Parent Weekend

Reporting in from the field, your intrepid reporter spent the weekend hanging with college students.

Yes, it was family weekend at DePaul and the car was loaded, the bags were packed and off I went to visit.

DePaul had a pretty extensive program, which as I’ve mentioned, pretty much seemed to repeat on sessions that happened during orientation. I think it was a good idea for them to make session available for those who might have missed them and it meant that – while scheduled around this particular event – we spent the weekend doing our own thing rather than being programmed. Fabulous!

As mentioned before, I’m more than a little jealous of my kids who are off having fabulous adventures in Chicago. And while the green-eyed monster is still batting her eye lids, I did get to pretend to be part of it all this past weekend.

We walked. And walked, and walked and walked. Despite my exercise program, my legs were not happy with the rest of my body Sunday morning, which was greeted with yet another stroll.  We walked from cute neighborhood to cuter neighborhood, browsing in shops with a plethora of unique, focused items, different from the surrounding stores.

We went to a hat store, a knitting store (yes, we did find it – nice one!), several restaurants, a Lush, The Paper Merchant, etc., etc., etc.,

We ate lots. College students need frequent feeding when they have the opportunity to keep it off of the meal plan, so we ate lots. I’m pleased to say that I watched more eating than I did … but by a fairly slight margin so I can’t really call it victory.

We also talked. And I listened. And watched as both kids navigated downtown as if it were truly their backyard and playground. The city put its best foot forward and was an eager participant in the ‘let’s show mom how really cool this all is’. And we talked about the not so nice face of the city and why my wandering son should not be out alone at night. Argh!

I guess, given our semi-misuse of parent weekend, it was basically an excuse. We don’t live that far. I wouldn’t often bother getting a hotel room and spending the whole weekend hanging, but it was really nice to do that. I cost my daughter one of the parties of the year, but she was very gracious about it – though looking forward to the stories of the aftermath on Sunday morning.

Anything that gives you a chance to hang around and listen is pretty awesome. The stories dribble out slowly, but are worth the wait.

On a semi-related note, I was waiting for my son in the DePaul cafe and was seated near many other families in for the weekend. The closest table was spending the weekend doing their best to keep the dysfunction functioning as the father? stepfather? delivered a belittling and truly unpleasant monologue pointing out all the flaws of their student for the day … and it was only 11 am. I was pretty horrified. This is a chance to connect and embrace … he was tongue lashing.

Maybe that’s what the program was missing. Hang with your kid. Listen, don’t talk. (okay .. you can talk .. just don’t LECTURE.) If you were dysfunctional, try being functional. Love ’em. Then leave ’em. They have homework to do and their lives to resume!

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