Stuff that might come in handy, by Mom

There are those moments in life you know instantly will be keepers.

You know, those, “Oh man, stuff just got real” experiences that tattoo your heart.

I had one Wednesday when our son, Kyle, signed his National Letter of Intent with Canisius College in Buffalo, N.Y. He was among five students at his high school signing early with the places they will call “home” come autumn.

Wait, what? In nine short months, my baby boy is going to be living three hours away from me?


As I listened to people discuss his accolades, I never realized how many emotions can swirl around in one’s brain simultaneously.

I was all-at-once so proud, amazed, overjoyed, humbled, grateful and terrified. #momsahotmess

Not that I would brag about my kid’s accomplishments, that’d be uncouth. However…

That boy of ours, among other things, is a four-year member of varsity swim team (on which he’s a repeat state qualifier, All-Ohio swimmer, NEAC and AAC champion, and three-time school record holder, btdubs). He’s the National Honors Society VP, is a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and serves as an usher at our parish.

Did I mention the kid has yet to receive a B on a report card? Yep, all A’s. #skipsageneration

OK, obnoxiousness over. Either way, here a few tips for said kid that I like to call:

“College Clues: Stuff that Might Come in Handy”

By Mom

1. Buffalo, N.Y., is cold in the winter. Worse than Ohio. Think arctic blasts and feet upon feet of snow and can’t-see-my-hand-in-front-of-my-face white-outs. Between November and April, please wear a winter coat, hat and gloves outside. For reals.

2. Real men get homesick. It’s OK to miss your friends and family back home. In fact, it’ll be kinda odd if you don’t, at least a little. Hang in there … it will get easier with some time and new pals.

3. Clorox wipes are your friends. Use them … in excess. I know it isn’t your forte or that of most guys your age but, to avoid pestilence, roaches, rats and such, clean your dorm room with Clorox wipes. A lot of Clorox wipes. I will buy them.

4. You’re never too old to call Mom. Sick? Sad? Lonely? Scared? Nervous? Thrilled? Rest assured, you can secretly call Mom anytime, day or night. Or day. Or night. Or day. Just sayin’. Ditto for Dad. If you need us, we’re there.

5. Share. Living with boys isn’t easy, trust me. And making a new home with a total stranger? Well, that’s a bonafide challenge. But share. Share your time, share your space, share your food … but in a sanitary way. #momworries Be patient; getting used to co-habitating with new peeps is a slow process.

6. Don’t be a jerk. Look, this is bound to be one of your greatest adventures and it’s chock full of tons of freedom for making grown-up choices. I want you to grow, do, be, learn and have fun. But I also want you to be safe, smart, aware — and to make grown-up choices, capisce?

7. Study hard. This isn’t high school, babes. ‘Nuff said.

8. Pray. You might be surprised how much better it makes things … and not just at college.

9. Girls are icky. OK, that’s a lie. But when acquainting young ladies, please refer back to rule No. 6.

10. Last but not least, no matter what anyone says, you can go home again. And again. Always and forever.

P.S. Mom’s cell is on 24/7, sweets and her gas tank is full.

Kimerer is a Tribune Chronicle columnist who is looking to sublet a small studio apartment near Buffalo for the next four years — don’t tell Kyle. Message her privately via