The best is yet to come

It is my Birthday Eve. And it’s not just any birthday you guys, it’s a really big one.images

Tomorrow I turn 50. What in the f’ing world is happening? Continue reading

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It was the summer of ’89…

Maybe you weren’t born yet, but if you were, let’s take a little stroll down memory lane. The Berlin Wall came down. Gas was less than $1 a gallon. George Bush Sr. was in the Oval Office. Microsoft released its Office Suite and Nintendo released Game Boys. Hurricane Hugo, the Exxon Valdez oil spill, and an earthquake in San Francisco all contributed to a big mess on the home front. The Simpsons debuted, and the first of 24 satellites of the GPS system were positioned in space. It was quite a year.

 

It was also the last time I lived alone. In 1989 I was 21, single and had my very own apartment all to myself. It was on the third floor of an ancient brick building in downtown Muscatine, Iowa. Spoiler alert: I was industrious (shock, I know). There was zero time to deposit the three paychecks I was earning each week. On my occasional night off,  I would walk around the corner to enjoy cold beers and terrible cheeseburgers at Jody’s Tap. It was a season of growth and self discovery, and I was quite proud of my little grown up self back then.

I am a big fan of independent living.

Which is a good thing, as I’m entering this space again. My youngest is moving out this week. I knew this was coming eventually. For years I have been giving pep talks encouragement when mommas are mourning their chickens leaving the nest. You know the one. Read along in your best cheerleader voice, “Good job momma! You raised them well. This is what they are SUPPOSED to do when they grow up and earn their own money and manage their own lives.” Wlaundryhich is all true, but not very empathetic.

Now that it’s my turn to watch the last one move out, of course I handled it like a pro. I was all good…until I saw the boxes.

Y’all, I got a lump in my throat. It didn’t stay there long, but it was there alright.

Good job momma! You raised them well. This is what they are SUPPOSED to do when they grow up and earn their own money and manage their own lives.

It IS all good. She’s only moving about 30 minutes away, so nbd, right? We will set up dates to connect. Basically the same thing we do now. With her work and school schedule, and my work and school schedule, we don’t accidentally see one another anyway. She is graciously leaving a bunch of her shoes here, so not all that much will be different. At least that is what I am predicting. Still, it’s a change.

In the next couple of months, I will downsize to a one bedroom place even closer to work. I will reclaim my independent living. I will clean my house and it will stay that way. I will only have food in the house that I will eat (perhaps no junk will enter?). And I can do whatever I want, so nana nana boo boo.

empty-nest-MLK

Good job momma! You raised them well. This is what they are SUPPOSED to do when they grow up and earn their own money and manage their own lives.

The other one is 1000 miles away and has been there for 3 years now, so I’m getting better at this parenting adults-not-under-my-roof thing. It’s definitely different, but each season brings something good while it says farewell to something good too.

I guess maybe when the last one moves out, it feels like more of a retirement of sorts. It’s the final season of so many seasons. And if you did it even halfway decently, there was some fun and greatness mixed in the mess of it all.

Ecclesiastes reminds me that there is a season for everything. It’s about to be a new season that is very similar to the one in 1989. I am single. I will live independently. I won’t be working 3 jobs, but I’ll be taking 4 classes and working full time. I probably still won’t have time to get to the bank, but hey, I have a smart phone now. And all the modern luxuries that the past 28 years has provided.01caf4927e20a193378c488fa9d2ebd2--our-kids-empty-nest-humor

But still… NOPE! I am okay!! I know it’s an adjustment, but that is life. What was that adage I told everyone else?

Good job momma! You raised them well. This is what they are SUPPOSED to do when they grow up and earn their own money and manage their own lives.

Thanks for reading, until next time,
Sherri

Grab a tissue…

I’m grateful that I have an iPhone calendar to remind me of the events in my life. There’s a little dot that shows up on days when something is scheduled. Most of the things that land here are of my making. Dentist appointments, meetings, lunch dates, you know, nothing earth shattering. Just daily life things that need to be attended to. Things that are important, but yet, if I won an all expense paid trip to the Mediterranean, I would cancel them in a heartbeat!

Today has a dot that has already messed me up and it hasn’t even happened yet. The anticipation of it has had me in tears with a lump in the back of my throat. For those that know me, you will know this does not happen often. I am a tough cookie. I don’t cry at movies, not even chick flicks. Love songs cannot make me flinch. I care about people a lot, but tend to keep my emotions in check.

My oldest daughter is flying out to live in another state today. This is the dot that has me all conflicted. It’s a good move, she’s super excited, and I’m excited for her! Last year she moved out, and that wasn’t so bad. She moved an hour away and lived on a college campus. We spoke daily and saw each other frequently. No problem. And yeah, did I mention it was an hour away? That was easy. 

When I dropped her off last year, she said, “Momma don’t cry.” And I didn’t. My quick wittedness kicked in and this is what I said, “If you were marrying a deadbeat loser, I would cry. If you were being sent off to prison I would cry. This is college and this is good. This is no occasion for crying.” And I meant those things. But today is different. Today we are looking at a one way ticket, a thousand miles away. 

For years I have watched others around me hang on to their children and I have been naively critical about that. I have spouted off phrases like… Children are supposed to fly away. We want them to grow up and move on. This is what good parenting looks like. We pour out and teach them and then they are ready to face life and go live theirs! Momma eagles stop lining the nest with feathers. It can’t be too comfortable or they will never leave. I even added how excited I would be when mine will leave one day so that I can do all the things I have been waiting to do. For those of you on the receiving end of these remarks, please forgive me. I had no clue. 

What was I thinking? I would be excited to do what? Buy a plane ticket to go visit her? Ship a box of some of the stuff she didn’t have room to take? To hear how it is when she lands? Ugh. I was so unprepared for this part….(you can grab a tissue and cry with me here).

Today, as we finalize all the last minute errands and the trip to the airport, I will be a strong mommy. Strong enough to send her off with lots of love and confidence! I know she will be fine, and I know her sister will be fine. And eventually, I will be fine too. Deep down, I really do believe this is what our babies are supposed to do when they are grown. And ultimately, I know that God will watch over her far better than I have ever been able to. And that is what gives me peace before I put her suitcase in the car. If I can even lift the darn thing…

Thanks for reading and crying with me…until next time…
Sherri