Monday, April 21, 2008

Care Packages just aren't the same

When La Petite was a freshman, I bought the commercial Welcome Pack and various holiday gift packages. I'm sure I supported someone's fundraising, and my daughter enjoyed getting treats now and then.
Her sophomore year, I did the same.
Now she doesn't live in a dorm, but in a near-campus apartment, so I skipped it. She says she's okay with that, so why do I feel a small bit of motherly guilt?

I haven't made the old-fashioned cookie packages like the ones my mom sent me.
I haven't packaged up a batch of goodies when MidTerms rolled around.
But I haven't failed. Oh, I may be different, but I haven't failed her completely.

For one, I send her links. Where my mother would mail little items (including comics!) that she'd clipped from the paper, I send my daughter URLs for relevant articles and blog posts, even shopping deals. We could chalk that up to the change in technology. We email, chat by IM, and text message each other, too.
I set things aside for her. I put her Girl Scout cookies in her bedroom so we wouldn't be tempted to eat them in a PMS inspired fit. Did I say we? I meant me. I mean I. I mean...did I say something about chocolate?!
When we found out she and her roomie had lost the remote control for their TV, we found an unused universal remote and mailed it down to her, along with batteries. I suggested chocolate, but Husband "forgot" to throw the candy in the package at the last minute.
The last time we visited, we brought a bag of groceries that included bunny food, Mountain Dew, batteries for the remote control (see above) and a big box of trash bags. And a chair! We brought her a chair! Don't laugh -- it was taking up space in the garage, and Husband wasn't ready to give it up for good just yet.
Last, but not least, I send her free samples. Yes, free samples. Whenever I see an opportunity to get a freebie, I send one to her, too. When she gets a package of something random like a granola bar or the new flavor of Chex Mix, she knows it's from me. I even hooked her up with a free test sample of a new dishwashing liquid, and now she's set for dishes for the remainder of the semester, if not the year.
No, these aren't romantic or fancy. They're silly little surprises that turn up in her mailbox at unexpected times. They make her smile and let her know I'm thinking about her now and then. In her own sarcastic way, she'd say, "I feel special"-- but I know that sometimes, just sometimes, she really does.

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Blogger Earth Muffin said...

When I was in college, my grandma would fill out rebate forms with my name and address so I'd get the checks. If I received a check from Bounty or Tide or whatever for $2.00 (or some similarly small amount), I'd know Grandma was behind it. I always appreciated the thought and the money was great for laundry or vending machine treats. I'm sure your daughter appreciates your thoughtful gestures too.

4/21/2008 5:49 PM  
Blogger Scribbit said...

You're quite the techy mom to be sending her links--that's too funny. Really cutting edge of you!

I really appreciated my parents letters when I was away, I love how newsy mom's were and how personal dad's were.

4/21/2008 11:35 PM  
Blogger Good & Crazy said...

But what I really want to know is...are you sending the $$ care package called tuition? Cuz, I could see how after helping with the cost of tuition, cookies seem small?

My folks paid my car insurance. That's it. And the worst part is that I didn't know it until I got married, I was clueless. I was paying all my tuition and rent all by myself, but had no idea about the car insurance...parents are great that way.

4/22/2008 12:39 AM  
Blogger Melissa said...

The fact that you show her that you constantly remember her is pretty terrific.

4/22/2008 8:53 AM  
Blogger Flea said...

How very cool! I think it's a hallmark of our generation, that you're not alone in your version of caring for a college daughter. I will probably do exactly the same thing with my kids.

4/22/2008 4:59 PM  
Blogger Joy said...

try explaining to my friends the random appearance of a chair, a fancy pink chair, in my strange eggshell white apartment.

its humorous

4/23/2008 5:48 PM  
Anonymous jill said...

My daughter just graduated from collage, It goes by so fast, One of my favorite things was flying up at the end of each semesters to pack her car while she finished her finals and then driving back home with her, I guess I was the care package!

4/23/2008 7:32 PM  

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