I sat in my nurse's meeting today, mind wandering all over the place. The joke at work is that I can't sit through meetings...I just can't sit still. I looked down at my blackberry and there was a text from a friend with little kids. Not little teeny, but school age and busy. The text read, "It must be nice to have your life back now that your kids are older". I sat in the meeting and thought about that in between learning about Hospice documentation...
Tonight, Jim and I are sitting on the couch...me with my computer and him with his Soduku. Howie went to youth group at church and won't be home until 9pm (at the latest, per my edict from on high.) So Jim and I are alone, in the house, and it is silent except for the occasional body noise, the number put in the wrong box and "oh, that doesn't work" and the tapping of the computer.
I sit here thinking, "so this is what I dreamed of when the kids were little, teeny and needed me?" I can remember thinking that if I just had a minute of peace and quiet, if I just had time to go to the bathroom, if I just could finish a task set before me...I would be so happy.
Tonight, as I sit here...I gotta tell you, I'm not happy. I'm not sad actually, just sitting here thinking about all the good times, the busy times and how much time it takes to raise kids.
When Christie (the Queen) was born, I never felt such amazing love and a sense of who I was. It was a magical time, a change of priorities, a re-purposing. I was a mother, not a 20 something trying to make money to buy the latest and best this and that. It was life changing. Slowly as I learned to mother, I understood my mother more and her ways and what she did for us and what I didn't appreciate. That too changed a lot. When Christie was 15 months old, I decided that what I was meant to do was raise children. Christie was easy, quiet, and more enjoyable every day that I spent with her. I talked Jim into another one...ha, ha. He hoped it would take some time but it didn't. Mac was born 26 months after Christie Lou and he was a handful. He was a demanding baby and woke up crying every morning for 11 months. I was worn out. Finally, Howie came to us a little over two years after Mac. Still can't figure that out but my mother passed away Feb 8th, 1996 and along came Howie on December 1st that same year. That's when I went off the deep end and began to wish those little kids would grow up.
Grow up they did...Christie did everything and more when she was little. She played soccer, was a girl scout, swam, played an instrument and in high school, she ran cross country and marching band. She was a busy girl and I made sure I didn't miss a thing.
The same with Mac...he played baseball, was a cub scout, tried soccer and basketball, played an instrument and in high school he also marched. All the while, I was dragging Howie around to watch his siblings and when it was his turn, he got involved.
In our house, in the fall, we had dinner together at night but had no time on the weekends. In the spring, we had dinner at a ball field watching baseball games and soccer games. I had a calendar and a color for each kids activities so I could glance and know where and what I was doing after school. I'm sure you get the picture.
Now, it's me and Jim and Howie. Howie is my quiet boy who only says what he needs to and no more. He can sit and do a puzzle for an hour without saying a word...he just doesn't take after me.
It is probably a good thing to have the quiet one as the last one home...he is getting us ready for the empty nest.
Dinner was ready and Jim called me to the kitchen table. The table was set with a plate, fork and spoon. He made refried beans and put out tortillas and cheese...one of my favorite quick meals. I handed him a napkin but didn't say what I was thinking and we prayed before our dinner. He began to tell me about all of his conference calls and what he did all day and I tried to pay attention...I really did. My mind was drifting to other things and I was thinking, "what are we gonna do when all the kids are gone?"...and before I knew it, I blurted out that question. He followed up with "what did we do before we had kids?" and to be totally honest, I can hardly remember.
You see, I loved my little kids, I loved my high school kids. I'm not gonna say it was all wine and roses...all though it was a lot of wine at times, but really, they were good times. I loved doing all the "mom things", being the class mom, the one that drove everyone to the ball games, sitting in the stands and watching them play their horns or trying for a rebound or fielding a baseball. I just loved it. Because it was so hard to be everything to everyone, I knew it would never end. I didn't even think Christie would finish high school when I drove her up the drive that first day and dropped her off.
But she did and so did Mac and they are at college forging ahead in their lives. They keep in touch and call a lot and I get to see them if I want. It's just different, they have moved out and on. They are becoming the independent young people that they were meant to be...and that's good. You could say, they have "re-purposed" from kids at home to college kids. As for Howie, I can see him pulling away, figuring out what he is going to do in a few years, feeling independent driving the car around and making plans with his friends...that's a step in the right direction.
As for me, I need to take my "mother" glasses off at times and put on my "wife" glasses more. I need to remember why I married Jim and what we did do before we had kids. I guess we camped and rode our mountain bikes and we worked a lot. We remodeled a house and skied when there was snow...I wonder if we are too old for those things now.
It's interesting to think that 24 years has gone by and almost 21 of them have been with kids...we had three years as a couple and 20 plus as parents...
Gotta figure this one out...
We'll tawk tomorrow,
I love you all,