Thursday, 29 August 2013

I Love You - Get Out

As it rolls around to September and there is a flurry of activity from haircuts, new shoes and killer
Note shoes and backpack
backpacks, parents of younger children are getting their act in gear to whoosh the little ones out the door. Back in the day (about 3 days ago it seems) by September we were all ready for a change.  There was always a lot of anxiety around who the teacher would be.  Anxiety for them.  Anxiety for me.  An excellent teacher made the whole year better for everybody.

We all remember the essays on "What I Did on my Summer Vacation"   I always hoped my kids would pump it up a bit to leave out the "I watched TV while Mom napped".
 I remember these days as a mixture of emotion.  The kids were ready to head back, but was I ready?  The true question was whether or not I was ready to make lunches.  School lunches were the bane of my existence.  Small buns/ whole wheat bread/ butter/ no butter, cut the meat up, with/without cheese, lettuce???  Then there was always some kid who arrived with home-made perogies with sour cream and chive dip or authentic sushi.  Who can compete with a hot dog in a thermos. Fruit is an ongoing issue - no apple for Bridget as she has no teeth.  Do I cut the grapes in half?  Oranges make Kate's hands sticky.  Then eventually you find about a month's worth of apples in your Kevin's back pack and it is just disheartening.  I longed for "Pizza Day".

No, now it is a different stage.  We are whooshing them out for a big long sleepover.  We are returning to our Empty Nest.  Derek and I have been sending kids off to post secondary for the past 7 years.  When our Kate first went, I was sure it would kill me. Residence I was told was "just like summer camp, but with sex".  I was aghast. Then a friend and world re-known mother who loves her children more than her pets, told me "it will be ok".  And she was right!  It was ok.  We are fortunate that we enforced a 2 hour radius for university/college choices, so we see the kids on occasional weekends, Thanksgiving, 2 reading weeks, a 1+month at Christmas and they are back in mid-April.  Weren't you supposed to be away?

So it is that wonderful time when number 3 child is returning to school for her second year.
Bridget is very savvy now.  The last month has been spent securing a place to live.  It all sounds great. The house she is moving to sounds much nicer than ours.  So now I look around my house, where the coffee table is covered in dishes and nail polish. I found all my missing socks.  The front porch has molding bathing suits and towels.  The TV parked on Family Channel and a plot to confuse me just enough that even given the opportunity to watch a show, I am completely baffled as to how to make this happen.  I saw Bridget's " to do" list for July.  It included "clean the bathroom".
The List
 I was astonished that it was there.  I laughed that it appeared on the list only once and then I looked in amazement when I saw it was  crossed off.

So I look at all the stuff being packed and parceled.  Here we go again for year 7, but without a van.  Just a regular old car.  Some stuff has been already moved to Grand'maman's to save us 2 trips on Sept 1.  I am sure more stuff will make it's way down during the first few months.  Her lacrosse sticks, snow board and guitar may not make the cut.  The Christmas tree can wait.  Just essentials:  fall boots - really?

As I prepare myself for yet another parting, I try to muster up sentiment.  I try to feel pangs in my heart.  To
Back in the Swing
be perfectly honest, and I fail to think there is not one person who is not nodding their head even slightly, I Love You - Get Out.  I feel no guilt about this.  Bridget has had a challenging summer at home with bad luck job-wise and very few "Orangevillle Kids" at home for the summer.  Although we had wonderful mother/daughter time and a 10 day vacation together, she is very happy to be going.  She knows what to expect.  She is volunteering at orientation.  She is ready to launch.  I am sure she would nod her head at me and say
 I Love You - Good Bye.

So, the big question:   is an Empty Nest every really Empty?.  There seems to be a kid or two floating around here much of the time.  Our kids do not appear to be Boomeranging.  We do have our son visiting, but I think it is more like a re-hydration stop on a long marathon.  His return to the city is imminent and I will whoosh him as well as I know this is where he is happiest.

It seems we moved these children to Orangeville to provide a small town rural upbringing.  I expect there is less boomeranging to small towns.  I think the draw to Orangeville for our children is their pets and (I hope) my cooking.
The Orangeville Draw
 Otherwise, trips to Toronto are requested for any handyman projects.  The kids all have their own tools, but sometimes a visit from Dad just gets the job done swiftly, the shelves stay up and all it costs them is a cup of tea.  The road runs both ways and I expect to see our kids pop in from time to time. We maintain our bachelor apartment for longer stays that require privacy and independence.  For although we have an Empty Nest this fall, there is always the expectation is may fill up at any given time.
 I Love You- Come In.

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