summer 2011

summer 2011

Paul and I, all 16 kids and Ashley, Benjamin's wife...Christmas 2012

Paul and I, all 16 kids and Ashley, Benjamin's wife...Christmas 2012

Friday, December 27, 2019

...on the walls, he left nothing but hooks, and some wire...

I hate the blankness of after Christmas. I can't take the decorations down yet! The tree is losing needles, so it's days are numbered. All the lights in the windows are staying for a bit, it gets dark out so early but they add some coziness.

Yesterday, we went out and about, to the mall. Sonja didn't find the sneakers she wanted (one of her Christmas gifts was a promise to go sneaker shopping), but she did find a pair of sparkly pink Crocs. We also found the candy shop, half price Smidgens, peanut butter and milk chocolate. I don't eat them myself, but the kids were certainly happy to get some.

We then went to Target, because...well, because TARGET. We only bought coffee beans (espresso beans for Jon), a few clearance shirts for the girls, and a sweet little baby outfit for the new granddaughter we're expecting in a few weeks, Lydia's little sister!

What?! I had a coupon! Buy one get one free, so two were free.

Yeah, I'm just learning how to take a panoramic shot. :). This on Christmas, after all had gone to bed. So sad and empty.

And this is a few years ago...

Look at all those kids!!!

So Samuel and Grace lost their beloved 2001 Oldsmobile Bravada, in that accident right before Christmas. It was towed to a place that now wants $765 in towing and storage fees. The car only had liability insurance on it, so they won't get anything for it, now they have to pay, it's like adding insult to injury, right? It's in my name, too, so I got the letter stating what we owe. Life is full of fun and surprises sometimes. I just keep encouraging Sam that it's only money, it's painful as heck when you're young and starting out and just don't have a stash of it. He put so much money into that vehicle, and boom, gone. But God DOES work all things together for the good for those who love Him.

May I also add that once your kids grow up and have real life trials, it makes the days when they were babies and toddlers seem like a HUGE PIECE OF CAKE?

Here's the thing: I do not want any of them to suffer, at all. But life = suffering. And it's necessary, and unavoidable. It's a good thing I'm not in charge of the universe.

Anyway. Tonight, the girls are going to a sleepover, I don't know what Jonathan is doing, but wowza, are Paul and I alone again, for the second Friday night in a row?

Last night, we had a nice cozy dinner of leftover ham, warmed in the oven with leftover sweet potato casserole, and some freshly roasted Brussel sprouts, in olive oil, salt and pepper. We watched, "Kiki's Delivery Service", a Miyazaki movie. It's totally appropriate for kids, very sweet and entertaining, really a beautiful movie. Paul sat here and watched it too, really enjoyed it.

I am not sure what we are doing today. It's still strange to me, to have time on my hands, and actually have to decide what to do with it. For years upon years, I just spent my days strategizing and reprioritizing, changing diapers and feeding babies and making meals and washing clothes, sweeping the floors between loads of dishes, rocking babies, cleaning up messes...there was no such thing as free time. I remember that if I decided to try to take a nap, that meant giving up whatever cleaning I could get done if baby was sleeping, but if you're up with a baby during the night and have to be up all day with kids, you start getting run down, and a good nap is golden. The stars have to be aligned just right: baby sleeping, toddlers sleeping, older children behaving...I used to turn on a movie, or give them stacks of books and some snacks and tell them not to get off the couch. But of course there would almost always something or other that ruined it. A slammed door, a phone call...once one the kids brought the phone in because it was the police benevolent association, fundraising, but the child only got the POLICE part, and woke me up, "Mom, the police are on the phone!" Heart attack city, I tell you.

Anyway, I remember when I was knee deep in small children, practically drowning in busyness, and my mom told me that someday it would be so quiet in my house, I would miss the chaos. I snorted. I scoffed. I huffed and sighed. No way, no how, would that ever happen, it would never be quiet in my house, and if it was, oh how heavenly it sounded. But, she was right. I just wish she was still around to enjoy it with me. I will say this once, and I'll say it a thousand times, it is NO FAIR that my mother had to die at 69 years old. No one enjoyed my kids like she did. She was a good grandma, the book reading kind, the Remember- All-of-Their-Favorite-Color kind of grandma. She was a listener. And she gave children the time of day. She was a good example for me in that. All kids want attention, need attention, positive attention.

Ah well...what will today bring?


Linda said...

Our son still lives with us and I know one day it will come--he will leave and we will be empty nesters. I can't bare the thought, seriously. sigh

We had to do my mother in laws shopping--and now we are home. I do have to open the train museum this afternoon (I interned over the summer and they kept me on). Trying to find the 'new normal'--or as my husbands says, "Getting your own life and quit worrying over us." Soon, graduation will upon me and I will be working fulltime. That will be weird, just saying. LOL

Have a great day and I am so sorry for the car and glad they weren't hurt.

Mellie said...

My Mom was 74 when she died. Valerie was three and Veronica was one. She wanted grandkids in the worst way and barely had any time with them. My girls don't remember her much at all.

Carol said...

I will not take our decorations down either yet. I love the lights of Christmas. I know the feeling you speak of. It was nice having all three kids here this year as well as some boyfriends. My daughter moved about two hours away and is engaged and I feel sadness although I am happy for her.

16 blessings'mom said...

Linda, I know. I do not understand why some people long for the empty nest. It's the same with moms who can't wait until their kids start school. When Jonathan started kindergarten, the teacher told the classroom parents on the meet and greet day, the day before school, "I know you've all been waiting anxiously to send them off to school!" The parents were nodding in agreement and saying, "Amen!" I was like, wow, am I the only one here that's heartsick to send my kid out the door every day?
Mellie, I'm sorry about your mom. I find myself jealous when I see moms in stores with their older moms, I want to tell them to treasure the days. My older kids remember my mom well, but she died before Camille was born, and the younger ones don't remember her much.
Carol, it just isn't fair, is it? Our kids growing up and moving out and moving away. I know they have to, but jeepers. It'd almost be better if we didn't like them so much, maybe. :)

Rose Sperlonga said...

Empty nesters. I watch my son now with his kids. Jacob is 9 going on 20 and Caylie is 5 going on 10 some days and wants to be a baby others. My son always says "I can't wait for them to be grown and out of my hair!" I tell him to slow his roll and enjoy what he has. NO ONE realizes just how quick it goes by. One minute they are in your arms and the next they are leaving for another state with their husbands or wives. On Christmas Eve my son sent me the Santa picture, you know the one where all the young mama's make it look beautiful and full of magic? So I wrote back to stop and look at it because he is missing their best lives. He told me he knows, but he doesn't , not one bit.

For me? I am lost with out my grand kids here before school and after. I love to bake for them and I LOVE when the little one wants to "cuddle" with me in my chair!

We can't turn the clocks back but we can try to teach the adult children to slow down.... just one day!