Sunday, February 26, 2017

Chicken Soup to the Rescue

More meat than noodles, more noodles than broth.  Dustin's favorite soup recipe.
This past Thursday we Skyped with Dustin.  It was the first time we have spoken to him in a few weeks because he was so busy with college classes, senior year Electrical Engineering.  When his picture loaded up on the computer, my heart sank.  As he spoke, all I could see was the dark circles under his eyes, the uncombed hair, and the disheveled appearance.  All I could hear was the exhaustion in his voice, the way he struggled to speak, sighed at the end of each sentence and yawned every few seconds. Then he started coughing and sniffing.  As he spoke about the difficult tests, unending projects, and mountains of homework, I began to worry.

I asked him if he was eating well?  When he left home at the beginning of the semester, I had sent him a freezer full of home cooked healthy meals.  He replied, he only had a few meals left and was saving them for when he was too busy to cook something.  That was bad!  In my mind I translated his statement to mean, HE WAS SAVING THEM FOR HIS LAST MEAL BEFORE HE DIED OF EXHAUSTION!!!

My heart was breaking.  So I asked him, "Would you like for us to drive up and bring some more food?"

"Mom, thanks for the kind offer but a five-hour round trip is a long way.  It is too hard to a drive."

"No, it isn't.  Your Dad will chauffeur me."  So I started cooking.

The car trunk full of frozen meals.
When we arrived, I went first to the refrigerator and it was EMPTY, just as I suspected!

Much better.  Now I can check out the rest of the apartment.

Since this was the first time for us in his new apartment, I wanted a tour.  It took about 30 seconds.

Is that your Dad's desk from his old office in the basement?  I thought he burned it?  What about that office chair I got at a garage sale?  Didn't I say throw it away?  Wasn't everything in this room supposed to be thrown away at one time?

I was being too critical.  We were guest in his new home at a housewarming party.  I should be supportive so I offered my praise on the lovely camouflage tarp on the floor, the colors pop!  It is so bachelor pad. Very outdoorsy.  Practical yet shabby chic!

I did not recognize his homework project, I don't think.  Maybe I have seen it before?  All motherboards look the same to me like all handmade quilts look the same to them.  I am sure it is very impressive and does great electrical stuff.

I recognized everything in this place even though I had never been there before.  Such a strange feeling being somewhere new and yet being completely at home.  I liked his apartment.  I felt like I belonged.

Is that his Bible laying open by his bed?  I wonder what he is studying?  It would be rude to peek, like reading someone's private mail.  But if they open the mail and leave it sitting out on the table, would it be nosey to look? I have no business reading his private Bible study or reading his diary. This is his apartment, not mine. What if he is doing a study on bad mothers of the Bible.  No!  There aren't any bad mothers!  One quick look while he is in the other room.  It isn't misbehaving;  I have decided.

The Book of Judges...and everyone did what was right in their own eyes.

Oh, that hurts.  I repent.

We then took him out to eat at O'Charley's and used a 20% off coupon that he had saved from his junk mail.  Impressive, I have taught him well.  After he was well fed and his refrigerator full, I asked him, "Do you think I am the world's greatest Mother?"

"If you don't say yes, I will take my food back home with me.  Crying won't help!"

"Oh yes, Mom.  You are the greatest Mom in the world!" Dustin bragged.

I chose to believe him.

This is Dustin and his dad.  Two peas in a pod.  Pete and repeat.  Mutt and Jeff.  I can go on and on but will not.  Bill drove me all the way while I snapped pictures of stupid things, paid for lunch at O'Charley's, and didn't get mad when I got us lost.  I have repented and will be nice.


  1. An empty fridge is a sorry sight. Specially when it is a large one.
    Your son Dustin has surely been extremely busy with his studies lately. Yes, five hours is a long way. Makes me realize once again,
    how small our country is. Could your son get an inexpensive apartment
    for students and is there a canteen where he could buy lower priced meals? This stressful period will be over some day and maybe Dustin can find a place, that is nearer to his family.

    1. Oh Christel, so sorry, I was not clear. It was 2 1/2 hours one way so 5 hours total driving time. Reese is 5 hours going away from us but 3 hours when he returns back home. He goes through a time change zone so he has to remember to change his watch.

      As for Dustin at college, sad to say but no, there are no inexpensive apartments and the school charges thousands of dollars more for a smaller room. The school offers meals but it is so expensive it is a shame. I wrote about it way back last November in the post "Lunchbox Economy" where I shared how much we saved by making lunches.

      He was so tired, just worn out and he is not even half way through this semester. He looked better in my pictures than he did when Skyping since he was able to sleep after finishing a big test. Plus, he just had to be thrilled to see his Mom...with plenty of food.

  2. You are a great mom and Dustin sounds like a great kid. You've done very well. I would have made the drive and filled his fridge too. ;)

    1. You make me feel so ashamed by complimenting me. I just posted a snarky comment on your website about it being too early to think about Christmas. I am trying to be nice but it is just not working.

  3. I'm glad you were able to visit your son, and fill his fridge up. I'm sure both things will help you have a great week. I know it was hard for you when all your kids left this time. It's never easy for us moms.

    You know, I was thinking about my daughter who has started a new job that seems hard to me--caretaking for an elderly woman 24/7, 5 days per week, then home on the weekends. I realized that when it comes to hard things, I and my husband will do them---lots and lots of hard things of all kinds have come our way. BUT, when it comes to my kids, I don't want them to do hard things. I worry, I fuss. I finally realized that if she feels like she needs to do this hard thing, she will probably grow up a lot, and learn skills she would not otherwise learn. She will also have money to do things with. I'm proud of her, but still my mama's heart is having a bit of a hard time with how hard I know the job is. I guess it's my lot in life as a mom:)

    Hang in there!

    1. Thank you Becky. I appreciated the kind words of encouragement. (Read the post three times) Watching my children struggle hurts but I know they are stronger for it. I still miss them all so much.

  4. Blackmailing the son to smile and hug and say you're the best mom ever or you'll take the home cooked back? That's parental winning right there! Good work *laugh*.

    I feel for Dustin. My last couple years of college I was taking 18 credits and at times working four jobs. I honestly don't remember a few of the classes I took on my transcripts at them. Exhaustion reaches new heights during those days. I wish him well and good grades!

    1. I have never been above blackmail since I became a Mom. It is called survival of the fittest.

      I suppose learning to work when you are a zombie from exhaustion is education for parenthood, yes, I know you will agree.

  5. Bonjour Jeannie

    I'm so glad you and your husband had a cool time with your son, it shows in the pictures!! Cooking and Chauffeuring mean Love, don't they?

    I'm sure your visiting Dustin gave him a boost (and some brand new meal plan).

    Going to college is a rite of passage, both for our kids and us, anxious yet cute mums!!

    Pauline currently is in the process of applying for different colleges in France.
    I do hope her first choice will be accepted, as it would mean that:

    1. she'd be able to come home at the weekend if she wanted to (one hour drive max if heavy traffic).
    2. she wouldn't have to worry for her meals (hence I wouldn't have to worry for her meals) as this college doubles as a boarding school!

    Take care!


    PS: as we French love to say "Tel père, tel fils"; oh okay that translates as "like father, ..."

    1. I do wish Pauline well. College is a different world. How Europeans manage the different languages just amazes me. Dustin had spent the day before we arrived studying with a new friend who is here from China. He said the classes are hard enough for him (Dustin) but even more difficult for his friend who struggles with English.

  6. Thank you.
    Dustin is really a cool guy for helping out a friend from China.

    By the way: I am not notified when a new post is published, nor when you answer me. I'm not even sure I have properly subscribed to your blog (the usual way is by leaving one's email) so forgive me if I'm not answering you right away!


    1. Sophie-Marie, in the bottom right corner should be a box labeled "Notify me" and if you click on it, it should let you know when I have replied. As for my email replies, I have had trouble getting it posted since I started this blog. That is the reason I have put my email on the front page in the "about me" section. My site would never let anyone see my email address.
      I am sorry you are having problems. Let me know if this does not work and I will dig further.