Our kids just returned from spending the better part of a week visiting both sets of grandparents. It was a first for us – not them visiting their grandparents, but driving themselves there and back. Oldest Son is 17 and a really responsible kid. About a month ago I realized Hubby and I were headed out-of-town for the weekend and hadn’t thought about what the kids would do. They could have stayed home by themselves. But it was the 4th of July weekend. That means Clear Lake. I grew up spending summers there with all the cousins gathering at the grandparents for the parade and then heading to the fireworks in the evening. This became a tradition for our kids too. The boys and I would head up there and spend a few days with my parents. I have lots of fond memories that could only be made better if Hubby had been able to go more often. {Unfortunately, his job kept him home many years.} But once I started working full-time it became harder to take that time away and they don’t get up there near as often.

This seemed like the perfect opportunity. So Saturday morning they loaded up the car for a “teenage road trip” as Youngest Son put it! I was fine until he said that. Made me second guess our decision for a short minute:). They went, they spent time with both grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, Cousins and they made it back safely. And they had a good time! I’m so glad that my teenage sons still enjoy spending time with grandparents! I would be so sad if they didn’t.

I have no pictures, despite texting and reminding them to take lots of pics for me. I’m hoping the gramma or aunts got some for us!

While they were gone Hubby and I went to a friend’s wedding for the weekend. We had a lot of fun hanging out with friends and staying in bed til 11 am! We planned our vacation and talked and just enjoyed being. We went to “breakfast” and a great little diner before heading home. It was so unusual to be able to do whatever we wanted. We could sleep in because no one was expecting us anywhere. We could eat breakfast at 12:30, because no one was complaining they were hungry. And we could take our sweet time getting home, because there was no one waiting on us, nowhere we had to be. I know that is normal for some people, and it was for us at one time in the way, way past – you know, BC {before children}.

But we’ve had kids for close to 18 years! There is always someone needing something from us. There is always a deadline or another commitment. Usually 2 or 3 other places we are supposed to be at any given moment. Our days are planned out, there’s no spontaneity. It’s all about efficiency, priorities and commitments. Don’t get me wrong, I picked this life and I wouldn’t change it for anything! I love my kids and am having a total blast raising them. I would do it all again in a heartbeat!

But what we got this weekend was a taste of FREEDOM. And I liked it. It was refreshing. it was relaxing. It was…free-ing!

After breakfast, I put my dishes in the dishwasher. And when I came home from work in the evening, there were no dishes piled in the sink. How strange is that?! And when I picked up the living room before bed, I got up in the morning to a clean living room! Weird. I did realize I may become a workaholic when our kids move out. I brought work home 2 of the 3 nights and worked thru supper and right up until 11:30 or midnight. It was easier to get sucked in when no one was counting on me at home. Hubby and I chatted over dinner, but he went to bed early and I was free to do the planning I couldn’t get done during the work day. It was smooth. And odd. And very, very quiet.

When I told Middle Son and Younger Son this tonight, they didn’t appreciate it. When I explained how, while they were gone no one expected me to know where their blue shirt was {ok maybe Hubby did:)}. No one asked what was for dinner or if I had picked up gummy worms at the grocery store. No one wanted anything from me. They looked a little hurt. I quickly told them, “but I really love you guys and I’m glad you’re home!” They just looked at me and Middle Son said, “I’m really feelin’ it Mom.”

My bad.

Truth is, I miss them terribly when they’re gone. I enjoy being around my kids. I know, that might make me a strange mom. I can handle that. It is what it is.

But I also enjoy not being responsible for anything now and then. I’ve tasted freedom and I liked it! And I can wait. It’s like a little glimpse into my future. My empty nest future. I think we’re gonna be ok.



Filed under Family, Lifestyle, Parenting

2 responses to “Freedom

  1. Carolyn Olson

    I can sooo relate to this! 🙂

    We will be empty nesters in just a year, when all three are in college. Jonathan and I have tasted that freedom, and think we’ll be okay as well!

    Thanks, Judy!

  2. Pingback: Big Day | Considering the Options

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