Guts

It takes guts to be a parent.
It takes guts to have parents, too.

A new phase in my life:  my children are grown and gone and seem to be able to take care of themselves.  My mother, on the other hand, is beginning to need someone to take care of her.

I'm sitting here in an empty house.  My youngest baby flew away yesterday afternoon.  We didn't eat dinner last night.  We sat at the kitchen table and bawled, laughed and admired what wonderful children we have.  And then we bawled some more. 

Oh, and we drank.  He drinks beer and I drink wine.  So now I have a wine headache and an empty nest, with a mixture of pride and worry and feeling old...all competing for what little attention I have left to pay.

The sweet hubs is surprised at how hard this is for him.  Pobrecito.  I  have a theory about this.  Daddy has a certain role in his children's lives, and no matter how close they are, there is still a little bit of distance.  But Mommy?  My children started moving away from me when labor started, and they continued to move away in little steps all through their growing years.  So, as sad as I am, I've been feeling the separation in baby steps since forever.  At first they needed me for everything and gradually they stopped needing me for anything.  For Daddy, it's one wrenching day and they leave.  I feel for him.  I wish I could truly comfort him, but only time will do that.  Anyway, it's good for him to be confronted with his own tenderness.

I expect great things from my children.  They are both wonderful young men with enormous potential.  I'm not sure what to expect from my empty nest, though.  My son's room is so ...  so...  empty.  What will I do with that? 

There are things I am sure of:   I am blessed to still feel connected and close to my sweet hubs.  I don't think we will look at each other and decide we have nothing in common without the children.   I am blessed that my children are healthy enough to grow into their own lives.  My brother may never see this day with his son.   I did the best job I knew how, and my children survived my mistakes.  They are strong, healthy, balanced, intelligent, capable people. 

But I'm opening up another bottle of wine.