By measures of kindness and cleverness, I have the world’s very best friends.
Their influence on my life flows generationally and my family and I are grateful for them every day.
A few weeks ago, for instance, I received an invitation to attend a College Care Package Party. Brilliant, am I right?
Similar to a Christmas Cookie Exchange, each guest brought an item for a college care package (20 in the case of this particular group). Our hosts Mike and Cathy provided the boxes and all the regular party fare that makes hanging out at their house such a delicious pleasure, and we all went home with an amazing care package for our college students.
Oh, if only such a party had been around when my older children were still in school! When we visited my oldest son Charlie during his freshman at St.Olaf College he gave us a campus tour.
“And this,” he said with a wide sweep of his arm, “is where I check my mail box every day…but there’s never anything in it.”
I am care-packaged challenged. I know this. I embrace it. I visited my children as often as I could. I emailed, texted and called all the time.
But, I almost never sent care packages.
So, I could not wait to attend this party and see what my creative friends put together. Because we met through the Appleton North Theatre program, I knew their contributions would be perfect, and they were.
With items both practical and sweet, the packages ended up including toothpaste, hand warmers, cookies, snacks and nuts.
But, since these were Drama Mamas, they also included mugs personalized with each students’ name and college, tins full of affirmations and decorated with a map of the town each student resided in and a “We’re proud of you” message, Appleton stickers and personalized pencils, “Bugs and Kisses” and so much more.
I had a great time kibitzing with my friends and building the best care package any of my children will ever see. I felt very proud carrying it into the Post-Office the next day (and a little defeated to discover that the Post Office was closed on Columbus Day. Whoops!)
But, I went back the very next day and mailed that puppy with pride.
A few days later, Molly called me and I batted away any offense I might have felt at the level of her astonishment.
“I just got this amazing care package,” she said. “Thank you so much!”
I like to think of parenthood as a universal team on which veterans and rookies all work together to educate, learn, improve, and enjoy and I thank Mike and Cathy for this particular opportunity to hit a home run.