My daughter will be off to her “sleep-a-way” college very soon and I am having a real push-me-pull-you sensation circling my being with regards to her being an absentee family member at the dinner table.
It’s amazing how fast time flies when you’re raising children.
Running a close second is my son who will be gone in another year, which leaves just me, a husband, and a crazy dog. Coming in third is my traveling husband who checks into this House Hotel periodically and has check-out by 11. So, inevitably I am left with just me dining with Charly-dog sharing our kibble-n-bits and picking on a bone or two….
I suppose confronting an empty nest syndrome could cause one to feel slightly deserted and leaving one to feel alone to combat that empty feeling rising in your stomach, but actually, it’s last nights dessert followed by a gastric flare-up that’s creating the fuss. And you thought I was going to wallow in lonely abandonment and cry over Spilt Vintage Port…….
Having the place all to myself??? I say…Halleluja and pass the Pinot Grigio……Sweet freedom…..I can’t think of what I want to do first: Sleep til noon or Kennel the canine and shop-drop-and -roll into a SPA…….without family interruptus.
Just think of the exhilarating feeling of not getting that emergency call of: “I forgot my English paper that I left curled up at the bottom of my bed that’s due today,” while you’re in the middle of a shower that was already scheduled for an earlier time…..
Or the incredible lightness of being inside your purse that no longer carries the contents of a beloved family members lost possessions…..
Imagine not having to try to cook for four, in addition to their last minute friends that may bombard your kitchen promptly at 6pm. Which leads you to hop in the car and rush to the grocery to buy more food, but as you start the car it’s low on gas because the other family drivers never load the tank, so now there is an unscheduled stop to fill up. Which, when you are grabbing the car that your daughter inhabits, you nearly have a head-on because you are fighting off a pile of college clothes in the passenger seat causing an avalanche of underwear to flow onto your lap.
Imagine not having to engage in banter about: “How come I can’t go the Marilyn Manson concert by myself, I’m 15 you know……:.” . (yeah I know…, I was there when you were born…remember?).
Ohhh..I dunno….something about that guys(?) LAST name that bothers me, being that I was around during the Helter Skelter years….
Lately, my son and I have been having a communication breakdown. I think it has to do with an increase in his hormones and a withering away of mine. We are currently amidst a clash of the mighty testosterone-Titans. He wants his Friday night lights to be continually burning while my dimming levels are suffering a low AC/DC output leaving me longing to lounge into Sunday morning.
My son accused me of not being “cool” and never having any” fun” and that irritated me because FUN use to be my middle name. Fun is part of FUNny, which I use to be before my children were born and Worry seem to take funny’s place.
This poor teenage lad thinks his mother was Born This Way. He thinks when I plopped out of the womb I immediately set up shop in a household full of responsibility waving a Clorox wipe to rid all the dust that has been collecting in the ancient corners of my life.
Sometimes you have to drop that parental facade of setting a good example and let that little offspring have a piece of your life as you knew it…..or remember it……
My son exclaimed that I don’t let him have any fun. This statement is based solely on the premise that I won’t let him go to a RAVE party that mixes thousands of unknowns from around a tri-state area and continues on into the night lasting an eternity…..
He mumbled to me that Everyone is going.
I asked him to give me the names of Everyone; I’d like to check with Everyone’s parents. I don’t recall ever meeting the Everyone Family, and maybe I need to check the school Roster for Everyone’s address and phone number. Maybe Everyone’s Parents are available for dinner sometime…..(I’ll make sure Everyone is there).
This is where we both reach Moot hormone point…….
Then he hammered in a closing statement: “I could lie about it and say I’m going somewhere else and spend the night with a friend, instead….”.( 23K spent on tuition and he ends his clause with an adverb…..).
“Well”..(you smarty teen who thinks he just closed the justice doors on me…) “I guess I would know your lying to me”.
“How?” He smirks, as if he holds the secret to life. ( Which I gave to him, by the way...).
“Well”……..(you know it all teen who couldn’t see a Mac truck breezing in front of your Ipod clad ears):
“You just TOLD me….sooooo…….go on………ask me now if you can spend the night at a friends house…..”.
I sat my son down and explained to him about the repercussions of a lie. No, I didn’t go into a fancy parable like my parents use to do and infer references that included Pincochio, Instead , I decided to take another twist and give my son a little Flava-Flav of my own accolade of life with my parents. I told him I too told my folks I was Spending the night at a friends house when I was his age because my parents wouldn’t let me attend a concert:
“But son”, I said with great urgency and glowing remembrance; “this was no ordinary concert, this was a Rock Festival in the late sixties that resembled a mini Woodstock which you are now studying in your History book along with Vietnam, LSD, and Sqeaky Fromme’s red sweat shirt”.
“Son”, I continued, (as if I were there now, three feet away from Jim Morrison crooning “Light My Fire” through his three weeks growth of beard):
“This was a Pop Festival in the summer of ’69 when tickets were $6 and the featured headliners were the legends of: The Doors, Ike and Tina Turner, Country Joe and the Fish, Joe Cocker, Bo Didly, Led Zepplin, Alice Cooper, Santana…and Chicago…..”.
(These bands were escaping my palate with all the excitability a fifty-something mother stuck in a time warp could muster….yet trying to keep her parental controls in check….)
“Son, this was two days of reckless existence and FUN nights rolled into a day of recovery………which, when I got caught in my lie , nearly cost me a one way ticket to an all girls Catholic school in Canada, thousands of miles away from my friends, where I would be forced to wear Maroon Knee-highs for Identification purposes only….”.
“Son, if you want to LIE to me and then get caught, (and you will get caught) ….(we live in a small rural town), please make sure that whatever story you concoct in that under developed teen brain of yours, is for a worthy cause…….like something that has gone down in History………..”.
“Attending an over sized party of punks that is hosting a Dee-Jay who scratches vinyl records for a living is nothing to RAVE about to your children…”.
(It was soon after my total recall rant that my Coed daughter decided to chime in and eradicate her life of missing concerts, which started the dog barking and dinner was burning…).
Maybe I won’t miss the tete-a-tete’s that bring my blood sugar to a boiling point, but I do know I’ll miss the presence of my children at my dinner table. Sometimes letting a little of your past leak out can mark your place on the “teenage map” of life and put you on the “cool Mom’s” continent.
And, Sometimes, you just have to concede and curl up with the dog and wait until they come back home for well missed dinner……..