You know how you get excited when you get a text or call from someone you love? Well, I can honestly say that nothing makes my mornings better than a phone call from my oldest son Jacob.
Both of our lives changed when he left for school, but it was his journey I was most excited about. Off to college. Off to more independence. And, most importantly, off to finding out who Jacob truly is and what he wants.
When someone leaves “the routine” you are used to, such as when your child leaves for college, you must be open to creating new routines that work for both you and your child. For Jacob and me, one of those routines revolved around how we communicated with each other.
Since the day he left for school, I knew I needed to give him space while he embarked on his new adventure. We have always had a very special bond and part of that bond was built out of a mutual respect for each other. I wanted to ensure we continued to maintain the same level of respect. I told myself: do not be a nag. Repeat after me: do not be a nag! So instead of phoning and insisting he keep me up to date with everything he was doing, I would text just to say hi.
Jacob would call when he wanted to talk. Oftentimes, that coincided with my work hours. I would be in client meetings and he would get frustrated because I was not available.
Then, one day he called and said, “Mom, I know you like to text but I like to talk on the phone.” So we discussed what would work best for both of us – we communicated about how we should communicate. In addition to phoning and texting, we decided that we would Skype on Sundays to catch up face-to-face.
Now, this past semester he worked at an internship and the routine changed once again. He began to call me on his way into work. My morning routine was altered too, but it was and continues to be so very worth it. Our conversations run the gamut from sports talk, an update on his job to a simple how is life? Our talks continue to be bright spots in my day.
Nothing makes my day better than starting with a conversation with Jacob.
I’ve also discovered I love how our routines have changed and evolved as he has changed and evolved since he left for college over three years ago. Instead of insisting on keeping the status quo and letting a rigid structure prevent us from remaining close, we’ve begun a new routine of allowing the way we communicate be fluid and flexible.
Always remember, routines do not have to stay the same forever. And changing them up can create better relationships and stronger ties with the people you love.
So think about it: Is your son or daughter gearing up on a new adventure? Do you miss communicating with an old friend?
Maybe you simply need to just revisit your routines and make new ones to keep connected.