September 28, 2005


After reading this recent post from Mel, or maybe it was this one, I've decided she is vying for the title "Hardworking Mother of the Year" in direct competition with my friend Tina. I think Mel has the edge if only because her children are younger.

Those busy mothers have got it easy, let me tell you. So much of raising children is reactive. Reacting to their needs, I mean. And boy oh boy, kids can be a needy lot indeed. There isn't much time to focus on oneself with children at home.

Their needs lessen, obviously, as they get older. The high school years bring a riotous blossom of independence, yet require parental attentiveness of a different ilk, still as time consuming in many ways.

Mel's posts highlighted to me the heart of the whole empty nest bullshit adjustment period with which I've struggled. After eighteen years of primarily putting someone else's schedule and needs above my own, I suddenly found myself with too much free time and absolutely no idea how to adequately fill it. There was nothing to be done that could not be put off until some other time. There was no one counting on me to feed, dress, nag, share with, drive, learn from, motivate, play with, check on, pick up after, teach and listen to. There was just me and empty hours, jumbled like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle on a cardtable.

Wow. That sounds rather pathetic. But within lies a large dollop of truth.

I think I'm finally putting that puzzle together.
I wonder what the picture will be?



Elizabeth said...

It will be of you playing badminton with yourself on a cloud. You realize yourself plays much better badminton than you do but that's ok because you don't care about the game, you simply enjoy being with yourself.

Gina said...

And you even have a job to keep you somewhat occupied!

Perhaps there is a bestselling novel in your future.

Mel said...

Are you telling me I won't even be doing a Dance of Joy when I have an empty nest? Well, hmmph. I guess I'd better start appreciating the bedlam while I have it.

And with regards to your last post, I must say, "Why are you asking?"