Sunday, June 11, 2017

THINKING OUT LOUD

Most kids are out of school now for summer break, and in the days leading up to it the weather held promises of days and weeks of freedom.  Little league, family vacations, swimming, eating watermelon and popsicles, and just living without a schedule.

In late spring I could hear groups of children laughing and chatting as they walked past my house after school.  Through my open windows I could see groups of boys swinging their book bags and girls with their heads bent together whispering and giggling.

It's been a little over a decade since my own kids rounded the corner, my girls in their maroon jumpers and my boys in white polos and gray pants. My house would once again be filled with laughter, chatter and the occasional argument.

Those of you reading this may still have little people at home and are living the routine of making lunches, signing papers every evening, and making sure socks match.  As routine as that may seem and taken over your life, you don't always believe the people telling you, "Live in the moment.  They grow up so fast."

While I ramble on about my kids and yours, the point I really want to make is what inevitably happens to us.  As older parents, no one comes up to us at the church carnival and remarks, "My, you've aged so much! Time sure flies.  I remember you when you were just thirty-five!"

The truth is, just as our kids grow up and out of the nest, we face the reality that we are no longer these young, energetic and sometimes 'cool' people.  We have a few gray hairs and we don't always understand how to text on our cell phones with two thumbs.  We'd rather listen to the news on the car radio than music, and we guess the term 'chill' means ice in our vodka.  The list goes on and if you haven't realized your uncool ways, your kids will let you know.

So my four have flown the coop.  I'm happy for them in spite of missing all of that noise they generated in our house.  I marvel at how they've grown.  They have homes of their own, some even have a few rugrats that we are ecstatic over.  Still, it hits me at times; not only are they growing, I am too.  I forget that time hasn't stood still for me.  The children grew, my parents aged, but in the realm of life and in my mind, I'm still the young mother, wife, daughter.

These days I enjoy looking at the cute kiddos skipping down the street past my house.  I'm a proud mother who gave it my all and I respect this new generation of parents.  I hope they live in the moment, it goes by so fast even though I didn't believe the people who told me twenty years ago.  But shhhhhh...the next chapter is just as wonderful.  




39 comments:

CJ said...

I was just talking to a friend whose little one will be starting school soon and remembering how bittersweet that is. Now my middle one will be going to 'big' school in September. They always move on before I'm quite ready for it. But it's how it's supposed to be, and I'm glad he's looking forward to it. In the midst of chaos I often think, 'I'll miss this one day'. Right, off to stop the puppy eating the house now. Have a lovely Sunday Jane. CJ xx

It's me said...

That is early holliday in juni.....here it is in juli...have a lovely sunday Jane love from me.....love ria x ❤️

Mereknits said...

My boys are home for a few weeks, all of us together and it is so different than when they were young. They are often in their rooms or out with friend. Still I treasure seeing their grown up sleepy faces when they wake up at noon and wander downstairs. I have Little Buddy and I marvel at the changes in him almost daily. He is a little gift I have been given to do it all again, even if I am way too old to be doing it again.

Theresa said...

Great post and I can SO relate! Just the two of us, occasional visits from the family... but mostly just the two of us! I miss those days you are talking about but enjoy hearing about the days of the Grandkids:) Have a blessed day dear friend, HUGS!

Marty@A Stroll Thru Life said...

Amen. Perfectly said.

Mary said...

Great post dear Jane. . . . . . . resonates with all we 'mums/moms' and brings back memories of all those very busy years of rearing the children. Now it's 'our time' - time to relax a little more and enjoy whatever has become special for us between the occasional visits from kids and grandkids. It may be just us and our family, but we find they don't make the effort we did to see parents/grandparents/siblings etc. Where we saved like crazy, and it was hard, to go all the way across the pond to visit my family so many times, and hauled ourselves north to visit Bob's parents after we moved down south, ours have a difficult time just driving across town - everyone is "too busy" it seems. Life styles have definitely changed where the family is concerned - and often not for the better.

Without meaning to sound selfish, we are now at the age when we have to address our own needs first - the family can (or will have to) fend for themselves in this age of worldwide turmoil. You are younger my dear, and still so lovely, but know things will change even more, health issues especially, and be prepared to enjoy the new way of living with your love (and he is lovely!) - and I assure you it won't be disappointing, just different.

Hope we can catch up this year Jane - perhaps in Autumn. Meanwhile have a wonderful Summer at the lake.
Hugs and love to you and A - Mary

Kit said...

Enjoy your "new world". Our lives as Mom's, change that is for sure, but it is still kind of fun to see how our lives evolve. I am enjoying more time with my hubby and less time hauling children around. More time for me too! I get to do all my hobby's and have some quiet time. That I have definitely earned....LOL Happy Summer! Kit

Susie said...

Blondie girl, You know I love this post.:):) No one told me that the tough times all harried with raising my daughters...keeping them clothed, feed, and educated...were the times I should love . Some times it was yelling and hair tearing (my own )...But then I think of those times, we baked together, read books, watched movies , went to school activities, and even shopped..No one told me that one day my daughters would be my very best friends. It's all true, the hard and good times should always be shared with love. I was so very blessed and still feel that way. I look at those sweet girls and see myself at their ages. Dang I am so much older now. So I have to smile to make these wrinkles look better. LOL I am thankful for my grandchildren and now for 3 great grands....life goes on...but I , do tell the children to love and enjoy everyday with their children because it goes by too quickly. Bless you sweetheart, xoxo, Susie

dreamson34thstreet said...

Hello dearest Jane!

I miss the days the kids were home every day. Work and blogging helped me navigate the emptying nest.

I hit "the golden" age this year! 65. I do not sound 65 and I do not feel 65.
Some have told me I do not look 65. (Beauty and youth is in the eyes of the beholder . . . LOL) I have been told by the medical professionals I work with , it is perfectly OK not to completely accept my age. My biggest focus now is time. There isn't a moment to waste.

We are in full wedding mode right now!

Jay has been in Chicago since Thursday for his bachelor weekend. They stayed is the coolest place right across the street from Wrigley Field. They saw the Cubs play on Friday. Yesterday they staged and played a game of wiffle ball, rented bikes and road along the lake . . . followed by steaks at Gene & Georgetti.

I told Mr D, with a smile . . ."After the wedding, it's all about "us" again."

Our children have flown. Most important . . . they have learned to soar. I am blessed to be here to watch them navigate and learn in life.

. . . and to hear my five year old granddaughter say . . . "just "Google it", Grandma and watch her hit a double at her first at bat.

Isn't is nice we have this place called blogging to share our voice, our thoughts and our dreams with others?

My best to you and the beautiful B's!

w/L

Kathy Moreland said...

I know these feelings you talk about so well. When I would get home from work it was so nice to see my sweet Blake come running out the door with his arms wide for a hug. When I picked Rheagan up from school, she would get in the car just talking about all she had done. I can't believe she is going in 5th grade, and Blake is starting a new job in Tampa. Life flies by with grandchildren just as it does with our children. My daughter Pam was responsible for her age, always did her homework without being told, etc. She's 47 now! Me.....with a 47 year-old daughter! Can't imagine! Time sure does fly. Cherish every moment whether with your children or grandchildren.

Great post, Jane!

Brenda Pruitt said...

I just think it's a shame the new generation of parents all have cell phones. I see them completely ignoring their children running into traffic because they're mentally absent. A real shame.
Brenda

Stacey said...

I'm a proud mother who gave it my all....

That's so good, Jane!!

I'm with you, I'm so happy for my sons but I miss the little kid days. I would not turn back the clock though because every moment has its purpose.

Mary@mydogsmygardenandmary said...

What accurate post. Raising my son, Shaun getting married, then a little girl and now she is going to be 15, where did the time go. I realize this more and more as I am in my 80's. Where did time go? Suddenly your wake up and poof it's gone.

You have beautiful grands, Jane. Enjoy them before they grow up.

Have a wonderful week. Terrific post and oh so very true.

Hugs,
Mary

Debra Oliver said...

I never feared the empty nest, and looked forward to my girls becoming wives and moms. We have wonderful relationships and even though we don't see them alot we text most days. Hubby and I have always had fun on our own even though he worked way too many hours a week. The thing I hadn't thought about or counted on was ill health and feeling like time is running too fast and I've lost the best years of my life. My faith keeps me grounded and optimistic and a wonderful family make me focus on a good future, no matter what the circumstances might bring. xoxo Deb

Scribbler said...

This post is beautifully written and expressed straight from your heart. You are a good writer. It is weird for me to be the "older" one now, not the one who was always the youngest in my group of young mothers way back when. My grownup son has aways heard a different drummer, now lives in Beijing and is the head of a film studio. He is such an interesting person, so multi-layered and intriguing, always so bright and curious, so I must have done something right. There are no grandchildren and not likely to be, and I have not been with his father for many, many years, so it is not like I am walking into the sunset years thinking "our son"... Sometimes I think about why my life has turned out so differently from that of most of my contemporaries, but I suppose it really doesn't matter in the long run. What matters is that somehow I produced a good son who made his own way in the world and is leaving his own mark on his time and place while I am living my life in a way that is good for me. It is nice to come to a place of contentment and peace and see that our children are happy and successful in their chosen paths. I always enjoy reading about your large family, probably because you write it from such a perspective of love and joy.

Melanie said...

Lovely thoughts. I sometimes feel wistful and nostalgic when I see young moms with their little ones...and then when I see my friends with grandkids, I dream about having one (or more), too. But, I know I can't rush time. And, I also know it's not up to me as to how Tim's life is going to pan out. He keeps saying he doesn't want kids, but he's only 26. I know a lot can change in the future. Anyway, as nostalgic as I am about this subject, I'm also enjoying this phase of my life, too. It's a lot less responsibility and work, that's for sure.

Carla from The River said...

Oh my sweet Jane, what a lovely post. It made me tear up!! So wonderful.
You have a gift of speaking from the heart.
Love, Carla

Kathleen George said...

Love this post! My daughter came over to visit today with her baby girl, almost 3 months old. I told her to enjoy every moment of her, goes way to fast. I'm just happy both of her Grandparents live close by,so we all can take turns sharing our little Angel:).
Kathleen in Az

podso said...

Poignant post and so true. We simply forget--until reminded--that we are aging right along with everyone else. But yes, make the best of it because that is just how life is. My oldest granddaughter ("Little One") is nine today. It happens in a blink!

Lisa @ Texas Decor said...

Such a good post! Time does go by quickly. I can't believe my youngest just graduated high school. It doesn't seem like it's been 5 whole years since my oldest graduated. I try to live in the moment as much as possible. It's funny, because I forget I'm getting older too. :) Can't believe 50 is just around the corner for me. Oh my.

Debbie Freitag said...

What a wonderful post. One of mine is out and one is at college and probably won't move home (at least my husband hopes not). I read your post this morning and on my way to work I saw a young boy riding his bike to h.s. football practice and ironically the number on his jersey was the same one my son had! Memories flooded back and it made me smile. I miss them being young but I love watching them grow into adults with hopes and dreams of their own.

Karen Ann said...

Well you know how I feel about that empty nest - just a few years in now for me and I don't like it, but I look forward to the good things still to come - And boy, has menopause hit me this year. Bleh. However, I feel lucky to be here to continue to enjoy life, so I guess I'm not really complaining.



Beatrice Euphemie said...

Aw, Jane, I can so relate. I spent the weekend with my children and their families and I was feeling the same way. They were so full of life and plans and promising futures and I sat back and felt so fulfilled, but at the same time, so sad that it all went by so fast. Knowing that others understand makes it easier to accept and look forward to this slower and gentler phase of my life. So nice to have kindred spirits to point the way. xx Karen

Katie Clooney said...

Great post,Jane. I feel the same way. The hardest part about having adult children is when they leave after a visit. My girls live far away so when they visit it's for at least a weekend and I usually don't know when I will see them next. But then I will turn Real Housewives on to lift my spirits and all is well in the world again.

Linda said...

I often feel melancholy about growing old...
I don't want yo be sick....or burden my kids.
I often wish things for them, but....they are all their own people...and life is different than when I was younger.
I wake up everyday....start again....try not to be selfish....try my best.
Things will be fine....don't fret....it causes wrinkles! Hahaha....
So happy to know you Jane..
Cheers!
Linda :o)

Tammy@T's Daily Treasures said...

Well, I've been feeling very nostalgic lately. I know we raise our kids the best we can to release them out into the world to make their own way but it sure isn't easy. And since I'm not traveling to the States this summer, I won't be able to see them ... most likely until next May (unless my youngest comes home for the winter break) ... so yeh, even though I do enjoy this time of my life, I also miss my boys and don't particularly like that they are so far away. Now, as for using thumbs to text ... ha! You will find me with reading glasses on, and using my right pointy finger for that. And when I'm in the car, I blare music. Don't want to hear any news as everyone just reports on the bad stuff. Why can't news be good news? I met an IG friend the other day at the knit-in-public event. It was the first time for us to see each other in person and she commented that she assumed I was much younger ... perhaps she thought I was born in 1994 and not that I had been living in Kuwait since that time. Anyways, I told her I'm 51 (I think the gray hair was a telltale sign) and then her daughter piped up ... but you look like you are 25. HA! I'll take it. Have a good! :)

Kathleen Grace said...

I think your post hits so many of us right where we are! Growing older isn't for wimps, and I have had every thought you just expressed. I miss mothering my kids, I miss my waistline and I miss the energy I used to have! I have come to the conclusion that now I have the time and freedom to make choices I couldn't before. I am more intentional about weeding out the stuff that weighs me down and I try to stay active and involved without overextending. Thank goodness I have a grand on the way so I will have a little one in my life again. I so look forward to that! All that to say I just keep trying to be the best person I can be, no matter what my age. Sending hugs your way.

Kim said...

Jane, we just came back from a short vacation with the kids and they are so grown up. I was having these same bittersweet thoughts and realizations myself. They are young adults and I am not anymore. It's something I am suddenly keenly aware of...and I am still not sure how it sits with me. ;)

Debbie said...

Hi Jane....it took me quite a while to get to the place where I wasn't sad about my girls being on their own. I still struggle from time to time. I miss them terribly living three hours north of them. It all works out okay. I see them, and the grandkids. We travel downstate, and they come up here. They are all busy with their lives...all of them! I am doing the things I love to do....gardening, kayaking, my booth, etc. So, I keep busy, too.
It's a new chapter in my life....as Bob Seger sings...turn the page.
Love to you.
Debbie
xo

Judy at GoldCountryCottage said...

Jane, this is such a neat post. First let me state that I am really enjoying the time now that is just me, the dog, and the husband! We are having a pretty good time. BUT, I can remember when people came up to me and said, "I can't believe that you have a 25 year old daughter. You don't look much older than that yourself". Now that I am in my late 70's, I had my annual doc appointment the other day. My dr. said 'I can't believe you are as old as you are. You don't look a day over 60!!!! It's a good thing I like to laugh!!! But, the best thing in this world is having a grandchild, watching him grow and what he has accomplished. There is nothing in my world like it . I love it and life goes on..Happy Wednesday..You made my day with this one..xxoJudy

A Joyful Cottage said...

Good post. I do believe each season of life is to be cherished. I also believe we have an attitude in our culture that glorifies youth and that is borne out in the determination to never age, i.e. face lifts, botox, yada. . .yada. . .yada. Personally, I think there's nothing more beautiful than an elderly woman who has all the natural lines and wrinkles on her face that show a life well lived. A woman who radiates beauty from within. Whose eyes twinkle when she smiles. xo

Helen Philipps said...

This is such a beautifully written post Jane...and so true. I often can't believe where the years have gone and how we have moved into a new era with grandchildren to love as well as children. Love how well you express these things. (Including the being technologically challenged bit too!)
Have a lovely weekend.
Helen xox

Bluebird49 said...

Dear Jane, I smiled when you mentioned texting with two thumbs! I cannot do it!

It's great that my son has a successful job and family. I guess I do feel on the outside of it all sometimes --a lot of times, really! But, I am so happy for them! I've lived my "younger days".

Love you!
Trudy

Decor To Adore said...

You are so right Jane! I think about Sweet Guy having just 3 years left of high school and break out in a cold sweat. I am trying to appreciate all of the wonderful little things.
Have a beautiful day dear one!

Kathy Moreland said...

We know for sure time doesn't stand still for us, no matter how we wish it would. My grandchildren grew up so,so fast. Blake will be 26 in July, Rheagan 11 in October. You turn around and they are out of the home, making their own way. You're happy and sad at the same time.

I hope you are enjoying the warmer weather.

Linda deV said...

Nostalgia is such a lovely word for feeling a twisty little pit in my stomach. I've accepted all of the above and I've manage to make a life for myself and my new partner but I have to say that I still kind of define myself by the person I was 10 and 20 years ago. I need to redefine in my mind as well as my life. Working on it :)

Happy Tuesday.

Terra Hangen said...

I appreciate your thoughts on kids growing up and we growing older. My sons are adults now and live close by. In a few minutes I will head out the door to a retirement party for several of my good friends. Time wings past so quickly.

Simply Farmhouse said...

Your thoughts are so true. Our daughters are married with a homes and with children of their own. They have blessed us with eight wonderful grand children. We are also blessed with adoption, we are so humbled that God chose us to adopt our two little ones.

If we had turn the clock back in time, then we would not of had the joy of grand-children or the joy of adoption. For this I am thankful how time has lead us to where we are today.

Thank you for sharing your heart, it reminds us to cherish each day.

Have a wonderful day Jane.

Cheryl @ TFD said...

Beautifully written post, Jane. If I could tell young mothers just one thing it would be to cherish those moments because they pass by all too quickly. Neither of my children want kids of their own (and they're both straight as an arrow!) and I'm afraid they may regret that decision some day. But it's their choice and I don't interfere. I have to say that getting older is not for sissies, as they say. I hate not having the energy I used to have and also feeling like a sitting duck at times, health-wise. The not knowing what we'll face in the future is a good thing, but also leaves me a bit worried. However, I still strive to do like the old song says, I'm gonna live, live, live until I die...even if a bit more slowly. :)