Sunday, October 25, 2009


It's a unique experience to have your older children move out on their own. I could wax melancholy about the myriad of memories I have of each of them. For instance at my second (and last!) wedding, my then five year old daughter came running full tilt down the aisle carrying a piece of wedding cake, intent on showing it to me while I and my wedding party were in the midst of having pictures taken. At the exact moment the photo was taken, my daughter tripped and flew in our classic, extremely "graceful" style, on her belly sliding a few feet across the wedding cake that fell under her. I have an amazing photo of my entire wedding party with our mouths wide open shouting, "oh no!" all at the same time. That's a great memory. Or there's the old family story of the time my eldest son was around three years old and my mother had explained to him during his bath that the little appendage between his legs was his "penis", then later that evening, as he and his sister and my parents were gathered around the fire pit roasting marshmallows, my dad asked my son if he would like some peanuts and my son got this horrified look on his face thinking my dad had just asked him if he would like some "penises". Another terrific memory.

I've spent the two years since my eldest son moved out getting used to the fact that while I may still be mom, I'm no longer a driving force in his life. I am no longer entitled to an opinion that actually carries some weight in terms of his actions and future. So when my daughter moved out two months ago, it wasn't nearly as hard to accept as when her brother flew the coop. I still have to remember when speaking to my beloved children that while they will always be my babies, they don't generally appreciate it when I tell them what to do. I would like to think that they will always value my advice and my ability to relate to much of what they have experienced and will likely experience in their future, but I really have to work on figuring out exactly what my new role entails. Occasionally they still call and ask my opinion, but when they tell me a story or a situation, I have to practice keeping my opinions to myself. Really, I do. Anyone who knows me personally is likely cracking up at my expense. However I would like to point out, that while I have a terrible habit of telling people what to do, I do it with the best of intentions! Okay, I'm ready to admit that this isn't the most attractive of my many attributes. I'll work on it. Happy now?

Back to the changes in our household. When my daughter moved out two months ago, it was exactly three days before I realized that no one had fed the dog. It was two weeks before it occurred to me that the guest bath hadn't been cleaned. I'm also relatively certain that after two and a half weeks, if my youngest son hadn't thought to go check the mail, the mailman would likely have had the police come to the house just to make sure we were in fact still alive! So caught up was I in working through the emotional implications of yet another child spreading her wings, it just didn't occur to me that a redistribution of chores might be a good plan. Got it. I'm happy to report that the animals are now being fed on a daily basis, I've taken over washing the dishes after dinner, and our youngest is now responsible for cleaning his bathroom and checking the mail. Sheesh... who knew?

Witty quip of the day: If you love someone, set them free. If they come back they're yours; if they don't they never were.~Richard Bach. However, if they come back, eat your food, borrow your stuff, tell you stories intended to shock you, and ask for money, they're probably your children and happily you're stuck with them for life!

Thursday, October 1, 2009