Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Bittersweet Mama's Summer Milestones

I am sitting here this rainy July morning (sweet, wonderful rain) in a pensive state of mind.  I have spent a great deal of time this summer just trying to get ready to prepare to think about launching my babies.  We are going on a little trip next week to visit yet a few more potential schools, and yesterday, as I mapped out our routes, it occurred to me that I was looking forward to the trip.  My children are on the edge of a major life changing and life forming event, and so am I.  While I readily admit to living vicariously at times, some things have shifted in my thinking.  I am slowly getting my self back.  Mentally and physically.  And the Universe is inching me into my next phase.  Some recent milestones in which I took comfort:
  • We graduated from the orthodontist this month.
  • Last Summer Reading book list. Ever.
  • Eight impacted wisdom teeth removed from two mouths.
  • I am starting to like the music in the grocery store.
  • I often find myself home alone.  And I like it.
I know my heart will be heavy when they go.
But these are signs that I'll be okay.
Any other signs I should be looking for?

28 comments:

Debbie said...

Mine is still here for a little while longer, but after ironing his uniform and looking around downstairs, I will not miss the mess he sometimes forgets.

When you start to enjoy the quiet times....and time for YOU.

WORKING MOM said...

I have started to think about this, although it is a while off for me, but just wondering. They are getting older, and I find myself alone a lot more.

For you, well, at least so far you are enjoying it. It will be a time of rediscovery for you or further investigation of self.

Kacey said...

I hear you woman! I love finding me again. Of course, as my last one is leaving, my middle one moved home, but that's just for a month or two. Then it will be all empty. I'm kind of excited and sad about it at the same time, you know?

You must go to BlogHer next year! Must. Then we can meet in person.

Stacey Huston said...

I am so glad that the universe seems to be preparing you for this wonderful time for your children... It is so wonderful that you have such a great relationship with your kids and aren't "pushing" them out of the nest... Thanks for sharing

TSannie said...

It is the best of times....bittersweet, yes, but surely the best of times.

xoxoabb

Flash Stitcher said...

I am affraid. Scared stiff to find myself alone.

NSLO has pushed and sent out her first college application. Albeit for her #1 saftey but at least that is one mailed and received.

We have one more massive trip planned for the fall. Then the real paperwork and fretting begins.

I invite you to share a bottle of Chardonnay when the kids have sent in their last applications!

Snooty Primadona said...

Frankly, I was amazed at how my real self returned after the kids were gone. Suddenly, I could carry on adult conversations again and my vocabulary reappeared after a long absence. Shopping is once again fun rather than being a chore and being alone is often sheer bliss. It is not an easy transformation, but you might as well sit back and enjoy the ride. Just know that there will be many tears before the light can guide you to inner peace, lol.

Philly said...

Now that my kids are older and doing their own thing we HAD started to do things on our own, which was nice. Now that I'm taking care of the Gman, the book and I are back at square 1.

#1

noble pig said...

It's hard to imagine sending them off...I can't even go there yet.

You will hit a new phase here soon and you will DO WELL too. Enjoy...I feel that as children grow and they bring more members into our families (marriage, kids) things only get better.

Treasia said...

Look for a sign that reads: "Freedom Drive". I have been mentally preparing myself for this milestone in my life as well for the last few months. One more year of high school and then off to college for her. Although she probably will continue to live here I know it won't be the same. I am slowly weaning myself into finding ME again. So far I am loving every single minute of finding myself once more.

tj said...

...Yeah, doesn't "Empty Nest Lane" cross "Spread Your Wings & Fly Drive"? Or is that "It's All About Me Now Expressway"? ;o)

...I can't imagine all the feelings you must feel from one day to the next, bittersweet for sure. Life is spectacular isn't it? :o)

...Blessings to you... :o)

Keetha said...

What a great attitude to have. Your cup, it is so half full.

Mental P Mama said...

@tj LOL and amen! I think those streets are very close to my neighborhood!

Cathy ~ Tadpoles and Teacups said...

I've ushered off two kids to college (2 more are still at home) and I'm here to say that it is do-able. But it is a weird feeling driving away and leaving behind the object of so much attention for the previous 18 years. It's the goal when I brought the little guys home from the hospital to raise up them to be responsible and independent, right? The alternative is way worse-40 year old mama's boys still living at home (I always think of Howard Sprague on Andy Griffeth.)
A word of Warning: under no circumstances should you watch old videos of when your kids were little.

Sassy said...

I LOVE THE STREET SIGN! I can't live on that street for a while yet although my oldest is 33 this year...I still have two sons at home...you know that saying "You have five children, three are living and the other two...WELL!" You get the picture...I am looking forward to my kids being OUT! I love them to pieces but...I am SO READY!!!

Krysta said...

i'm thinking the food, water and electricity bills will be lower is a big sign that the kids are out of the house... fewer dishes and not having to pick up all their crap is another.

imbeingheldhostage said...

More milk in the refrigerator. That was our first sign.
When the oldest moved out, I took over his room the next day. I had to so that I wouldn't curl up in a ball in his bed. There are melancholy times, but mostly what you described-- starting to get a little of you back.
Happy wednesday to you!

Egghead said...

I never even imagined that my life would be as it is today. I always thought that they would grow up, leave home and I/we would be able to have more time to ourselves, maybe travel or do some other things we wanted to. But life doesn't work the way you imagine and we have had kids in and out between college/work/layoffs and now grandchildren that we spend as much time as possible with because they don't have a mommy any longer. But I would not change a thing and if there is one huge thing I have learned it is to not sweat the small stuff that does not work our as you imagined. Just enjoy each moment...life is truly short.

asthmagirl said...

Of course you'll be okay. I share some of those same feelings with you....I suspect K2 will be gone in a year or so and that will be sad. Sometimes I think they keep us young, other times I think that focusing so much on them keeps us from thinking about the healthy "me" part of us.
Great post! Here's to quiet times ahead!

Employee No. 3699 said...

Hi there. Found you through Pioneer Woman. I am finally an empty nester. My oldest who is 28, finally moved out...again. This time I think (hope) it's for good.

We have noticed lower utility bills and are definitely spending less on groceries. The only laundry in the house is our own as are any messes.

Nice blog. I'll be stopping by again.

Toodles~

Bear Naked said...

My empty nester moment was when I could finally purchase the expensive shampoo and conditioner and know that the bottles wouldn't be empty in three days.
Sheer bliss.

Bear((( )))

Sara said...

I found myself sappy and crying at every event at the end of my youngest daughter's eighth grade year. I had already sent two daughter's off to college and even though I hated her middle school I was boo-hoo-ing at everything.
Love your blog and (unfortunately) find myself able to relate quite well to the concept of mental pause.
Thanks

Lisa J said...

Oh yes, there are some really good signs coming your way. You don't have to fix dinner if you don't want to and just eat a bowl of cereal. You don't have to do the dishes either, they won't be there to see the example!!!! You can run around in your underwear or even naked...who cares. And you and your husband???well you can figure that one out. It IS the next stage of life. You get to be a part of their lives still, you will be needed as much then as you are now, just in a different way. There will be so many things to do with and for them. It is FUN to be in that place. Empty nest?? Noooo, just more space in your nest, before long there will be more coming home...the nest just expands. You will LOVE IT!!!

holly said...

wow. as if in the blink of an eye...

i'm going to stop blinking for a bit.

but an empty nest must SURELY mean more golfing, yes? oh yes i want that.

or maybe i'll just teach them to golf. yeah, that.

Country Girl said...

I never looked on it as an empty nest. Life is all about change and you roll with it, or it rolls over you. I actually love having them visit! However, one moved back in. Let's not talk about that.

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

Anytime you want to get away from all that Transitioning, please feel free to not only set up a tent in the yard here but consider the guest room or the pop-up camper, although I take it camping is not your thing....

Merlot freely runs here, but we can definitely access some chardonnay.

This will help you ease into the next phase of your life which is this:

RELAXATION. PEACE. QUIET. TIME TO REFLECT. TH ABILITY TO SAY I'M GONNA HAVE CHEETOS FOR SUPPER IF I WANT. AND NOTHING ELSE. KNOWLEDGE THAT YOU'VE DONE THE BEST YOU CAN DO WITH THE MOST PRECIOUS BEINGS ON THE PLANET.

AND WINE.

Mine are a long ways from flying the coop, but these are the thoughts I have on a daily basis.....

Flea said...

Awww. My youngest is eleven and I'm already looking forward to it. Is that bad?

Baroness von Bloggenschtern said...

Forgive the metaphor, but at least you rip the bandage off all at once. I've got one leaving and one more to go, and I can literally feel my heart rended in two.

Please let me know how things are going with this - I'm sure you and I will have many things to share.

Oh, and because "we" "chose" our out-of-town school so late in the game, I completely missed the Parent Orientation that told me what to do with all the miles and miles of umbilical cord I have to deal with...