ritualized time of year when children of all ages leave home for school. This week, our twenty-two year old daughter left home for what seemed like zillionth time. This time it was to return to college, and this time she left total chaos in her wake. She had transferred to a new school and her hitherto well-understood leaving and packing process seemed forgotten. It was as if she had never been away before. She experienced periods of anxiety followed by times of elation. According to her, she needed everything new and there were several significant altercations as her stepfather and I pointed out that what she already possessed was perfectly fine. She took an extra job to earn money for what she wanted and she vacillated between pride in her accomplishments and anger that we weren’t giving her all that she asked for.
At times, I burst with pride at many wonderful things she did. Other times, I wondered where this “bratty” young woman came from. She refused help with packing and for a week entire house looked like a college dorm, although historically, her college room unlike her room at home, was in fact military neat. As parents who had been through school starting with several children before her, as well as many with her, we found ourselves surprisingly torn about how much help to give her. Should we impose much-needed structure that we thought she would benefit from, or should we respect her growing edge and let her do things as she saw fit? We wanted to maintain our feelings of good will and send her off with our support and blessings, but could we? Would she let us?
Some days were easier than others. Sometimes she snapped at us. Other days we snapped at her, and still other times, my husband and I snapped at each other. It was clear that her new adventure was both exciting and scary for her. Since decision to transfer to a new school was all hers, she tried to hold her anxiety inward and present a brave face to all.
The Price We Pay For PlayWritten by Dr. Dorree Lynn
You know it is January because more people are sad, mad, or bad than glad. There are many explanations for this behavior. One, is that dark cold winter days and lack of sunlight lowers Serotonin levels in brain causing a general malaise or funk, sort of like bears who just want to hibernate until warm weather beckons. Others believe that holiday let down leaves people, well, let down, often disappointed and aware of their loss of a perfect holiday dream. For still others, holidays were so wonderful that they have a post holiday melt down where nothing seems right. They miss their loved ones and little seems exciting. Then there are those who have gone away to play. There is a general “rule of thumb” that claims it takes as much time to readjust to normal life as time you were on vacation. One week away, means one week of not feeling quite back to your usual routine. Two weeks away may take two weeks to get totally back to it.
My friend Jane is one of those people for whom change, even positive change means readjustment is difficult. After a wonderful time visiting her grown children and as she says “vegging out” she had hardest time getting back to being a fully functioning human being. It was as if she was a piece of well-oiled machinery and all her screws had come loose. Tightening them again just seemed too hard to do.
Perhaps, children are home from school. “Wonderful” you think. There's so much fun we can have together. But, truth is you are ready for a semi-neat home again and a few moments of peace and quiet. Much loved men seem underfoot, and besides you guys are more than ready to go back to work. The year-end fluctuating stock market has made some of you nuts. The office seems a place of stability and order. If you are a workingwoman, especially a working mom, you secretly wonder if you should just delete everything and start fresh.