When I first found out that Jay was accepted to a master’s program in the Netherlands I was…less than thrilled. He was visiting me from his home in Australia at the time and I had absolutely no idea that he was even looking at graduate school, never mind that he had applied to one. My first reaction to the news wasn’t a pleasant one. I felt slightly betrayed that he would do all of this without me and also upset that he didn’t think he could tell me about the application. He said that he didn’t want to upset me and if he didn’t get accepted to the program I would never have to know he was looking at it.
I wanted to be supportive of him, but it was really difficult for me. We had just gotten fully adjusted to the time differences and each other’s schedule. Even though the Netherlands is geographically closer to the USA I felt like he was going farther away. I think a big part of me was just thinking “if you’re moving somewhere again, why can’t it be here?”
But, after my initial breakdown (I was shocked and upset by the news), I got up and gave him a big hug. I tried my best to let him know how happy I was for him, but throughout the whole visit I did a pretty bad job of hiding my negative feelings towards it. After he left I thought about it some more and realized how proud I was of him. He had researched a program, applied, and been accepted to a really great school. I really was happy for him and I wanted to show it.
Before his most recent visit I decided I wanted to buy him a congratulatory present. When I visited him in Australia he took me to stationery stores where we looked at fountain pens. I decided that this would be the perfect gift for him. I researched them using Reddit and online review sites before buying him one of the recommended sets on Amazon. You can see the exact set I bought here . I ordered it well in advance and each time I looked at it I got a big sense of excitement in my chest. I couldn’t wait to see his reaction!
The only thing left was to make him a card. I love DIY projects and handmade gifts and I thought this was a perfect time to utilize my crafting skills. His graduate school program is called Urban Port and Transport Economics and it deals with logistics. To emphasize how excited I was for him I made a card (shown above) with him as the captain of a cargo ship named “DE HAGELSLAG” (hagelslag are delicious sprinkles that Dutch people eat on bread). Jay always brings me some when he visits Holland and hopefully while he’s in school he’ll be able to send me some!
Jay was just here for his last visit before moving to Holland. I gave him the fountain pen and card and he LOVED it! It made me feel even happier that I had bought him a present and made him the card. I really am incredibly proud of him and it was nice to actually show him that. He was really happy with the card and said he would use the pen to write letters to me!
I’m really happy that I was finally able to show Jay my support. I want him to always feel like he can tell me things and share his life news with me. I’m very proud that he’s furthering his education and excited that he gets to live on his own for the first time (and in his home country). I can’t wait to hear about all of his new adventures and hopefully visit him soon!
Inspired by this LDR Writing Prompt: Support