Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Packing for college. And so it begins...

As the two of you know, 18 will be off to college soon. We are leaving the 21st to be exact and so we have limited time to complete his winter wardrobe. To that end I suggested that he bring out the winter clothes, pile it on the coffee table so that we could review it while packing and make note of what if needed so that we may spend fun filled weekends running around Miami in the dead of summer scouring the stores for winter clothes on a budget.

Well , I was pleasantly surprised at the amount of clothes he brought out. I didn't realize we had bought that much and that he was SO ready to go. I great calm and sense of relief came over me. As he brought things out, I was taking them off the hangers and folding them in piles. Then I start realizing some of this stuff is old. I don't mean hand me down old, I don't mean out of style old. I mean I bought this for our 2 days of cold in Miami, I don't even remember when. When he plopped himself back on the sofa, I asked "Does this fit?" "Ahhh, no." he answers nonchalantly. "And this?" "nope", "What about this?" "Nah". Do you see a pattern here? A good third of all that clothes he brought out to pack was too small on him! Now, I realize everyone has their own packing style but I presume we all pack clothes that you know - FITS!.

So, I take a deep breath or 32 and calmly ask him to go through the clothes so we can figure out what we still need to buy. "Now?", he asks incredulously. "Yes, right now." "But why now? I'm not leaving yet." I take another deep breath. "Because there aren't enough last minutes to get everything done at the last minute. So you choose. If you want me to be a part of the clothes buying and packing then now. If you want me out of the process, then whenever." At his point it would be beneficial for you to know that I haven't packed for either of my children since they were old enough to drag a rolling bag, which is quite young. I would tell them what they needed (3 underwear & socks, 3 shorts & t-shirts, pajamas, bathing suit etc), they would pull it out, pack it in their own bags that they were responsible for during the trip. Children can do this from very young if you are not particular about the matching aspects of their ensembles; which I wasn't. So, 18 bolted to an upright position and declared "You're going to pack for me?" "If you want me to and you go through the clothes now, I will." "Hell yeah!" he cheered as he popped off the sofa and sorted the clothes. 16 and hubby laughed and he says "After all these years of telling them to do it, now you are going to pack for him?"
I matter-of-factly explain, I was teaching them to think, to plan, to organize and to be responsible. He already knows how to do that, now I can do it for him. They all laughed but 18 sorted the clothes and has one bag packed and ready to go by his mama.

1 comment:

Beth Nixon said...

I have my kids pack their own stuff too! They actually love it. Think it's fun!

Good luck finding winter stuff! Sounds like a challenge.