My son graduated from high school last year and moved away to college.
I absolutely love that he grew up in a close-knit community and with very dear friends. But that means that instead of just feeling the loss of my son going off to college, I felt the loss of a whole heap of teenagers that I had grown to love feeding, giving rides, and cheering on up close and personally as they made the world a more amazing place.
One thing that helped with this loss was the brilliant idea of my friends Shannon and Kim to host a “College Mom’s Care Package Party”.
Here’s how it worked: We were invited via Facebook event for this fun evening. The hosts provided yummy snacks for us to eat together and had flat rate boxes ready and on hand. And we all brought 35 of the same item to make care boxes to mail our kiddos.
I think we all came because we wanted to fill a cool box for our kid.
But what we really all needed was an evening of visiting with others moms in this season.
While we stuffed our faces, we talked about our kiddos, compared stories about when they call and the funny things they need help with and what their dorm is like and how they seem to be doing.
We put all the items together on a big space and then made our boxes in an assembly-line. Each person brought a certain number of the same item based on how many moms were coming, or how many “boxes” we were making total.
First you’d go through the line and take one of each thing. If you know your child doesn’t like that thing, you didn’t take it. And then after everyone had done “firsts”, you could go back through again and add more of things you knew they’d love.
Some decorated the boxes, depending on how “fancy” each person wanted to make it. We had cute paper, tape, and stickers.
We made boxes for our own kiddos, and some people brought two different items for the box and made an extra box for a friend, or for a mom that couldn’t be there that night. Some mamas wrote sweet messages to their child inside the box.
The collaboration of items and packing them together really made it feel like the box was sent by the whole mama tribe.
So far we’ve done this once in the Fall and once in the Spring. Each mom left with filled boxes to mail, and some stuck in additional treats for their own kiddo or a favorite gift card.
So if you’re missing those college kids, gather your mom tribe and host a party night. It’ll do your heart good to visit with the other college moms and you’ll love packing boxes for them all.