Gut Rumbles

July 28, 2005

it's your job

I got a little bit misted up reading this post. I almost threw in another "Quote of the Day" when I saw this:

"That is the most painful moment in a parentís life - and the happiest. For as much as we want our children to be children forever, we also want them to be Fully Functional and Happy Adults, which means establishing their own lives and making their own way in the world. We did it, back in the day - and now itís their turn."

I remember talking to mama and daddy long after my brother and I hopped from the nest and flew out on our own. They went through some serious readjustment blues when that happened. They had been PARENTS for 20-odd years, and suddenly they were just husband and wife again.

That took some getting used to.

But they finally realized that they had done a pretty good job raising two boys, and once we were out of college and gone, they had more money than they'd ever known before. (I've mentioned before that money was tight when I grew up. Feeding and clothing two grocery-eating, growing boys is an expensive proposition.)

I believe that my parents had about 10 really good years before my father died. They were a lot older, but I saw them behave like newlyweds, once my brother and I were out of their hair.

I always thought I might get to do the same thing. That plan didn't work out, but I damn sure know the feeling. Even the mockingbirds in my back yard know it.

Teach your children, then send them out to cope for themselves. If you did a good job, they'll be fine. After that, love the one you've been with through the hard times. Now is your chance to enjoy.

Not many people do that kind of thing anymore. And I think it's a crying shame.


I am at that in-between stage

Not quite empty they are still here, both have jobs and cars.....Yet I am still cooking for them, doing their wash.....


One is still in high school...and another starts local college in a few weeks.....

And (perhaps naively) my husband and I are still paying their car insurance, and college tuition.....

But heres hoping that in a few years they dont dump me at the dog track with a note pinned to my shirt

Posted by: Ruth on July 28, 2005 01:19 PM

Ruth, if that happens, I'll probably be the toothless, drooling old man sitting next to you and trying to grope your ass. With a tag pinned to MY shirt, too.

Posted by: Acidman on July 28, 2005 02:04 PM

Box the 1,3,5 quinella and don't bitch when it only pays $9.20

Posted by: GUYK on July 28, 2005 02:21 PM

Yea.. we're doing that too.

Our firstborn daughter just went to Marine boot, and the only way she's coming back is for visits.

Second one is just starting high school, she'll be out of the nest soon too (in relative terms).

Posted by: zeluna on July 28, 2005 02:32 PM

Some of the best feelings I have ever had were when people would tell me, "you sure have some good boys" Made me feel like I had done somthing right! All three are on their own and have been since highshcool, and doing well. They have respect from the people around them, and that means a lot. OH, and by the way A-man, thanks for the sticker!

Posted by: Kenway on July 28, 2005 02:45 PM

"After that, love the one you've been with through the hard times. Now is your chance to enjoy."

This is what I'm hoping for, 'cuz sometimes the hard times are REALLY hard! Never really got a chance to be newlyweds (have 2 stepdaughters, one of which was 4 when we met and lived with us for 10 years) and now we have a young'un who won't graduate 'til he's 60.

Maybe someone can tell me: Is it possible for a guy to "still act like a newlywed" at 60?

Posted by: Jane on July 28, 2005 04:04 PM

I've had kids underfoot for 37 years, with one year off, last year.

I don't think I will ever see the light at the end of the tunnel, be an empty nester. All I have to do is bake cinnamon rolls, like today, and kids come out of the woodwork.

Jane, be assured, guys can always act like a newlywed - just make sure you notice!

Posted by: Bonita on July 28, 2005 04:46 PM


Thanks, Bonita. I think I learn as much here from you, Livey and Chablis as I do from cranky ol' you-know-who!

Posted by: Jane on July 28, 2005 05:06 PM

My mom and dad both retired before they turned 60. They finally moved into a smaller house last year, more than 10 years after I moved out of the house. They had been going on trips together (without us) for a long time before that. I think they started doing that when I was 10 or 11 years old.
About 7 or 8 years ago, they bought another house in north Georgia which they frequently go to. It is a great place---quiet and peaceful. In fact they aren't home (here in Birmingham) very much.
They complain that they never see me, but I say to them, "Y'all are never home long enough."
They're going up to Montana to see my bro and his wife next month (I wish I could go). When my brother left the nest, he really took flight. But he's still a Southern boy.
Everyone should be able to enjoy themselves and the fruits of their long years of work and struggle.

Posted by: UziQ on July 28, 2005 08:06 PM

It is the same the world over I think. We have just had our 20 year old son move out and the two daughters (17 and 15) finally have a room each (a truce has been declared). My wife and I met in March 1984, got engaged in April 1984 married in July 1984 and had our son in February 1985 and as of yesterday (21 year anniversary) I realised it won't be long until we can do all the things we should have done years ago. We are both still young enough to have a great life together over the next few years as the daughter finally move on.

Posted by: Don/Australia on July 28, 2005 08:59 PM

Jane, I was a newlywed at 63, so.....YES!

Caution to you all: sometimes the kids come back. Sometimes their shit gets fucked up so you get to keep THEIR kids.

Posted by: Larry on August 1, 2005 12:03 AM
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