Though I wouldn’t say my boys are total opposites because they share lots of the same fundamental characteristics, they do have many differences.
Take, for example, the way they both reacted as college freshmen to receiving packages from me. D, who is now a senior (finishing up this December, one semester early…HOLLA!), did not like packages from home. If you can believe it, he actually found it embarrassing. I have never heard of such a thing. Here I was, sending all kinds of goodies–in quantities that he could share with his friends, too–and after being at school for less than a semester he asked me to stop sending packages. After my chin dropped to the floor (I mean COME ON!), I told him I wouldn’t send him anything else. And I haven’t.
Of course, when I do see him, I’m more than happy to take him to the store and stock him up on all kinds of stuff, even though he fights me every step of the way because he feels bad that I’m spending money on him. (That’s when I raise my voice and say, “YOU’RE IN COLLEGE! YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO LOVE GOING SHOPPING WITH YOUR PARENTS BECAUSE THEY PAY FOR IT!” And then he smiles and says, “Okay, thanks.”)
Freshman J, on the other hand, seems to be more like a typical college student when it comes to this kind of thing; he loves receiving packages. In fact, he tweeted this upon receiving a bag full of goodies I sent with a friend of his in the first week of school:
I mean, really. Heart…melting…
J is coming home this weekend for his fall break, and I found out last night that D is coming home for the day on Sunday. It’s going to be a great weekend; we’ve only seen J once since school started six weeks ago, and though D came home for the day on Yom Kippur we don’t see much of him anymore because since June he’s actually been living in an off-campus house that doesn’t close up during breaks.
The anticipation of having the whole family in the house, at least for the day, fueled a crazed Halloween shopping spree through Target today. I was actually there with just a short grocery list. While I was in the Halloween section picking up our trick-or-treater candy I had the brilliant idea to make a couple of Halloween packages to give the boys this weekend.
Shortly after I had that thought I think I blacked out, because what I bought includes but is not limited to:
Reeses peanut butter pumpkins
Sour Patch Kids
Boo Berry and Frankenberry cereal
Little Debbie snack cakes
You get the idea. It wasn’t until the cashier said, “Wow, you really like candy, don’t you?” (jerk) that I felt the need to justify my purchases.
“I have a couple of college kids coming home this weekend and I picked this stuff up for them. And you know, to share with their roommates.”
To be honest, I hadn’t even thought of the roommates when I was yanking stuff off the shelves. I guess that’s a good thing.
When I got home I artfully placed everything into two gift bags, each the size of a small microwave, and made a mental note not to hit Target right before Thanksgiving break.