Today was one of those mornings. First, I got up 30 minutes late from pulling a long night working on the computer and, as usual, the rest of my morning was spent catching up, making sure that my girls made their bed, brushed their teeth, ect.
There’s nothing I hate more than showing up in the tardy line at school, with all the other kids and their parents who couldn’t get them there on time. So I’m grumbling to my 6-year-old and her little sister on the way there about how they need to move faster. Once I finally drop them, and can breathe for a moment, I realize that maybe I was too hard. After all, I’m the one responsible for getting them up in the mornings to begin with, and I could do better. Even 6 years and two kids in, this parenting thing is still an adjustment. There’s the constant reminder that my time is not my own. I wake up at 5am and my whole day is centered around their universe. But still, I wouldn’t change it for the world. Sometimes I think about the day when they both grow up and move out and I get sad. Am I supposed to just let go and resume life like nothing ever happened? It’s depressing.
As usual, when things start to feel heavy, I look for a distraction, and nothing soothes a sore mind better than Facebook. I’m strolling through posts when I see a pic of my friend PaMela, cheesing it up with all four of her grown kids. They look so happy and adjusted that I have to call her. Maybe life after kids ain’t so bad.
It’s perfect timing because she’s in the car, driving. At 62 years old, she’s more active that most women I know.
She says, “Finding myself with an empty nest was a real turning point in my life. When my oldest one left, she left the country. She graduated high school on Friday and boarded a plane on Monday and I thought I would die!”
Oh no, just as I thought. Misery.
“I had mixed emotions. You want them to spread their wings and go off on their own because you don’t want to hold them under your roof and not let them experience life, but she was still my baby. I wanted to know that she was eating everyday.”
By the time she had the second it was better because this daughter moved close to home. That’s great, I’m thinking, but her daughter stayed close. What if mine move far away?
By the third it got even easier, so when her son, the forth and youngest, told her that he was moving out she had already packed his bags and made plans to turn his room into an office.
“At that point, my girls had already prepped me and I knew that he would be okay. I’d taught them all the basics about survival, and I could rest knowing that if they needed me for anything, say they got sick or in trouble, I’d be the first person they would call,” says PaMela, adding that she had now reached her destination, the airport, and had to go.
“Where are you traveling to?” I ask.
Well, I guess that’s my answer. Not only is there life after kids, I could literally fly.