I was on a roll, blogging every Friday like clockwork. Even when I thought I had nothing to say, I’d sit at the computer and write something, anything, to stay on my deadline. And it was feeling really good to know that every week I was both practicing my writing and expressing some truth about myself and my life. Well, it all came to a grinding halt two weeks ago with the first of two visits from kids.
First came the youngest. He is perhaps the most self-contained and yet engaging of the bunch. He came to town to interview for a graduate program at a local university. But that was only day one. The rest of his long weekend visit consisted of eating out, movies, walks and I even shared my precious Pilates lesson with him. We had a great time and when it was over, I realized I’d missed my deadline. I vowed to make it the following week.
Next came the oldest. She is by far the one who needs the most attention. I tried, I really did, to plan ahead and get my blog post done in advance. But alas, life got in the way and try as I might, I missed my deadline again. The weekend was also fun. More eating out, more entertainment, whiskey tasting, long talks and, a Pilates class. Oh, and did I mention she brings two elderly little dogs with her? Yeah, they come too, making their noises, emitting their smells, leaving their little “accidents,” and making my much younger dog crazy.
Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE when my children come for a visit. In fact, I begin counting the days until their next visit, WHILE THEY’RE STILL HERE!!! But just as they tend to regress or fall into old behaviors, I also return to the “Mommy Zone.” Now that they’re grown, this doesn’t mean I do all the physical work around the house. What it does mean is that emotionally I am compelled to be forever and endlessly available. When they’re not around I confess, I occasionally screen their calls when I’m busy and call back when it’s convenient. But when they’re in the house, well, I’m available pretty much ‘round the clock. After all, I don’t get to be with them very often and I really just want to inhale them when they’re here. Okay, that sounded weird. But you get the idea. I don’t want to miss a single breath, word or minute with them.
So here I sit, still emotionally a little exhausted, still a bit distracted and just a tiny bit resentful. I feel resentful that I’m still the one who deals with all their stuff, still the first contact when there’s a crisis, still left alone after they’re gone to clean and do laundry. I feel resentful that we don’t all live in the same city, so the visits are always intense and full. But I also feel lucky. Lucky that they want to spend time with us, lucky that they want my advice, lucky that their problems and concerns are what they are. Mostly I feel lucky that at this point, all of them are independent, productive, educated, principled, happy people with the beginnings of very good lives.
And here’s an update: the youngest was accepted into the grad program and will be living with us while he attends school. Yay! Or, “Be careful what I wish for?”