Tag - empty nest

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Hush, Hush, Sweet Baby Lust
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Dance Dunce

Hush, Hush, Sweet Baby Lust

“How are the boys?”

“OMG. They’re doing great. Both doing what they love and living where they need to be right now. Brad and I have never been happier. This empty nest thing is practically like being single again. I make it a point to tell the boys we do not want to be grandparents anytime soon. I mean, I feel like we just finished up with them. We love camping in the rv too much. It’s our happy place. I have witnessed how some people get tied down by grandkids. No thank you! We are finally free. It’s intoxicating.”

“Well, speaking of grandkids…Sean and his wife are due in the spring.”

“Oh! Oh. Well that’s so greeeaaaaat! You must be thrilled.”

“We are.”

foot-in-mouth

I have always said jokingly, with a huge dose of reality, “You have to have children, to know you don’t want them.”

I did the status quo. I followed the natural order or things. I adore my children and I revel in their successes. I excel in supporting them in their endeavors, but I lost myself while raising them. I found myself now, and never want to be caught without a compass again. I like reveling in my own interests, successes and self-satisfying endeavors. Imagine that? Cue credits, I am done.

marathon runner

Raising children is like running a very long, very arduous, very rewarding (if you’re lucky enough to make it to the finish line without shitting yourself) marathon. Quite frankly, I’m not the marathon type. More of an extremely brief sprinter. So I am not a likely candidate to ever repeat a marathon. And I definitely would milk the longest rest possible after completing one. Which is where I’m at right now. Still heaving, sweating, kind of amazed, and quite proud I got through it at all. I still put my children first because I want them to do all they can do, be all they can be, before locking themselves into a responsibility as big as children. That’s how much I care. About them.

Go ahead and tell me how great it is to love these little blood relatives because of the “you-can-hand-them-back” clause. Fabulous. I don’t even want one handed to me in the first place. Someday our kids and their toddling offspring can bring a child-proof tent, find us in Colorado by the Poudre River, and visit. Just don’t expect me to keep some little bugger from floating down the rapids. I’m done keeping people alive.

Tricycle

What? He was just here a minute ago!
I completely relate to a good friend who survived horrible combat in Vietnam. He never wants to be responsible for other lives ever again. I so get that. I deserve a medal, not a rambunctious, precocious, food-dependent grandchild. Maybe I’m suffering from my own form of PTSD, but it just doesn’t seem fair that the reward for raising wonderful children is throwing more children at me. Unlimited adult swim is my reward.

1390714768

The good news is, I am the mother of boys. Chances are, I will be marginalized by the wife and mother-in-law anyway. Especially after I tell everyone I want my gramma moniker to be, “Tito,” in honor of my favorite vodka. “Sure, you can trust leaving the kids with me…as soon as they’re old enough to pour.”

tito ecard

Oh, I will gush over anyone else’s grand-progeny. Happy to do so. Happy for you, if you are happy about having them. Just don’t judge me for being selfish enough to say, “No thank you. I’ll be off the grid.” And by “off the grid,” I mean childless and carefree in a campground, enduring the occasional flashback of screaming kids, with no need to respond. Some things are better left to those who deserve it.

Dance Dunce


In one of our early moments as empty nesters, my husband and I were having an average, uneventful day when the song by Josh Turner “Why Don’t We Just Dance” comes on. Impossible to resist, I kick off my Crocs and dance.

Before Brad can get up from the kitchen table, I turn it into a mild burlesque aimed at him. I’m self-conscious, but Brad looks at me like I’m Jaime Lee Curtis in her dance scene from True Lies and he’s Arnold, so I pelvic thrust onward.

His face is rapt, while I’m forcing an out-of-body experience to get past my cellulite-awareness, hating those damn tabloids at the checkout that show horrible pics of celebrities in bathing suits, while posing the question, “Can you guess who these hot messes are?” (And I do have an enquiring mind. Who doesn’t want to see a celeb who has helped create impossible standards fall? I like knowing they’re human. I like it even more if their lumpy backsides are more human than mine.)

As usual, my mind wanders while Brad’s hopes rise.

My body continues to writhe and work its way towards Brad, who is still seated, knowing he must savor every seductive move because this doesn’t happen every day year. To his delight, my body moves in for a lap dance. I’m in full fantasy mode now and so is Brad. He glances toward our cluttered table and grabs the nearest scrap of paper to stuff down my pants like a high roller at the club.

“Yeah big Daddy, make it rain!”

He shoves the stiff paper where I rarely let the nightstand lights shine, and I lean in to tease him with a kiss, but the piece of paper bugs me, so I pull it out and start to wave it in the air, ‘like I just don’t care’, when my peripheral vision catches a glimpse of what it is.

Try as I might to stay in the moment, being ‘tipped for a strip’ with an AARP magazine ad insert is too ironic to miss. I burst into laughter.

“That is perfect! You really know how to flatter a girl.”

“It was the closest thing I could find. I didn’t want to stop the action.”

Professional as I may be, I cannot stay in character after this. The romance is gone, but it is my favorite fantasy-block ever and Brad is duly rewarded…right in his funny bone.

 

Copyright © 2014 Amy Sherman

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