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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Support group time!!


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DD has been away for nearly two weeks now. There is a little DD-shaped hole in our lives: we are missing that cheery little voice and smiley face (as well as the flouncing out of rooms and hormonal stuff!). But am going to bring her home for her birthday soon (hooray!) and then I will have to summon up the stiff upper lip for returning her to school again afterwards - it is so not cool to have your mother blubbing in the school vestibule! :)

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  • mini cooper

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Being away has definitely changed my daughter! She has learned to use a washing machine and learned the fine art of separating! She has had to get up in the morning and be out to school on time without me constantly harassing her.

 

She has also become more affectionate ... I guess she really does miss us! She had an ortho appt. here at home on Monday morning, so I kept her over the weekend. When I dropped her off at her high school later on, she actually kissed me and gave me a hug right in the middle of the school hallway!

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I'm leaving tomorrow morning for my first visit of the year and can't wait. This is the third year my dd is away. At first this year was harder, I think because I have really faced that this is it - she will never live at home again. But now it is gettting easier and I just can't get over the growth in her. We miss her terribly but she is so happy and flourishing. Each time I visit she is more entrenched in her new life as I peek in to make sure she is okay - supporting her through her teen years from a far, yet right there "up front and close" for a few precious days. I'll never forget the feeling of flying in on the plane with her and coming back alone. My footsteps through the airport felt so different on the way back. It takes so much strength to do this, letting our kids go so young. Yet, at the same time there is an ease in the experience as it is a "mean to be" and an opportunity of a lifetime holding awe, excitement, and hard work for especially my daughter, but for us as well.

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My husband went with my DD this time around. Although this is her her fifth year away, my dancer has now moved much farther away. The flight back home without her is always hard and teary for me. :o:thumbsup: A nine hour flight with me would not be much fun for her dad or for the other passengers near me so I opted to save my travelling for a visit instead. The first time that your dancer goes away you can tell yourself that it might only be for a year and that they might always come home. Each year that they are away it becomes more difficult to tell yourself that and less likely. On the other side dancing has given my dancer opportunities for experiences she willl remember forever, a chance to learn a foreign language and endless possibilites compared to what she would have had at home. :)

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As a single parent I can't say I have had the same experience (I get it with both barrels! :wub::o ), but just curious...do you typically talk to her on phone in the same order (ie: Mom first, Dad second)? Or at different times of the day?

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happyfeet,

 

I'm going to see my dd this weekend - leaving Saturday. It's her 16th, and I wanted to see her. By all accounts she has settled in well, but, well :D it's her 16th.

 

I'm also doing the opposite of chauffeur's dh, I'm bringing home some of the excess stuff she took, and does not need. I'll be shipping some things back, and filling an empty extra suitcase that I will take with me!

 

The observations about who gets the fun news, and who gets the other news is interesting. My husband and I both seem to get a mix. Of course he gets the "something fell on my printer, and it's not working right" calls. Those discussions always lead to other interesting discussions about academic classes. They also tend to talk sports a bit - who's the University of Texas playing this weekend, etc.

 

I tend to ask a lot of questions (the old auditor in me never dies) so I end up with slightly more worrisome discussions. At this point, she just has not worried too much about anything - other than a fire drill @ 12:45 one night. She scurried out in boxers, a tank top, no shoes, and it was dipping into the low 50's. We discussed what that might feel like in November!

 

I had an interesting discussion with a colleague today who, in his former life, was a headmaster in a couple of different Episcopal boarding schools. He's followed with interest our decision to let dd go away to school, and was very encouraging in the process. He talked about the quality time that we actually spend with our child. Now that she's gone, every moment counts. The phone visits are good. When we see each other, our visits will be good. He said he found that in some ways we are very fortunate to build a special relationship that is hard to maintain during the teen years under one roof. Those were his observations. Reading the recent posts makes me think about this. A couple of times recently, I've told dd that in all cases she needs to be a good listner. Many times the advice I find myself giving is the advice I need to take. :) So, it's dawning on me - we need to be good listners. We're used to being fixers, and that's hard when our kids are away. However, we must listen, and try really hard not to get rattled. :sweating:

 

DD's school has really strict rules about when kids can talk on the phone. Most evenings she's simply too busy, and we honor that. Sometimes we'll talk briefly about logistical things - printer, ordering leo's, etc. On the weekends when we do get to visit, we're all very relaxed so those conversations are enjoyable. Another thing is that dd is the only kid of old parents. She is pretty independent, and does not want to cause us undue concern. She'll ask for help when she needs it. Sometimes this proves to be a bit difficult. It has not been in her present situation. But at other times, we've had to listen and listen for what was really being said.

 

I do find that quick emails and IM works well for quick contact, and it's not intrusive on her time.

 

I don't know if any of this makes any sense. However, if your role is to be the angst parent, just listen. They usually just need to get if off their chest with someone who won't judge them for what they're saying. Sometimes (not to be sexist here), I think dad's response can be "so, what's your point?" So, you can come here, and we'll be the angst listeners for you! We won't judge because at some point, we've been there!!! :blushing:

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This is so wonderful mini cooper! I hope she enjoys her 16th, ever so sweet with you there to celebrate it with her. Have a great experience!!

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I was with a friend this evening with non-dancing teenage kids.

 

One pierced her bellybutton this evening, one failed a class and got kicked off the volleyball team for 3 weeks...through it all..she smiled.

 

She reminded me to "pick my battles" and as minicooper has stated-----to listen.

 

Also, she asked me how often I called MY parents when I was away at college (which is really, in this day and age, the same scenario), and how much I talked to them then. I really can't say that I ever did. Not that I REMEMBER anyway. I'm sure there was the token call every Sunday or so, but certainly not expecting anything like we do in 2006!!!! Is it us, then, who have become so dependant on these calls, IM's, emails, because the times have changed.

 

Personally, I almost would rather it NOT be so easy to call and talk...or call and have them NOT pick up!!

 

On an aside...had the BEST call from DD today. Very talkative, animated, happy, thriving, etc. It's what makes it all worthwhile!

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Just a thought--maybe Dad can proactively ask her first about the kinds of things she usually dumps on you. Then maybe she will have it out of her system by the time she speaks with you.

 

I don't advocate avoiding her need to talk about her ups and downs--but you are right, it is easy to get into a pattern that can become draining. Maybe the above would help break the cycle. :speechless:

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DD has been gone for a week. We saw so little of her this summer, and dance plans for the upcoming year came together so quickly in August that we needed a few weeks of special family time before she headed 3,000 miles away for the school year. It certainly seems to be tougher on the family members at home than the dancer adjusting to living with a host family, new type of schooling and new studio. Kids are so darn resilient!

 

So far everything is actually going far better than anticipated. She is homeschooling so she can take a break and we'll IM each other or chat on the phone. She also calls after she is done with class (YAWN :thumbsup: we are more than ready to go to sleep here on the east coast at that hour). In actuality we probably spend more time talking now than we did during the past few years with the demanding schedule she kept while living at home and attending public school and dancing a zillion hours a week locally. Unfortunately with time difference other family members don't have as much opportunity to chat. My husband gets to get a quick overview of the day but that's about it.

 

DD seems very happy with her decision and is so eager to talk about her new dancing (and living) environment. She is living with a host family with structure and values similar to ours which is making the whole process a lot easier for me.

 

I must say however, that every time I go on an errand we used to run together or a sibling's sports game that she would juggle to attend I wonder if she will ever live at home again or if these and other family traditions are now something of the past. She is supposedly coming back in June...does this have a familiar ring to it anyone?

 

Reading everyone elses stories of angst sure helps put things in perspective and makes me think that I'm not the only one out there still on an emotional roller coaster even after her room has been tidied up and the suitcases put away. :wink:

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