Saturday, March 21, 2009

First tears

Our youngest off to college, in another state three hours away, our middle child in school and hour and a half away, and our "eldest" child (as my mom calls me), 22 hours away in Utah, we are finally in the world of empty nesters. Our chicks have left the nest. But wait, my husband gets a job in CANADA- 20 hours north, a different country even. He doesn't even own a passport. So I am here in the empty nest and my husband flies the coop. All I am left with is the dog. And I don't even like the dog. Never wanted a dog, am stuck with the dog. More on her later.

I thought I would relish the time of no schedules (other than being at work on time), no responsibilities (other than the aforementioned dog), no pressures to do anything I didn't want to do because someone else needed me to do it. ( I love the phrase, your failure to plan is not my emergency. Somehow my kids and husband never quite got that idea. I was often running ambulances).

Thankful for wonderful neighbors and friends, I always had someplace to go when I needed a break from the tranquility and silence of my home. I had no ballgame I had to rush to, dinners to make, or mounds of laundry or dishes to wash. I was happy go lucky and free to do whatever I wanted. May sound heavenly to some moms that would love to be able to go to the bathroom by themselves for 3 minutes. ( The dog still won't let me- she nudges in to make sure I haven't fallen in I guess, peeking around the door.)

I remember the moment vividly. I was sitting in the parking lot of Kroger, having just gone to the grocery for the first time since my house had been evacuated. Sobbing uncontrollably. (Not over the cost of groceries, my husband had a job at the time remember.) I realized that for the first time in my life I had grocery shopped just for ME, and I was going home to live ALONE!! I had never lived alone in my life. From high school, I went to college, after college, I moved back home until I got married. I had never lived alone. And now after having raised three kids I was going to be living by myself and cooking for one. ( Or not- I ate a lot of cereal). No more thinking about what cereal to buy for whom, what to get so my picky youngest would eat something other than peanut butter and jelly. No more thinking about anyone else's choices but mine. I could buy the expensive things I had always glossed over as they would cost too much for more than one. But now I was one , and I could buy whatever I wanted! But I didn't want to. I would have much rather been buying for five, and cooking up big pots of chili, and gobs of cheesy potatoes. And not eating cereal for dinner.

Advice to harried moms? Enjoy the rat race. Embrace family dinners. Love leftovers. Hug your kids even when they only eat PBJs. And get yourself a dog. Most likely, it will stick around when everyone else flies away.

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The Fam

The Fam
The State of Relaxation in Florida


About Me

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Mover extraordinaire (is that a word?), happily married to a football coach for 31 years. Mother of three amazing children,(one still on the payroll) and one daughter-in-law. Teacher (special education),speaker, presenter, writer. One of my passions is sharing with others to encourage them. Another is chocolate, especially M&Ms.