with Natalie caine


Senior year I started an empty nest group at my house…

January 15, 2004 | by Natalie Caine | No Comments

By Natalie Caine |

Once every two months with five other moms of daughters.. We did pot luck sat
and ate and talked and cried and laughed… It is a support for the transition
and new beginnings all of us could be living…we used email to also keep in
touch because the year was soooooo emotional and busy…Sometimes we would meet
for coffee and dinner in between…

We shared ideas, helped each other with the kids’ issues and our own and with
the application process… Some of the issues discussed were: visiting the schools,
peer influences, rejections from schools, test scores, competition, the role
we play their senior year and what we need…Then we moved into the graduation
celebration, the joys of celebrating our history together and then actually
before June, in May, the joy of talking about what college they committed to…
my joke was always…WHEN WILL WE KNOW WHAT SWEATSHIRT WE WILL BE WEARING ALREADY…
my friend actually made a wait list sweat shirt for her child… we had fun
in the tears and details…

The next biggy was how and what to pack and how long to stay on campus… We
shared check sheets from colleges of what to bring and what details to attend
to like, health check ups, shots, health insurance to add to your policy, insurance
on cameras and lap tops to add to homeowners policy for theft or damage, on
campus debit cards for bookstore, meals, laundry, post office, library use and
for some schools , stores downtown… opening new checking accounts in local
towns, new cell phones and numbers that work in the receptive areas, lap tops
printers and speakers, phones for their dorm rooms and long distance plans…
What to ship ahead and how long will the school store them, before you get there
if at all. If not, can the hotel keep them until you arrive and can drive the
boxes to campus… So many details… And of course, the deadline for tuition
payment plans… Where will your child’s bills be sent… New email addresses
for all students and their friends and how they will share those… that they
get to after they get on campus and set up computers in their rooms…

Orientation meetings for students and parents once you move into dorms…room
mates and new families. What to share for the room as far as buying it and the
cost, refrigerator, lamps, printer, waste baskets, area rugs and some money
for them to decorate their new home together….
Registering for classes on line and ordering college books and then picking
them up when you get there…a lot of new ways to get things done by computer
so they are instructed all summer to check the college web site and their college
email address for to do’s and deadlines…We all talked about those details
as well…

Having each other was so supportive…I thought the group would end after move
in, but they asked to keep going and we will be meeting next week to share our
stories of how the move in went and the tearful good-byes, as well as how we
are doing for these few weeks since they have been gone… We are a growing
support and so appreciative to have each other…

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Natalie Caine, M.A. natalie@lifeintransition.org | 10061 Riverside Dr., Suite 1002 Toluca Lake, CA 91602 | 800-446-3310