My favorite Domer has been home just over a week now, and it’s rained almost every day.
No tennis. No golf. No outside barbecues.
Shoot, I’m struggling to walk my pudgy pooch between showers!
Yet every day your kids are home feels like a holiday.
You parents with little kids don’t understand this. You’re not supposed to.
Deep inside, you’re thinking, “Just give me a few hours to myself — away from the taxi-ing to and from activities, away from the incessant unanswerable questions (why do birds have wings?), away from the internal and external pressures of parenting.”
But trust me, you’ll live to eat those words!
I know I am.
People older and wiser than I told me to “enjoy every minute with your little ones.” I did, but sometimes, when the pressures added up and it felt like I’d never have another moment’s peace, I found myself wishing for an island somewhere, a place I could go ALL BY MYSELF where there were no responsibilities and every day was sunny. . . .
But that’s pie-in-the-sky, isn’t it?
Watching your darling fly away from the nest (whether it’s to college, marriage, the armed forces, or a job clear across the country) leaves you with a bittersweet ache in your heart.
You miss them, certainly, but it’s right that they grow up — and go away.
Congratulate yourself — you’ve given them roots and wings!
Besides, their flight frees you to do some of the things you always wanted to.
To reinvent yourself, as it were.
Unless, of course, you have other “little birds” still at home.
Then all bets are off!
Wow, your comments about “roots and wings,” and time for reinvention really resonated with me. I look at my baby, a 32-year old man, soon to be a daddy for the first time, and I feel that finally, finally I KNOW that if I were gone, he would be okay. Not that he was deficient before! But I am an anxious mom. And he is so grown now, so self-sufficient. It’s a relief, and yet at the same time a tragedy. Motherhood is sweetly, painfully complicated, isn’t it?
Thanks, Lynne, for your insights — and the hope that our “babies” can one day be self-sufficient! Since mine is only 19, it’s kind of hard to see that now, but I’m catching glimpses of it every day. While that can be frightening (how fast time is flying!), it’s also encouraging (even tho I probably did a million things wrong, somehow he’s managing to “make it”!). I wonder if dads share the same angst about their kids as moms do — say, that would make an interesting article. Steal it if you’d like!
Yes, it is all so bittersweet to let our “babies” fly out into the world. But is also the natural order , just knowing they are self-sufficient is a consolation. Dealing with the “empty nest ” is so hard at first but now they are bringing their babies back..to love and hand right back to them for the 24/7 stuff. Love it!