when words fail me, which is often, I paint. When words work for me and are available on time, I am surprised.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Empty Nest

I realized today that the most prolific and talented writer, Michelle O'Neil has been checking into this blog. She is the greatest writer I know, her blog address is: http://michelleoneilwrites.blogspot.com/
I like to check out her site because I love the way she writes and to learn about this new forum of blogging; her site is named Full Soul Ahead. When I read it today, she had posted about the hysterical (the word hysterectomy stems from this word- Hysterical. It's those female parts that make that gender so crazy) things her children say such as calling stuffed animals, stuffed up animals.
Both of my sons moved out of the house and into their independence a little more than 3 years ago. I knew it was going to be weird not having bus stops to race to every morning or their constant companionship. They were my life. I braced myself for this "Empty Nest" but it hit me on the head as if it were loaded with a ton of bricks. I realized the truth about this empty nest; it isn't about missing having those kids around or the daily routine, it's about regret. Yes, regret. Know this all you mothers of children still residing in your home (under the age of 20, I guess), empty nest is regretting the fact that you didn't appreciate those babies as much as you should have. They are only little for the shortest amount of time even though you can think of days that seemed to last forever. You will miss the way they felt in your arms, the sound of their breath as they nursed from your breast. You will miss their laughter and the funny things they said. "Momma, I wanna hold you" when they wanted to be carried. And how about the time Wiley greeted me when I picked him up from his day care provider's house and said, "Guess what, I planted a green gumball today, they're the good kind right? Do you think it will grow?" There was also the Christmas list for Santa that listed a "molk troll" car. Yep, a remote control car, that one still stands. Oh yeah, you can still love those kids, even when they move out and create their own families, but you can never have those precious little ones back. No matter how tedious and trying and downright UNGLAMOROUS life can be when you are the mother of young children; it is a priceless experience. Here is a little poem I submitted to the Washington Post column, I think it is called The Daily Haiku (?). They haven't published it, so I will, because I can! Disregard the poetic license, I see my sons often and talk to them on the phone almost every day.
My first son was born when I was 19, nearly a child myself. His brother arrived less than 2 years later. Soon after, I became a “single mom". Year after year, our home remained “broken" but our family bond grew strong. I used to spend my days wishing those boys would grow up quickly, and then I could get my life back. I spent hours thinking of all the places I could go and what I would do when I got there. It’s been three years since I’ve seen either one of those boys. One travels the world, the other goes to school far from here. They both send me e-mails, sometimes they call. I spend my days now, trying to remember what could have possibly seemed better than being with them. I miss my sons.

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