College Life – What I learn from my child

One thing I LOVE about having a child in college is that I learn almost everything my child learns (except the math.)

Ever since Clara, was a preschooler she has always told her dad and I all about what she learned in school. Even when she went on field trips she’d repeat to us what the park rangers, or museum docent said.

Yesterday afternoon she told me about her new political science class (second semester of college started this week.) I learned about the instructor (he used to be a spy, and has two kids.) I learned about how he runs a classroom (no immaturity allowed – he will drop kids who don’t act mature.) I learned what the students will be learning. My child and I talked for about an hour about the two-hour class she’d just finished.

Like I said, this isn’t something new. During the fall semester I learned all about religion, our environment, weird fellow students, art, history, philosophy, and everything except math and Spanish. I did learn all about the math and Spanish classes – the teachers and the fellow students.

I learned who put out tables on campus – mostly political and religious groups. I learned about blood drives, especially after the Las Vegas shooting.

Now the second semester is starting. I’m looking forward to learning about the US Government and Marine Biology.

I’m looking forward to hearing my child’s nightly observations and insights.

I’m looking forward to hearing the passion in her voice.

She knows her parents will actively listen too.

Clara told me that if she tells someone else what she learns it will help her retain the information. True.

My child isn’t one of those brainiacs who always got straight A’s and was wooed by Stanford University or Ivy League schools. But she is one of the smartest people I’ve ever met.

It isn’t advanced math that will make her go far. She has passion. She has communication skills. Yes, people skills. She listens. She observes. She evaluates. She relates. She sees learning as an active life long skill.

She is my child and I am amazed every single day.

She is also hilariously funny.

Over the years I’ve posted “What we talked about this morning on the way to school” posts. I’ll have to start doing that again. She has her own car now, but we still talk before and after school.

When she leaves for the big university we’ll still talk.

If you get one thing out of this parenting blog THIS is it: Talk with your kids. Listen to your kids. LISTEN. Encourage them to talk to you and with you. Hear their thoughts and ideas. The more you listen the more they’ll want to talk to you.

And you’ll say, “Life is good.”

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

By the way we also talk about pets, music, people we know, fashion, beauty products, the weather, movies, Netflix, cat and possum memes, and other daily stuff… but that is another blog post.

 

 

 

 

Short Story Sunday: College Daze

Ninety percent of my time as an undergrad was spent in weird Dr. Harrison’s biochemistry lab. The other ten percent of my time was living vicariously through my roommate Tony, who partied and got laid enough for an entire frat house full of horny guys.

Mavis stood up and stepped away from the keyboard. Earlier in the week she’d dropped her eighteen year old son Axel off at college – the same college she’d gone to. Now she was starting notes for her seventeenth novel in the popular Detective Star Landers Mystery Series.

She didn’t want her son to be like either one of the characters in her novel. She knew he wouldn’t be like Tony, but then again you never really knew what your kids were up to when they weren’t with you.

Axel was the youngest of her three kids. Jared and Zoe were also in college at opposite ends of the state. Axel was in the middle. She went outside with her coffee cup and looked at the backyard the kids had played in for years. Two dogs of unknown breeds were sleeping under the shade of the trees. Both animals were from the county shelter. The kids were helped pick them out. A lot of memories were in that yard and with those dogs.

After making more coffee Mavis sat down at her laptop again. She looked outside through the window and thought of her own college days. She didn’t think about it much. She didn’t keep in touch with anyone. After taking a sip of coffee she started to write again.

He did make time for Darcie. All he had to do was show up at her door and she’d screw him silly. She never expected love. Just friendship and sex. He was always up for that. One night he’d shown up at the little house she’d rented behind a bigger house. It was really more of a shed with a kitchen and bathroom added on to it. Anyway, it was 2:00 a.m. and Darcie was wearing a robe. Her face was red and swollen. It looked like her hands were covered in blood. 

She told him that she’d been attacked by a guy named Clayton Jones. Sure everyone knew Clay. He thought he was God’s gift to women, but slutty Darcie would never sleep with him. Clay called her a whore. She shrugged. 

Darcie had been to a party that night. Clay had tried to get her to fuck him. As always she said no. About twenty minutes after she got home Clay came to call. He beat her up and raped her. When he was done she hit him on the head with a lamp. 

Mavis looked up and rubbed her eyes. Then she started in on her notes again.

He was bleeding. He called her a bitch. She said she’d take him to the hospital. Down the road, behind a warehouse, she covered his car with lighter fluid and dropped a match on it. Poof. It with up in flames with Clay in the passenger seat. She walked home, and that is where I found her, sitting in her robe, covered in blood. 

Mavis saved the file. Then she deleted it.

She sipped her coffee again. Earlier in the week Axel had asked her about her college years. She’d told him it was sort of boring. She liked the classes but didn’t get into the social life part. Then her youngest son asked her if she knew that guy Clay who’d been murdered. She told him no. She didn’t know anything about it.

“You met dad in college. Did he know that guy Clay?” Axel had asked.

“He might have,” said Mavis, then she changed the subject.

She started a new page.

I never told anyone what Mavis did. 

Then she erased that line, and called her husband. Not for any reason. Just to tell him that she loved him. That was all

 

~ end

 

 

 

They grow up – so teach them to laugh.

“She said she used to think he was “the one” then she realized he was just the one she was having sex with. Then he realized it was a mistake, the break up, and him being in heavy like over another girl he met this summer. By then he’d agreed to go to Europe for the whole young vampire Europe things so many of them do. I think he going to do some work with Logan. That is a good thing. They’ll see the real dark side of humanity. I just feel so bad for Lauren. I know she’ll get over it, I mean she was more or less over it in June.”

My sister-in-law Verity was talking about my niece Lauren who is a Senior in college this year. Logan is my nephew who just graduated from law school. John is the ex-boyfriend or whatever he was.

“We all love John. I think Lauren will remain friends with him, but just friends. John is such a dark Vampire, even for our family. Lauren on the other hand is more light and delightful. She is like you and Val, you know, all bright and funny. John isn’t funny. He takes everything, and I mean EVERYTHING so seriously. He is such an alpha.”

I let her ramble about her adult children. They are young adults but adults none the less. They make stupid mistakes when it comes to their hearts. They think they know it all but they’re just learning. They don’t know what to say or how to react to situations. They don’t have the experience to see what they need to see.

It is the same as parents. We don’t know what our children will do once they’ve flown out into the world.

Of course as Vampires they’re a lot more savvy about the ways of the world, but that doesn’t mean they don’t feel, or desire, or have dreams.

They’re driven to succeed, my children and Verity’s children.

My elder three brothers were driven to succeed (this includes Verity’s husband Aaron.) My brother Val and I, the youngest of the brood, thought we were driven. I’m sure we drove everyone crazy with our misadventures. But we ended up calm and sometimes wise, and thoughtful. I’m still up for an adventure. I’m still fun. But that is because Val and I learned from our mistakes. Just listening to vague old fashioned advice didn’t work for us. We needed to learn on our own. And yes, Val and I are funny. We can be really funny. We’re pee your pants and spit milk out of your nose funny. We’re also Vampires. Contrary to popular belief Vampires and humor make strange and very delightful bed fellows.

But I’ve raised my children to be smart and cautious. I’ve raised them to think before they speak. I’ve also raised them to laugh. I mean, seriously, we’re Vampires so we have to think about these things a lot. One slip of the lips, or anything else, and we’re toast. Do you know how many Vampire Hunters are out there. A lot, and a good 95% of them are whack jobs.

Now what was I going to say? Oh yes, talk to your kids. Talk to them about everything. Make sure you teach them to be safe, and sound, and calm. But teach them to laugh too. No matter what you are or what you do, remember to laugh.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman