Sunday, October 29, 2017

How Do I Empty Nest?

When you have a parenting blog and all your kids become adults, you kind of run out of material.

You know, there aren’t a lot of parenting blogs even for parenting teens, unless it’s for troubled kids and how to get them to behave.

Maybe that’s because our teens are so intertwined with social media, we Mom Bloggers are afraid we’ll embarrass them. That is certainly the case for me. Once they became social media savvy, certain moments were off limits. I can’t count the number of times I heard “Don’t blog that” once they turned thirteen.

Well, thirteen passed a long time ago. I’m now an empty-nester. One of my kids is closer to thirty than she is to teenage. In fact, she has a kid of her own.

How do I suddenly not parent?

Remember when you first became a parent? Maybe some of you took those childhood development classes. Maybe some of you changed the diapers of your younger siblings. Maybe some of you ran babysitting services. I did none of the above. Suddenly having no children is just as unfamiliar as when I suddenly had a child. I have no clue how to do this.

You know all that stuff you wish your teen would share with you but they would rather cut their tongues out than tell you? Well, once they are adults, they start telling. And you sometimes wish they had cut their tongues out. There’s just some stuff you don’t want to know. But you can’t not listen. It’s your duty, isn’t it? Because they still need advice and encouragement and celebrations and shoulders to cry on. But they don’t need dinner. Or homework reminders. Or permissions slips signed. Or permission at all.

Last week I called my mom and asked her for some information that I knew I could find if I put forth an effort, but it was easier to call Mom. I’m nearly half a century old, and I’m still calling mom to bail me out and give me advice and encouragement and celebrations and sometimes even a shoulder to cry on.. It’s good to know as much as things change, some things never will.

And then I think back to when my oldest was five and learned how to tie her shoes. “Pretty soon you won’t need me at all,” I said.

“But mom, I’ll always use you.”

I hope so. I really do.

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