Looking through my treasure chest

blogthreekidsIt’s been a quiet week at Mama’s Empty Nest.  We’re still ensconced in the winter season and snow continues to blanket the earth.  Somehow, snowfall makes everything seem more hushed, more silent, more subdued.  Even the wild creatures that visit the plot of land that we call home must be huddled down, burrowed in, and waiting for warmer weather as evidenced by the lack of animal tracks in our yard.

In the stillness and tranquility of my home this morning, when the only sounds that reach my ear are the refrigerator singing its humming song and the furnace kicking in to shoot some heated air up through our vents, I contemplate.  Winter proves a good season for doing so.

This week’s WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge is treasure.  Treasure.  We all have our idea of how to define treasure.  And the old saying comes to mind – one’s man’s trash is another man’s treasure. 

It seems we humans continually either search for treasure or attempt to acquire treasure for most of our lives.    For some, material possessions are the treasures they seek.  That might be a special piece of glittering jewelry given by a loved one or handed down from one family member to another.  Some folks count their abundant bank balance as a treasure while others always wish for more to stockpile. Silver, gold, and precious gems come to mind as treasures held in high esteem.

I wander through the quietness of my home and glance at items in each room and am reminded of a quote I recently read by an architect named Le Corbusier (1887-1965):  “The home should be the treasure chest of living.”

My home does resemble a treasure chest, at least to me.  My eyes fall upon treasures here and there.  This.  This is a treasure.  A piece of jewelry created in a far-off land and bestowed upon me when my soldier husband came back after a year-long assignment halfway across the world over 30 years ago.

There on the china cabinet shelf in the dining room.  Those are treasures.  Beloved items passed down to me from my parents and my husband’s parents.  Items that belonged to our grandparents.  Surely these are treasures.

And there.  The piano gracing the living room, the instrument I longed for and we saved to purchase all those many years ago.  A source of beautiful music and hours of enjoyment.  A musical treasure for certain.

Yes, there are many treasures in my treasure chest of a home.  Physical things.  Tangible treasures.  Perhaps not much in monetary worth, yet valued and cherished by me.  But as a believer in Jesus Christ, I’m reminded what He told us about earthly treasures. 

“Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal.  Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal.  Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.” ~ Matthew 6:19-21

So yes, my worn copy of the Bible, with passages underlined and starred, with notes scribbled in the margins.  God’s Word surely is a treasure to me.  Yet, as much as I cherish my personal copy of His Word, that treasure could be replaced with a new one.  And much of God’s Word I have hidden in my heart.

So what precious riches which I’ve carefully wrapped in love and stored away into my treasure box could I live without?  Truthfully, all of them.  Yes, I would be saddened to lose them but they are merely things.

There is one treasure, however,  I value more highly than any other.  And it’s not stored in a jewelry box, a glass shelf, or on my desk.  It’s not a tangible item adorning my treasure chest home.  Instead, my treasure is stored away in the recesses of my mind. 

Memories.  Those are the treasures I cling to most.  They appear in my mind as I survey each room of my home searching for hidden treasure.  Each item I spy prompts a memory.  My eyes linger on one photo on the family room fireplace mantel.  It is my favorite photo of my children and it brings back memories as if they just happened yesterday.

The photo taken when they were young and we lived in the Pacific Northwest sits inside a frame that reads:  “Children are special.  They grow and change.  Children question everything.  Children laugh, frown, grin, pout, and smile.  Children give meaning to silly things, small things, big things.  They give meaning to us. They teach us to be open again, to appreciate everything, and take nothing for granted.  Children teach us what’s important because sometimes we forget.  They show us what it means to be young at heart.  Children are our future.  Children are life.”

Surely, my children are my treasures as well as my husband, my family, and my friends.   But life and all of its memories is one of the most precious treasures we can ever possess.

“Memory is the treasure house of the mind wherein the monuments thereof are kept and preserved.” ~ Thomas Fuller, Clergyman 1608-1661

©2014 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com

Christmas isn’t just for children

blogDSCN8249Christmas, in the eyes of children, must be the most magical time of the year.

I’m far from childhood, but the sights, sounds, scents, and memories of Christmas always boost my spirit.

“Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmas-time.”  ~Laura Ingalls Wilder

A couple of weekends ago, hubby and I rounded up two of our three adult children plus one (oldest daughter’s Best Beau) and summoned them home from the city for a day.  We planned a special outing to a spot they had never visited, which reminded me of treks we took when they were little to see various Christmas light displays in whatever area of the country we were living at the time.

blogDSCN8246So the five of us piled in the car traveling north for a day excursion, where we spent several hours in a child’s fantasy land.   Well-known in our neck of the woods is a store named Kraynak’s,  a home and garden store that becomes a fantasy land twice a year every year.

During the Christmas season, folks line up outside in the cold, wintry air to enter the store just to venture through its Santa’s Christmasland,  a 300-foot long seasonal display which prompts lots of oohs and aahs.  In the spring, another display called Easter Bunny Lane attracts visitors.  And it’s all free.

Of course, it’s difficult to vacate this huge store without purchasing something because there is a gift shop, garden center, room after room stock piled with every Christmas decoration known to mankind, and the most sought-after section for families with children – the toy store!  Every kind of toy, from the latest gadget to the simplest toy from yesteryear, perches on the shelf waiting to be purchased.

blogDSCN8255If you enjoy erecting an electric train display to circle the Christmas tree, there is an entire section for those enthusiasts.  All five of us ambled down the toy store aisles exclaiming over our finds.    Fun for young and old kids alike!

And then we visited the candy aisles….the child in all of us and our sweet tooth truly surfaced.  We left the store with our Christmas spirits lifted and our wallets emptier, but it was a good feeling.

We filled our growling stomachs by grabbing some lunch at a nearby restaurant, which turned out to be advantageous before we ventured down the street to another special spot, Daffin’s Candies to visit their Chocolate Kingdom.

If the inviting scent of chocolate greeting you the moment you step inside doesn’t whet your appetite for this creamy candy, viewing a village made completely of chocolate, including a 400 pound chocolate turtle, will!  And then you get to taste a free sample chocolate made right there at the shop.  Of course, that seals the deal, you have to buy some candy!

blogDSCN8248The day proved whimsical and it transported us back to happy days of Christmas merriment.    As we meandered our way back home at the end of the day,  oldest daughter’s beau remarked, “This really was fun!”

And he was right, it really was fun, but more than that, it was a day to make lasting Christmas memories, even though our children are not children any longer but are mature adults.   I’ve been known to lament that Christmas isn’t as fun anymore because we have no wee ones in our midst, but today, Chapter 12 on page 12 in my Opportunity book, I’ve realized that Christmas magic doesn’t happen just for children.

“Happy, happy Christmas, that can win us back to the delusions of our childish days; that can recall to the old man the pleasures of his youth; that can transport the sailor and the traveler, thousands of miles away, back to his own fire-side and his quiet home!”  ~ Charles Dickens

 ©2011 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com

I smell….school!

blogDSCN0263There!  That’s it!  Did you catch a whiff of that?  I definitely smell school, do you?

The other morning, I awakened and took a nice deep breath while I lazily stretched in bed.  And that’s when I caught a whiff of the air circulating in and out of our bedroom via the open windows.  It smelled like school.

I can’t really describe it with words, but there’s a distinct smell in the early morning air this time of year.   The days are still warmed by the sunshine, but the nights commence their descent into cooler temperatures.  I’m certain there must be a scientific reason for what transpires but I don’t know what it is.  All I know is that fragrance in the air reminds me of going back to school.

Even though it’s been decades since I jumped on a school bus or packed up my belongings for dorm life, that smell transports me back in time to the first few days of a new school year.   I can vividly recall standing outside my house, shivering a bit in the cool, morning air, excited and yet a little nervous, waiting for the school bus to arrive on the first day back to school.  Yep, the scent in the air reminds me of crisp recently purchased school clothes, clean white tennis shoes, freshly sharpened pencils, and pristine notebooks with no doodles defacing them.

This time of year, stores tout their back-to-school sales and the aisles overflow with everything you ever wanted to start a new school year with and more.  At the discount store, I maneuver past mothers with children in tow loading up their shopping carts with packs of crayons, glue, rulers, markers, and backpacks.   College aged students heap all those dorm necessities into their carts.  A walk in the mall reveals families purchasing school clothes and the shoe stores swarm with children trying on shoes.   I notice school buses timing their practice runs.

My nose is right.  It’s time to go back to school.   Gone are the days when my children and I piled in the car, school supply lists in hand, to begin the annual ritual of back to school shopping.   The arrival of a new school year generated excitement with transitions from elementary to middle to high school to college, another season of sports practices and games, different schedules to learn, and new teachers to meet.

After a summer of leisure and relaxation, the smell of fall in the air meant the hustle and bustle of a new school year was about to descend and we had to get ready! But now at Mama’s Empty Nest, the scent of school in the air just ushers in a new season.  I can sit on my front porch swing in the warmth of the afternoon, watch the school buses drive by, hear the chatter of students on the bus, and reminisce about those days of putting my own children on the big yellow bus for another year of learning.

It’s my second year of not sending someone back to school, and in Chapter 8, Page 22, of my book of Opportunity, I can honestly say I’ve made peace with that.  No marathon shopping excursions, no frantic run to Wal-Mart in college town because we forgot this, that, or the other thing.  I find extending summer relaxation into this back to school season enjoyable, but the best part of all is my check book is a lot healthier too!

© 2011 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com

Never fully dressed without a smile

pexels-photo-736842.jpegThere’s nothing as contagious as a smile.  “Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing,”  Mother Teresa once said.

Today I made a little boy smile and that brought joy to not just me but to other children also.  And that made my heart happy.

My work for a non-profit takes me into schools, both public and private.  Usually, however, I perform my job in high schools, seldom do I visit with children younger than sixth grade.

So today was unusual.  My colleague and I were talking to teenagers at a health fair about making good choices for a healthy future.  In between chats with teens, elementary students also started making rounds at the fair.

My co-worker, a young man with no children, looked panicked for a brief moment at the thought of having to interact with little people instead of cool teenagers.   But the Mom in this empty nest Mama came out at the sight of those little ones.

A troupe of kindergartners came by our table en route to a more child-friendly table and were thrilled to pluck silly bands out of the plastic bag of animal shapes we offered them.  After spending so much time with 7-12th grade students, I thought these little ones were so darn cute.

Another class marched single file past us and stood in line for the game next door.  So  after offering them their silly bands, I asked the children what grade they were in.  “Second grade!” came the jubilant reply from two or three of them.  But the little boy directly in front of me did not answer, just looked at me and frowned.

“Second grade?!”  I exclaimed.  “You’re getting so old!”  I made an exaggerated face.  And they all laughed.  Except frowny boy.  He scowled at me.

Aha, a challenge.  So I eyed him up and said, “You don’t look happy to be here like your friends do.”  He scowled a little deeper.  The sweet little girl next to him said, “Oh, he’s always like that, he NEVER smiles!”

“Never?”  I peered at him as his frown grew worse.  “Ever?”  I asked as I got down on his level and looked right into his cute little face.  He knitted his brow, pursed his lips and his frown turned into a really grumpy one.

So I, of course, made a grumpy face back at him.  He answered my grimace with an even sterner look which I then matched and used my hands to pull my frown down even more.  His classmates giggled and giggled.  And I saw a fleeting glimpse of a smile start at the edge of his mouth which he promptly turned into an even greater frowny face.

“Oh no!!!” I said pulling my own frowny face down more,  “I think we’ll have to start crying now!”  And all of a sudden, he couldn’t maintain the grouchy grumps any longer.  His lips started to move, he tried so hard not to, but he burst into not just a smile, but a little laugh out loud.

“You made him smile!!” his classmates yelled.  “No one ever makes him smile!”  And they laughed, and he laughed and I laughed.  And then he put his grumpy Gus face right back on his cute little face.

Inspirational writer Mary H. Waldrip said, “A laugh is a smile that bursts.”  And for one brief moment, when that little guy’s smile burst into a laugh, I made his heart glad and he did wonders for mine on Page 15, Chapter 4 in my book called Opportunity.

“It takes a lot of work from the face to let out a smile, but just think what good smiling can bring to the most important muscle of the body… the heart.”  ~ Author Unknown

©2011 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com

Just a box of rocks


Have you ever just wanted to smack yourself silly because you couldn’t figure out something?

I encountered that this week while I was working on some statistical end-of-the year reports and I just couldn’t get my numbers to jibe.  Turns out I had made a dumb, small error that threw everything out of sync.

When that happens, a few phrases always come to my mind.  Quirky little sayings like “Couldn’t find my way out of a paper bag.”

Some funny descriptive expressions exist to paint a picture of myself doing something stupid or when I think someone else is being truly dumb.  I’ve uttered those locutions on more than one occasion, (ok, I can be honest and admit it) especially while driving or when people don’t do their jobs correctly.

I started thinking about these expressions and could name quite a few because after all, I didn’t just fall off the turnip truck!  Here’s a sampling of those I could recall:

  • A few bricks shy of a load.
  • Her elevator doesn’t go all the way to the top floor.
  • Not playing with a full deck.
  • A few french fries short of a happy meal.
  • Not the brightest bulb on the tree.
  • The lights are on but nobody’s home.
  • Not the sharpest knife in the drawer.
  • One taco short of a combination plate.
  • A few sandwiches short of a picnic.
  • Not the sharpest pencil in the box.
  • The wheel is turning but the hamster is dead.

And my all-time personal favorite – “The gate is down, the lights are flashing, but the train isn’t coming!”   Yep, sometimes people just seem “dumber than a box of rocks.”

My oldest daughter, a scientist who is definitely not dumber than a box of rocks, used to keep a box of rocks.  When she was younger, she would pick up stones wherever we roamed and find something that appealed to her about them, enough to want to squirrel them away.

She stashed them in a box in her closet, and that box always accompanied us on our moves cross country.  Matter of fact, I suspect that it still takes up residence with some of her other girlhood mementos on that closet shelf.  (Note to oldest daughter:  You forgot to go through your “too much stuff” when you were home.  Just a reminder from here:   https://mamasemptynest.wordpress.com/2010/08/16/391/)

Some of the rocks were shiny, polished and even brightly colored, ones that she purchased with her souvenir money on our vacation trips.  Others were rough and ordinary looking, but in her eyes they must have been treasures.  I often wondered why she was so fascinated with those pebbles and stones.  Of course, to me they were just a box of rocks, and a heavy one to boot.

I was reminded of this yesterday while I was fighting with my column of numbers.  During my frustration, I glanced at the inspirational flip calendar on my desk.  In Chapter One, Page 5 (January 5th) of my book of Opportunity this was written:

“Rough treatment gives souls, as well as stones, their luster.  The more the diamond is cut the brighter it sparkles; and in what seems hard dealing, there God has no end in view but to perfect His people.” ~Kenneth Sylvan Guthrie, writer/philosopher

When we encounter rough patches in our lives, we may think that we are dumber than a box of rocks, but God sees a diamond in the rough when He looks at us.  Often we have to endure the hard times because they give us the opportunity to really shine.

And I think my oldest daughter must have known this as a very little girl.

©2011 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com

The gift of being needed

pexels-photo-236164.jpegI confess.  I used to announce to anyone who would listen that I was not going to have children.  Yep, that was me – back in my college days.

Rewind the crazy movie reel of my life back to the 70’s when I was a college co-ed.  I was so full of myself.  I bought into the idea that a career would fulfill all my wildest dreams.  I was so very wrong.

The notions and ideas I had of life then boggle my mind now as I revisit my past.  I also used to spout quite often that I was never getting married.  The single career life for me, that’s what I thought.  I even wrote a silly little ditty – “A housewife I could never be, for that would be the end of me!”

Of course, all of that ranting was before I met the love of my life.  After three years of dating, my true love and I advanced to matrimony.  First notion shot down.  Oh well, I still did work on the career thing, even though I changed careers because of dissatisfaction in my first choice.

Then after almost five years of marriage, along came oldest daughter.  Notion number two blown completely out of the water.  Never in my wildest dreams did I expect the intensity of emotion that flooded over me when I gave birth to my first child.  The powerful emotional bond and overwhelming love I felt for this tiny little human being that had just emerged from my body was something I had never experienced before.  Mother lion would have described me appropriately.

I couldn’t imagine being without her or leaving her in someone else’s care to return to my career.  And after her birth, I didn’t go back to my job, a decision that never disappointed me.  A new career had already been forged – motherhood.  Three and a half years later, middle daughter was born and my intense mother lion feelings doubled.  Son arrived two years after her and now my motherhood role and passionate love for my children tripled.

Fast forward to the present.  Being the mother of my three now-adult children has been the most remarkable experience of my life.   For most of those years, I was a stay-at-home mom, soccer mom, whatever you want to call me, but I have never regretted one solitary moment of my time spent at home raising my children.

Today I was given a little gift, a little bit of retrospect, a glimpse backward into time to remember what it felt like to be just “mama.”   Middle daughter needed a medical procedure done today, one which required her to have a driver afterward.  Last night she drove up from the city and spent the night preparing for this test.   The mama in me kicked in big time.  I shopped for clear liquids which she could drink, fussed over her, checked on her, heated up broth to warm her, and it felt so right and so good to do so – to be a mama taking care of her child.

Early this morning while it was still dark, we headed out into the blustery,  snowy weather for the hospital’s outpatient department.  I didn’t sleep well, too much consternation over daughter’s test.  I spent a good portion of the night and this morning praying that my little girl in that grown up woman’s body would be safe during the testing and that the results would be good news.

While we waited for her test to commence, I wanted to protect her from any harm.  I wanted to take her hand in mine and tell her all would be well.  But what 25-year-old woman wants to be embarrassed by her mother fawning all over her?  They whisked her off and I managed to blow my beloved child a kiss and tell her I loved her.

The nurse called me back to the recovery area as they wheeled in my daughter on her gurney.  She was still sedated from the anesthesia and she looked just like the little princess she used to be as she slept with her mouth slightly ajar.  Her nurse asked me, “Are you with her?”  I answered, “Yes, I’m her mother.”  As soon as those words emerged from my mouth, my sweet one’s eyes flew open and searched the room for me.

I’m not sure I can even put into words the feeling that enveloped me as I realized my daughter heard my voice and woke to search for her mama.  Joy.  Elation.  Heartwarming.  It made me smile as I stroked her head, tucked a tendril of her hair behind her ear, and told her I was there.  She smiled back at me with that groggy, silly way people who are coming out of sedation have.

Driving home, I asked if she was hungry and told her we could stop to get her something to eat, anything she wanted since she hadn’t eaten solid food for over 24 hours.   Ever her mama’s daughter, she wanted donuts.

Right now, my very grown-up, responsible, independent, and self-sufficient daughter is tucked into her mommy and daddy’s bed napping nicely.  Just like she did when she was a little girl.  And on this day, this empty nest mama is rejoicing for the loveliest of gifts – the gift of being needed.

©2010 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com

Where’s Spiderman when you need him?

blogIMG_1776 (4)We are a family not very fond of arachnids.   I still get the willies every time I think about the time,  when we lived in the Southwest, hubby and I were out driving and saw lines of tarantulas crawling in front of us – yes, on the road!

The only spider we ever got a kick out of was Spiderman in the movies. I think my kids have all of the DVDs and have watched them a zillion times.  Which makes me wonder, could Spiderman throw out some of those heavy-duty webs and catch the spiders that are infiltrating my house right now?

The thought of seeing these black hairy creatures would send my oldest daughter into orbit.  She is terrified of insects and I do mean terrified!  When she still lived here in the nest, she would scream for her dad or brother to come kill a bug in her bedroom, even if it was just the common old housefly.  I’m not sure how she manages the insects that may find their way into her apartment now, but I suspect she has a very brave roommate (she is a doctor).

The rest of us don’t hyperventilate at an insect sighting like oldest daughter does, after all, we do live out here in the country, so there is an assortment of bugs flying and crawling around.  But it does creep me out when I spot fuzzy spiders darting across my family room floor!  That’s not the kind of fuzzy that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy all over, ya know?

But that’s what happened last night.  Out of the corner of my eye, I saw something about the size of a quarter scurry across the floor.  In my flu-induced weakness state, I couldn’t get up fast enough to see where it went and smoosh it.  Instead I called out to hubby, “There’s a spider!”  Okay… I yelled.

He chastised me a little because by the time he came from the kitchen, we had no clue where it had gone to hide away.  Then hubby told me he has already killed four of these boogers!  Ewwww. 

Here at our house we definitely do not agree with an old American Quaker saying, “If you want to live and thrive, let the spider run alive.”  No – spiders in our house, prepare to die!

As the weather has gotten cooler and the rain has set in, these creepy crawlers have found ways to enter our house and garage.  Spiders seem to be everywhere.  They’ve even taken up residence in our mail box and you never know when you pick up the mail if you have a hitchhiker.   I’m sure anyone driving by my house when I’m standing in my driveway shaking the heck out of my mail thinks I’m nuts.  Maybe they think I’m shaking down my mail for money! Ha — finding money in the mail…that would be the day!

Today on my way home from work, I stopped to fill my car up with gas.  While I was pumping, this huge monster brown spider ran towards my car, but luckily changed its little spidey-brain and ran back from whence it came.  Thankfully!

I suspect the spiders at my house are entering around our French doors in the family room, but I don’t care where they come from, I just want them gone! And I really want the one I spotted last night to be gone.  Last time I saw him, he was headed for the computer desk.

As you may recall, I romp around my house in my bare feet.  Guess who is sitting at the computer typing her blog post and holding her feet up from the floor?  Yeah, that would be me.  Spiderman, please come save me!

©2010 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com

Because I’m the Mom, that’s why!


blogdscn0251I didn’t hear Ms. Frizzle declare, “Bus, do your stuff!”  So it must not have been The Magic School Bus exploring the world that I drove past on my way home from work today.

Matter of fact, the bus I passed was empty of students, not a bus full of inquiring young minds.  No doubt this bus driver was performing a trial run since school hasn’t commenced yet in our district.   In just a few days though, that lumbering symbol of back to school will be loaded with boisterous students ready, but maybe not willing, to begin a new school year.

But that big yellow school bus, even if it wasn’t magical,  did its stuff!  The mere sight of it invoked so many memories for me – not of my school days, but those of my children and their school years.

When my oldest daughter started kindergarten, we lived within walking distance of her elementary school, and I can still recall our walk to the end of our block and up half a block on her first day.  I didn’t cry that day because she was so thrilled to be going to school and I was excited for her.  She did think buses would be fun to ride though and when we moved to another town before the start of her second grade year, she got her wish to ride a big yellow bus.

Flash forward to her first year of high school.   I stood at my kitchen window watching her join the throng of neighborhood high schoolers climbing aboard the bus.  She looked so tiny and young to me; it felt like I was sending her off to the wolves, and I cried like a baby.

Middle daughter was so charged to board the school bus when her turn for kindergarten came, I don’t even think she called out “Bye, Mom!”   She happily went to school to learn, make new friends, and just “do.” And she never looked back once.

She couldn’t wait to follow in her sister’s footsteps and she practically flew to the bus stop at the end of our cul-de-sac to hop onto that big yellow bus.  She gained more than one bus buddy during her kindergarten year as she would occasionally come home to tell me which little boy tried to kiss her on the bus.  She was so happily launching her school years and it was such an adventure for her, how could I be sad? Flash forward to leaving her alone in her dorm room at college.  I cried like a baby.

When it was time for our youngest to head off to kindergarten, we lived in a different state.  I still remember valiantly checking my emotions, which had gathered into a gargantuan lump in my throat, as I watched my youngest child climb those steps onto the school bus.  His kindergarten teacher suggested parents follow the bus to school, meet your child in the classroom, observe that your child was settled in, and leave at an appropriate time.

I arrived in his classroom, noticed that he was already busy, and waited.   I realize now that I was hesitant to leave my son, not because I feared he wouldn’t adjust, on the contrary, I wasn’t ready to let him go yet!  I still relive that moment, which literally happened within five minutes of my arrival in the classroom, when he turned to me and said, “You need to go home now, Mom.”  And it’s been that way with him ever since.  Flash forward to the day of his high school graduation as I listened to him practice his valedictorian’s speech.   I cried like a baby.

As I drove by that big yellow school bus this afternoon, all of these memories cascaded into my mind like a swollen stream of water rushing down the mountain side, crashing into rocks as it flows.  The rock of reality abruptly allowed this thought to form in my mind — for the first time in well over 20 years, I am not sending a child back to school.

Of course my rational, logical mind has known that since our youngest graduated from college way back in May.  But the emotional and sentimental “mommy” part of me cringes at this twinge of sadness, pouts at the pangs of bittersweet reality as I  actually face this fact head on.

This time of year is always hectic for moms of school-aged children and it doesn’t stop when the kids trot off to college.  The bills for back-to-school items just get more expensive!  In some ways  though I miss the busy-ness of shopping for school supplies, laundering clothes, sewing on buttons that somehow are missing from someone’s favorite shirt,  helping pack up college necessities.  I predict I’m also going to miss traveling to college sports events and recognitions for this organization or that.

Sometimes I just miss being “Mom.”  Don’t get me wrong.  My children haven’t abandoned me or disowned me as their mother.  I’m pretty sure they still love me.  And they still call for advice on life — yeah, on laundry and cooking too.  It’s just different with your grown up children.  They can handle life pretty well on their own and they really don’t need to rely on you like they did when they were young.

So before I go bury my head in a pillow and saturate it with sobs, I thought I’d remind myself of the lighter side of motherhood.

The following video’s been around for a long time, but I watch it occasionally when I need a good guffaw AND to remind myself that some things about being a Mom I am happy to shed.  These are some of them.

Watch the video and have a good guffaw with me.  Why?  Because, because, because I said so,  I said so!  I’m the Mom, the Mom, the Mom, the Mom!  Ta-da!

©2010 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com