A Deserted Nest

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It’s a typical Friday night. Back from an early dinner out. HGTV and wine as a follow-up. I look around the room while my husband and I discuss stuff. You know. Just stuff.

Like his dream car, how Corporate America has sold itself out, and why we would like to have Punxsutawney Phil murdered.

As I look around, I suddenly feel the innate loneliness of the empty nester. 

Our child is not home. She’s off in Europe traveling for spring break. She hasn’t been living at home, except for Christmas break, summer, and here or there since August 2016 when she left for college. 

I look around and it dawns on me that our job is done. We are parents, but in a different light. We are no longer in the thick of diapers, temper tantrums and middle school drama. No more homework anxiety and carpooling to dance class. 

It’s just us. Two people who started out as two people. Back to the beginning. But with a slight difference: Toned bodies are replaced by lumps, and tout skin is replaced by crows feet. AARP cards now reside in our wallets nestled beside the Costco cards, and Metamucil is the drink of choice over mimosas.

I always dreaded this time. I wanted to hang on to her childhood for all of eternity. To cherish and coddle. To keep my grip tightened on that adorable cherub faced baby. 

I never thought I would so wholeheartedly accept this stage of her life, of our life. But I am here to say that I do. I mean, aside from the emptiness of the house I feel from time to time. Like tonight. 

I love the relationship I have with my daughter. Somewhere over the last couple of years, she has become my friend.

I no longer reprimand, I advise. I no longer have to remind her to do her chores when she’s home, she’s mature enough to do them unasked. I like that I can drop my favorite “F” word in her presence without feeling like I’m going to completely corrupt her.

I love listening as she regales us with stories of college, and her experiences living in a big city. I don’t want to say I am living vicariously through her because that sounds so cliche, but truth be told, I am.

She is living and breathing experiences I never got to have. College, travel, living on her own. So, yes. I am living vicariously through her and I’m not ashamed to admit it.

It was easy being her parents. I am confident that we did a good job and even more confident that we can watch her fly knowing she will succeed. Not without some bumps and bruises because life is not perfect, as we all know. But I know she will succeed in the real game of Life. She has proven to us that she has the skills. Skills she built all on her own.

Now it is just my husband and me. It’s been like this for close to three years. I am loving this stage of our lives and loving the relationship I have with him. It’s just the two of us and it’s a time of rediscovery. I know. It’s another cliche. But it’s true. And it’s pretty cool.

Tales of a Working Stiff

My look most day at My Retail Job
How I avoid frostbite.

I have been at My Retail Job for 3 months now.  Things are going pretty well.  It doesn’t feel like I got hit by a Mack truck anymore.  I would say it was more like a golf cart.  Maybe next month, it will feel like a 10-speed.  The month after that?  Perhaps a tricycle.

I am enjoying My Retail Job.  It’s fun.  It’s stress free.  I’m feeling more comfortable in my role there.  But I am discovering and seeing things that I don’t usually see in a normal day.

  • The elderly will go to great lengths to save 20 cents on a loaf of bread.  Even if it means spending $4 in gas to do so.
  • I have a bazillion cuts and bruises on my body.  Most days it looks like I got into a fight with a rooster.  But there are no roosters at work.  I swear.
  • By the end of my shift my hands look like that of a Grave Digger.  You don’t want to know.
  • I still don’t like using the walkie talkie, but I’m getting used to it.  Although I still get that little butt pucker when I hear someone ask me a question over it.
  • A man decked out in a dress, high heels and makeup looks like a man decked out in a dress, high heels and makeup.
  • Your extremities can go into frostbite mode when you are in the freezer after about 3 minutes.  Even with a coat, hat and gloves.  Very glamorous.  You wish you were me.
  • Children who surround you like crows on a carcass is not creepy at all.  Especially when they are staring you down.  Having mother there to call them off is of no comfort.  I think I’d rather be chased by a bear.
  • Some parents think the isles of the store is for playing Chase.  Go entertain the kiddies in the parking lot so I can get some work done.  Please.
  • I’m pretty sure I will slice off part of my finger with a box cutter before this gig is up.
  • I cannot for the life of me, fold the top of a box so that it closes.  Folding the top of a box makes the Rubik’s Cube seem like a walk in the park.
  • I can’t figure out how I got this job since it seems that the prerequisite is to smoke.  Oh wait.  I inhaled once when I was 14.  That must count.

The hours are long and I take home enough bacon to feed a hermit crab.  But having my own thing, feeling like I’m contributing and boosting my confidence?  Priceless.  I highly recommend it.  Frostbite, creepy children and all.

They Do WHAT On the Bus?

Back of School Bus

About 2 years ago, I started hearing these horrible stories about what goes on in the back of the school bus.  I was completely flabbergasted not to mention a bit freaked out.  I know I sound like my mother, but what is happening to the youth of today?

So, needless to say, I had to have the “talk” with my child.  I mean, she already got the generic Birds and Bees talk.  You know, the “you must wait until you are married for 5 years, and only if you really, really love your husband can you share that love in a special way that MARRIED men and women do” talk.  I was pissed that I had to go a bit deeper.  Damn you, stupid slutty girls.

Me:  Do you know what Oral Sex is?

The Kid:  Well, yes.

Me: (oh God) What do you think it is?

The Kid:  um…when you talk about sex?

Phew…ok, she’s still Pollyanna.  Now I had to, in a way that would scare the living shit out of her, tell my sweet little 12 year old what this Oral Sex was all about. Luckily, she was completely, out of this world, disgusted by the concept.  I can only hope this disgust lasts for, oh I don’t…EVER?!

As for the kids sitting at the back of the bus?  Some words of advice:  Boys, keep it in your pants.  Girls, keep your mouths closed, it ain’t all that.