Family

Empty Nests Are For The Birds

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We live in a society that relies heavily on titles. Back in the day (and without showing my true age), these titles were simple. Just to name a few: Working class, middle class, politicians, business men and women, and Jedi.

The Jedi Order mostly consists of polymaths: teachers, philosophers, scientists, engineers, physicians, diplomats and warriors… By serving others, the Jedi give of themselves through acts of charity, citizenship, and volunteerism. (Yes, I copied and pasted straight from Wikipedia) Don’t correct me if I’m wrong, but that sounds a lot like my job description back when I answered “Homemaker” for employment on a credit application.

I didn’t build houses, I made a house a home, but surely you can see how the two might get misunderstood. So, I was kind of grateful when “Stay-at-home Mom” became my title. Though not very glamourous, and bordering on sounding lazy, once again, this title didn’t quite fit either. I never just stayed at home. Enter the sub titles: Soccer Mom, Class Mom, PTA Mom, Volunteer Mom, Sit In The Pick-up Line An Hour Before The School Day Ends And Poke My Eyes Out Mom. The list goes on. Let’s just say I was a Jedi. And though it was, at times, chaotic, challenging, scary, and exhausting, I wouldn’t give one minute back.

Now, my children are teaching me what it is like to be a twenty-something in the year 2017. It’s a very different time and I have had to learn a new language. Apparently, “hook up with you later,” does not mean you will be meeting your friend at say, the gym, or the grocery store. Also, “Netflix and chill” is not something you do when no one else is home so you think it’s okay to take the whole pint of ice cream from the freezer and watch a movie that has the greatest title and strangest synopsis in the hopes that, in the end, you will find some sort of meaning in your life.

And that’s not all. When texting a member of the opposite sex that you may have a bit of a crush on, it is imperative that the correct emoji be used to alert this person to the fact that you are not flirting but merely blushing at his/her cuteness when, in fact, you are flirting! I will be honest here, if I had to dissect every text back when I was dating, I never would have found a mate. “Is he yelling at me? Or is he just excited that I want to hook-up at the gym later?”

And there is much more to learn. When my son needed to borrow a drill, it gave a whole new meaning to “school projects” when I found myself helping with the finishing touches on a kegerator.

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*melancholy music*

For the most part, my job is done, as I consider myself a Semi-Retired Stay-at-home Mom. Thankfully, my daughter has eased me into this new phase of my life by living at home while pursuing a degree in teaching. My son, however, did not. ($$$)

Did I do everything right? Probably not. Would I go back and change a few choices I made? Most definitely. But I did the best I could with the ever- changing world to keep my family happy, healthy, and safe.

Which brings me back around to the heart of this blog. (Bet you thought I forgot.) For the last time, my title is going to change, and “Empty Nester” is looming overhead like a giant storm cloud sagging beneath the weight of what the hell does that mean?

Empty

adjective

containing nothing; not filled or occupied:

synonyms: unfilled, bare, blank, vacant, hollow

 

Nest

Noun

structure or place made or chosen by a bird for laying eggs and sheltering its young

synonyms: shell, case, bubble, layer, coat

There are so many things wrong here, I don’t know where to begin. So, I will point out the obvious. I am not a bird and I do not live in a nest. I live in a house that I call home.IMG_1316 (2)

My children are not birds, and though their life began with an egg, I grew them inside of me. (I will not give you a lesson in reproduction) The day my children were born was their first step towards an independent life. As for me, I have been letting go ever since.

Today, I am a mother, a wife, a sister, a daughter, a friend, a writer, a crafter, a gardener, an exercise enthusiast (nah, just kidding), and a Jedi (not kidding). I will see to it my life is filled with laughter, love, and friendships that will take me to the bittersweet end. I will never have an empty nest, I leave that for the birds. Besides, if my kids don’t want me, I will sit on their front porch until they let me in!

Until next time, my friends, when I may have a completely different view of life, make the most of today.

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The Crazy Side of Normal

Crazy you say

I have a confession to make and I must warn you; it might be a little disturbing. Some of you may be wondering what took me so long to see what was right in front of me; how could I be so blind? To be honest, I’ve always known, but it takes a lot of courage to stand up and say my family is crazy!

Brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, moms, dads, and grandparents, there is no end to the amount of phobias one could obtain in such a circle. Let’s face the facts: Family will be the first to point out our bad habits, and thank goodness they do, otherwise, I might have sucked my thumb until I was 20! They are the first to recognize our failures, the first to criticize our weaknesses, and the first to praise our successes.

My family is the the most diverse group of people I know.

There are nay-sayers, do-gooders, and ride-the-fencers. There are believers, non believers, and a few that fall in between. There are in-laws and outlaws, free-loaders and farmers, musicians, pilots, and machinists. There are cat lovers and cat haters and meat eaters and vegans, and sometimes the only common ground is that we are all related to each other.

If any of this sounds familiar, but you are too afraid to state the obvious, you can take heart in knowing that you are not alone. Growing up, I was certain there wasn’t another family out there as crazy as mine, but I married my husband and found out I was wrong! Kidding *wink-wink*, really I am.

Now you may be asking the question, “Karen, how can you fit in so well and be so normal?” I have asked this very question myself, and then it came to me metaphorically: I am on the crazy side of normal (after all, I am a writer), therefore I am just another nut in the family tree.

My family has been broken apart and put back together so many times over the years you might think we are weak and fragile. But when tragedy knocked me down, family was there breathing life back into me and for that I am forever grateful. Thank you for being strong when I couldn’t be, thank you for loving me in spite of my flaws, and thank you for being just crazy enough to make life interesting!

 

origianl photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/24842486@N07/11970571345/”>e r j k p r u n c z y k</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/”>cc</a&gt;

Categories: Family | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

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