Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Empty Nest?



Would you think me an unnatural mother if I told you that I was sort of looking forward to the Wild Child and the Drooling Dog's departure tomorrow? I love her dearly--the Wild Child--but my happy little schedule is disrupted and I'm yearning to get back to "normal." I think I'm even getting a little cranky!

I think it's hard when our kids move out and then come home to visit. For the first couple hours, we're overjoyed to have them back. After that--well, I think we'd be happy to have them back if only they'd leave for a little while. Or something. I guess I'm kind of conflicted.

I haven't really been able to quilt much since she's been home. When I start quilting, I'm invariably interrupted. And that's okay in a lot of ways, because I want to spend time with her, but I also want to quilt. Similarly, I haven't gotten any further on decorating the house for fall. I'm just itching to decorate, but it's hard to do with two cats and a dog to referee and two other adults--all of whom, humans and pets alike, seem to be hanging around all over the place.

My blog post is late tonight because the Wild Child has been downloading and giving titles to 628 photos from her digital camera. Finally, when I did get on the computer, she came running in here with an unopened 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle begging me to let her open it and start putting it together, even though it's 10:30 at night, she's leaving tomorrow by noon, and she has a lot to do between now and then. And it's a quilting puzzle I bought for myself and have been "saving" until I had time to put it together. I said "no." She begged some more. I said "no" some more. She looked at me with sad eyes--you know that look, right? I said "no" again. I feel mean.

I look around my house and see messes that wouldn't be here if there weren't three adults and a dog coexisting in this small home. Oh, she's pretty good at cleaning up after herself with the larger messes--like when she baked (and burned every single one of) a batch of cookies. But, for instance, her camera is still sitting here on my desk, I found one sock draped over a kitchen chair and another in the living room, and her purse, keys, and cell phone are likely to turn up anywhere. That's just an example--it is not even close to being all the stuff that's scattered here and there around the house.

The dog drools. Really yucky, ugly, gross, snotty looking drool. And sometimes he shakes himself off. I now have drool plastered on the outside of my patio screen door. I'm kind of afraid to look at anything too closely in the house. I really, really, really need to clean house--like tomorrow night after she's gone. Maybe I should take time off work and come home early to get started. Maybe I should pick up all kinds of disinfectants and bleach on the way home. Maybe I should just build a bonfire and burn everything. Well, maybe not. Bleach and Lysol will have to do.

I have to lure the cats in the house while the dog's outside and then lock them into a room where they're safe. This morning, they both got "breakfast in bed"--I had to feed the older cat on a table in the garage and the younger cat's dish is relocated to the top of the bureau in my bedroom. I got out of bed this morning and stepped on the younger cat because she was crouched on the floor next to the bed where she presumably felt safe.

I think I'm getting old and set in my ways. I like my habits. But I love my kids--both the Wild Child and her older brother. I know that once my life gets back to "normal," I'll miss her terribly. Like I said, I guess I'm kind of conflicted.


Yeah, maybe I might even miss him. A little. Well, maybe not. At least photos don't drool!

18 comments:

Patty said...

I can completely relate, having gone through the very same thing this summer myself.

I think we morph into different people, once we get past that empty nest syndrome! I felt guilty when my syndrome only lasted about a week... LOL! I realized pretty fast that it was kind of nice having time alone again!

As much as we love our families... we *need* our quiet time.

Carol said...

Trust me, you haven't said anything that we haven't thought. We get used to having things the way we want them and although we love our kids to death it is just different. They've moved on with their lives and we've moved on with ours. That's the natural order of things. Hmmm, aren't I philosophical today :-)

Eileen said...

What a blog today, Kim, but know just how you feel. I'll have at least one coming this weekend, Maybe she will bring the youngest but we have their "den" in the basement and he usually goes down there until it's time to eat.

Well, said Kim.

Tracey @ozcountryquiltingmum said...

We always laugh about the one child Mum sees the least being the favourite...but she is then over that one very quick once they're in the house!
Sure it is not quite like that at your hose...have you caught yourself ringing her brother to complain about her....that is the test!!! Tracey

Tracey @ozcountryquiltingmum said...

that should be "house", I don't know about your hose!

Bren said...

Picture that feeling and then you "acquire" 2 more...somehow...your not sure exactly how....it must be some dirty trick!!!!

Teresa said...

It was very hard when I moved away from my son, we were living in the same house and he'd never been on his own. But I moved up North and he wanted to stay in Los Angeles. In the end it was definitely better for us both!

But now, I say I'd like it if he lived in the same city, but not in the same house! When he visits we have stuff to talk about but when that runs out, I feel awkward about how I can 'entertain' him. I don't do many things that would interest a man his age and with my physical problems I can't walk or stand for long periods of time, so we can't even really go site seeing.

But dang I felt guilty for feeling that way. Good to know that I'm not the only one.

Su Bee said...

Heck, that's all of us.
And, if the situation was reversed and we stayed at the kids place for a week, they would feel exactly the same! Once they're adults and all independent, we're all on the same playing field - like all adults. (Except we remember when we could boss them around!)

Darlene said...

You're not feeling any different than most of us feel or have felt.

When our daughter was getting married my hubby was a little sad (he was going to miss his little girl) Oh puhleeze - I was dancing in the streets. LOL

Linda said...

Poor Kim, doggie drool everywhere..eeeewwww yuck, glad it's not in my house. Don't beat yourself up, it's a normal feeling, we love them as long as it's not in our quiet empty nest.

mar said...

I occasionally get to that point, but the most of the time I'm on the other side and just wish he would visit more! LOL, it's even scarier when they start think of moving back semi-permanently!

Donna said...

My son was just down for the weekend no dog, but the guest room looked like a bomb went off. And it was good we didn't have any other company stop by because the bathroom had stuff everywhere. I love seeing him, but you are right there are alot of adults in the house. Have a good day

Kairle said...

Cool...so I'm not the meanest mother afterall. lol!

I think we all know where you're coming from, so you must be somewhat normal. :-)

Leah S said...

Your post made me smile because that's how I sorta feel about my apartment. No, I haven't had any kids yet, but it's hard to share the "home" my husband and I have created. It's our little hidey hole. ;)

That said... my mom welcomes me with open arms. :) I usually stay for at least 1 week, and try to go for 2. My visits are pretty much the only chance she gets to quilt or do "fun" sewing-related stuff, like dyeing fabric. :)

And it probably helps that I slip back into the role of being their daughter pretty easily - cooking dinners, grocery shopping, errand running, etc.

My middle sister does the same - she's gone for 9 months on the other coast for college. She'll come home every summer, work for their company. (She really needs the money for her college!)

But it probably helps that the 2 youngest kids are still at home. Yes, they're 21 and 19, so I think my parents are still "accepting" of kids around all the time. :)

Plus, I don't keep pets like my baby sister does! Last I heard, she has 2 rats and a 4-foot long corn snake. Interesting combination! :P

Yvonne said...

I still have one at home so I can't say but the dog drool.....NO WAY! LOL His brother comes to visit but doesn't stay over. I think my hubby will be dancing in the streets like Darlene when the youngest goes but I know I'll be sad...

Sharon said...

I think you can see we all agree with you. We miss them soooo much it hurts but once they are back we are like, ok when are you going?? LOL!!! And I'm sure my kids feel the same when I visit them too and that's fine.
What the heck is that jumping drooling dog doing in that photo? Running away from you???

atet said...

Um, nope, not unnatural. Is there a problem that occassionally I feel this way about my husband and toddler? Don't get me wrong -- I don't want them gone forever. But, well, a week, a weekend, something. Some time in the house to myself. Selfish? Yep. Am I ashamed of it? Nope. Am I gonna get it? Um...not any time soon!

Vicky said...

Right before Mom died, we were talking about different things, and she told me how she felt about me visiting after I had moved out. She said she sure was glad to see me when I got home, but she was very glad to see me leave! ROFLOL. But you have to admit the drooling dawg is cute, right?