Better Together Oct01

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Better Together

When their kids left for college freshman year, nine women came together to create care packages. What they found was so much more. Here’s one mom’s story:

Will duct taping a futon cushion to your middle successfully free two hands to hold two duffle bags? Apparently, yes! Will your daughter call you daily? One did. Will your son call you daily? NO. Can you move from high school team mom to college team mom without a hitch? It can happen!

Nine moms. Nine different vantage points of amazing freshman years. Beyond a doubt, joining this group of college moms for a monthly dinner has been the biggest gift of friendship and fun that I’ve had in my life as a college parent! And oh, the stories!

Our group started three years ago, as our children headed off to freshman year of college. The plan was to gather each month for one entire school year. Together, we went through homesickness, futon-moving conversations, (yes, a futon cushion can be duct taped to your tummy and worn on the subway so that your hands are free to carry your other bags while you move to your new apartment in New York City!), roommate matches and misfires. We’ve helped pick majors and then switch majors, discussed summer internship interviews, negotiated five college transfers. We’ve talked about texts, Facebook posts, phone calls, grades (A’s to F’s), assignments, beer-pong, sex, and a semester at sea! Through it all we’ve been there for each other, sharing nine different perspectives on nine very different college experiences.

We had such a fun and ultimately meaningful time that, after the kids’ freshman year, we ditched the care packages but kept our College Moms Group going. We’ve just celebrated our first College Moms dinner of the new school year as moms of juniors!

Things that are special about our group:

One exceptional leader: (You could be one too!) Once we are seated at dinner, she makes sure everyone gets a turn to speak. She keeps us from getting sidetracked and makes sure that everyone at the table tells a story about their newly minted college students. She also introduced “the cone of silence.” Everything we share is confidential!

Nine moms — a surprisingly disparate group: The formation of our group was designed to bring together a ‘loosely friendly’ group from our school district.  Our children aren’t all best friends, although some are, and most of us weren’t best friends either, although we are now! Our leader asked one friend to join, who in turn asked a friend, who in turn asked a friend from her circle, until we had nine women (one for each month of school.)

Fun Care Packages:  Each College Moms dinner starts with nine medium flat- rate boxes ready to be filled with $5 treats for each student. Cookies or baked treats are welcome in lieu of purchased gifts.

The Schedule:  We meet once a month on Wednesdays for dinner at one of our homes. We start in September when our children head off to school and end in June with their return. We take the summers off and start again with the start of the next school year.

I highly recommend forming your own college moms group. The care packages you create for your college student will be sweet — but the real treat will be something special and unexpected, just for you.

–Rebecca Kutzer

Rebecca Kutzer is the mom of a college junior, high school senior, and twin high school freshmen. She received her B.A. in Architecture from UC Berkeley where she met her husband Pete Kutzer and started this whole adventure!


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