The Full Empty Nest

by Louise

I didn’t think it was much fun at the time but now I miss my children’s early years

This piece has a British context but it still rings true for me because it is the stage of life I am in or soon will be. Totebaggers are at different life stages. Let us know your favorite life stage, what do you like about it ? What about your least favorite ? Why did you hate it ?

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58 thoughts on “The Full Empty Nest

  1. Somehow, early on in this parenting thing when the “I can’t wait till they’re out of THIS stage” thought crossed my mind, I decided it was important to ENJOY, as much as possible, EVERY STAGE.

    So, no matter what…diaper blow out while in the jumpy seat at the hotel as we try to hurriedly pack so we don’t miss our flight home…getting puked on twice in the same meal at breakfast in a hotel dining room…when the only way to quiet them down is to hold them…taking one to the local pediatrician while on vacation because he had swallowed some coins and we didn’t know how to handle that, then having to play amateur scatologist to determine when the coins had passed (which I still have for a future rehearsal dinner prop)…paying attention when they want to show something on their Gameboy…I have tried very hard to do just that.

    There is only 1 at home now, and he’s 16, so typical teenage behavior “You look forward to your children coming home every day but, when they do, they disappear into their rooms”…this is DW’s lament.

    Life is about passages (Gail Sheehy’s book, right?).

  2. Great post. I do not miss toddler days, not for a second – my kids were so back-breakingly exhausting at that stage I feel tired just thinking back on it. But if I could have frozen time when ours were 5 and 8, I would have. I love, love, love those ages. Old enough to be physically independent, young enough to have family life still the center of their universe.

    I also loved the first year with my oldest. He was the sweetest, most charming little baby and it was so much fun to be a new Mom. It helped that he was a great sleeper.

  3. I have enjoyed really every stage my kids were at. I really find the whole experience fascinating -watching how they learn in the early years, seeing their personalities develop, etc. I hope they both stay in Houston, because I really enjoy the people they are becoming. The only part I have wished away is the homework demands that drive our schedule and introduce stress into our evenings.

  4. “The only part I have wished away is the homework demands that drive our schedule and introduce stress into our evenings.”

    This.

    Because DS has yet to master the idea that “production” homework is only part of the requirement in order to succeed and earn the grades, the last couple of weeks have been particularly stressful for him, and therefore us, as he tried to cram a lot of learning into the end of the marking period.

  5. I know I will grieve when my children are teenagers – my 8 year old is already getting so grown up, it’s wonderful but also a little sad. This morning when I was walking her to school she was so gleeful because it was pajama/read all day day and she was bringing in her favorite stuffed animal and her Anne of Green Gables book and I wondered if next year it would still be as exciting.

    I have a four year age gap between my 1st and 2nd, so I still have a 4 year old and a toddler to comfort me when the 8 year old doesn’t need me so much anymore. The toddler years are tough for me, but I love babies – would have had ten of them if I could skip over the 2 and 3 year old years.

  6. Like Atlanta, I love babies. Even after our first was SO TERRIBLE when she was a baby and my wrists hurt when every kid was little. They are just so darn CUTE! Our ‘baby’ now is 3.5 and it is really sad to me.

  7. Fred, your comment yesterday about your all-day wedding anniversary celebration made me think of this post. IME, carving out that type of day was much harder when the kids were little.

    I probably suffer from amnesia about the hard times, but the truth is my kids were relatively easy when they were young. Still, I’m not that much into babies, so i remember looking forward to getting past that stage. I enjoy every year, but particularly appreciate seeing the adults my kids have become/are becoming.

    Probably because my kids were relatively easy in their younger years, no major illnesses or other challenges, I agree with the “little kids, little problems; big kids, big problems” school of thought.

  8. DS is 4 1/2 years old…I miss the baby age so much. It was so hard (mostly the sleep deprivation and having to schedule around nursing/pumping). I did cherish all of the baby snuggles and I miss that so much.

    It is amazing watching him grow and learn. Wish he didn’t have such a sassy attitude, but I’m sure he gets it from me :)

    I’m already sad that he is 1/4 of the way to 18

    I need another baby

  9. I enjoyed the toddler stage, as it was fun to see their take on the world. Late elementary/early MS was the best so far. They could do the personal hygiene on their own and didn’t need constant oversight, but still wanted to do stuff with you. Now 8th and 10th graders, they pretty much dissappear when they come home. They want to do lots of stuff, just not generally with you. Too much conversation is about “stuff to be done” – laundry, school work, activity scheduling, etc. My 10th grader is saying she wants a couple weeks of nothing this summer. I’m trying to find a way to convince her we should do that elsewhere…get out of the environment that has been stressful. I’d like to rent a cabin with great views, less heat than Texas, options to do things if you fee like it, and still have technology accessible. The big issue there is finding care for my mom if I am going to be gone that long.

  10. One word. Grandchildren. The trick is to do everything in your power to befriend your daughter in law, or mend fences/step back if enmeshed/bite your tongue about your son-in-law, etc. with your daughter. If you get really lucky, the family might even move to /stay within a half hour’s drive of your house. The relationships and behavior of sons, dads and grandpas matter, but the grandchildren’s mother is the gatekeeper for the little ones.

    I didn’t mind teenagers that much, but as you know my attitude was very hands off. My favorite ages as a parent were 4 to 10 for the reasons Lark cited, 6 mos to 4 the grit your teeth years – I didn’t find it so easy to please them before we could converse in depth – it was mostly wrangling wayward calves. 18 to 28 were the years in which I just had to be patient – by 30 they were confident as adults and our relationships blossomed into more than I could ever have hoped for. It is so great to find out that you really like the adult sitting across from you at the table and wish you could spend time with him/her every week.

  11. Ditto MBT. Well said.

    I’ve loved my kids at every age. I even love my teens. We debate presidential politics, world events, and see rated R movies together (only the violent ones–no nudity!). I do not look forward to them going to college and leaving the house quiet.

  12. That was a great article, and definitely an interesting topic.

    I don’t think I miss the tiny baby stage, because that was a little scary for me, but from about 6 months on, I enjoyed my kids a lot. Now, they were pretty easy, well behaved children who ate and slept normally, so that is probably a big reason for the overall happy feeling.

    I also loved the ages around 3-8 when they were able to show their personalities but were still in awe of me and their father, and all that we could do. As others have said, they were so sweet and loving and cuddly!

    The long gone sweet little children are why DH and I really don’t suffer from empty nest syndrome: they are gone for good, and having young adult children in the house isn’t the same thing. I love to have them, but they aren’t meant to be living here anymore. We would never be able to live as adults in the same home for any long period of time – we are all too bossy and opinionated and crave our independence!

    I do love when 6’4″ DS occasionally comes and lies in bed with us for a few minutes!

  13. I am not a fan of the baby stage. But I adore the toddler and preschooler age. I wish I could freeze my kids around 3.5. Cute, funny, portable. I have found that the more children I have, the easier it is for me. It is like I have built up a tolerance to them. My oldest was by far the easiest/happiest/sweetest baby that I have had and my youngest is/was a holy terror. But I have had an easier time with my youngest. Health concerns aside, I can see how people just keep having babies at this point.

  14. Three kids currently in college, so the nest has been truly empty. The early years were really difficult, as my kids were so close together and I was a SAHM. But as time went on, I developed a wonderful support group of other SAHMs, and we really served as the “village” for one another’s children. On a beautiful spring or fall day, I particularly miss being able to spend the afternoon at the park with my friends, watching the children play on the playground together. As the kids got older, and we all went back to work, we saw much less of one another. Some of us try to still get together every couple of months, but it’s nowhere near the same.

    I do remembers being SO EXCITED when we were done with diapers – at one point, all 3 were in diapers at once (my boys were very late to potty training.)

    One thing I found so difficult when they were small is that it felt like I couldn’t ever count on having uninterrupted time to do ANYTHING. Any household project I might start, I had to be prepared to drop at a moment’s notice to deal with child-related issues. When my last went to preschool, and I had two hours in a row three times a week to myself, it felt sinfully decadent.

    I (for the most part) enjoyed their high school years. I enjoyed attending the activities they were involved with, I liked their friends (mostly), and I liked to see their increasing independence.

    MS was tougher, especially with DD. She really struggled to find her fit, and went through many different groups of friends. She finally seemed to grow into herself about midway through HS (by then she figured out that, while she wanted to hang with the “popular kids” in theory, she actually didn’t like them, or like who she was when she was with them.)

  15. Mine are 2, 4, and 6, so I occasionally have a moment to miss babies. I think these ages are better, and life will really improve in a few months when the youngest is out of diapers. (Let’s hope.)

    One group of my friends are 70+, and they are always reminding me that the baby and toddler years are really a very short time in motherhood. That helped on the days when I considered leaving the house, getting a ticket to a tropical isle, and changing my name :)

    I’m sure I will miss them someday, if they ever manage to move out of my basement.

  16. Well my first reaction to that piece is to think that the author will have serious problems when faced with the REAL empty nest.
    That is where we are now, though with one still in college and another considering law school the nest is still not quite empty. But still I will tell you what a good friend told me when his last kid went to college.
    The empty nest sucks.
    Maybe my kids are outliers or I was in denial but I can count on several fingers the number of times my kids looked at me with hate or rolled their eyes or otherwise acted like jerks. I liked all of the stages and the young adult one is in many ways the best.

  17. The vast majority of the time my kids say anything even slightly negative to me is 1) when I snap at them due to being rushed or not cooling down from work (i.e. MY FAULT), or 2) when they are stressed due to lots of homework or an upcoming test.

  18. We have the temporary empty nest every summer for seven weeks. It’s fun, but I’m not ready for the permanent phase.

    DH is traveling this week, and today is a day off for Vererans Day. I let DD sleep in our bed last night, and I was just thinking how great it is to have kids this age. I think she’s just at the beginning of the teen phase so I generally enjoy all of my time with her. I didn’t love the first two baby years. I was working a lot, and I just remember being so tired all of the time.

  19. Oh, what a terrific topic, Louise! I shall contribute once I’m back home in my half-empty nest!

  20. My two oldest were suddenly magical at 3 – and they have pretty much stayed that way. One was a difficult baby, one was a difficult toddler, but both were so inquisitive, curious, and enjoyable when they hit three.

    My youngest is a daily challenge – probably a combination of personality and the general neglect as the youngest of three. I am frustrated every day, and the little one limits the things we will do as a family (i.e. movies, any kind of performance, etc.) Even zoos, museums, parks are pretty difficult, as the child is surprisingly fast and likes to run away from us. I will not reflect on the past few years with nostalgia, but am very hopeful that three will cause a magic transformation. I definitely miss my olders as they were at three – and had a hard time enjoying them with a new baby in the house.

  21. My oldest was an only for almost four years so I really enjoyed everything with her. When we had DS, my oldest was four and so I felt like I also really got to enjoy him until age 2. Then my youngest was born and my sweet DS had a tough time adjusting and had also just hit 2. I feel like I barely remember that first year, but most of what I do remember is being really frantic with a baby and a whining two year old at my heels. Now that my youngest is 2, everything has settled down and I am more tolerant of the toddler behavior than I probably was with my son and actually find most of what she does pretty funny (that one really has a mind of her own, but we can laugh about it because she’s the baby and the last one).

    Was chatting with my neighbors last year and they said they knew a few women who just had a 4th baby around age 40 (just like WCE). All surprises from what I gather and their older children were all in school at that point, so I can see that being a nice time in life to enjoy a baby.

  22. WCE, I came to Kohls today because of your comments. There are 28 people ahead of me in the line. I’m waiting because I have five hours until I have to pick up DD She is visiting someone in NJ so I can save on the sales tax too.

    The real bonus is gas. I’m sure some of you have cheap gas, but I’m paying around 2.30 for regular. I just paid 1.87 in NJ. So happy.

  23. Lauren – and someone else pumped it for you. “Jersey girls don’t pump their own gas”, right Rhode?

  24. Fred, yes! I don’t live that part because you have to wait for the person, but it’s great when it is cold.

  25. Fred, yes! I don’t love that part because you have to wait for the person, but it’s great when it is cold.

  26. I have really, truly, very much enjoyed Preschool through early grade school. Old enough to be actually fun & enjoyable to hang out with and do fun family things, but not old enough to be sullen or to chose friends over family. I feel like we are in the sweet spot right now (2nd G), and I am trying to enjoy it while it lasts.

  27. Okay, I’m totally ruining the tone here, but I just received the terrible news that the live-in boyfriend of a very dear friend of mine just died in an accident yesterday. I’ll take a page from Milo and say that you don’t have to post a huge string of “I’m so sorry to hear that” followups. But people, seriously, if you’re not married you should really consider getting married. Dear Friend is now facing the fact that boyfriend’s Mom is going to make all the decisions about the funeral and disposition of the body, and DF will face a lot more complications regarding the house and the mortgage and all the miserable details. They got together back in 2009 and intended to get married but just didn’t get around to it.

  28. As far as life stages go I really enjoyed my two years of grad school and our DINK phase. We were in a wonderful city in our young adult phase. Fred’s description of a whole day out put a smile on my face.
    Life was stressful during the baby and toddler years of both my kids. We had busy jobs, longish commutes, had family weddings to attend in the home country during the holidays. Now, most of my cousins are married and I would actually look forward to making the trip with older kids.
    Our move to smaller place was for the best. Short commute and job flexibility means that we have more time to spend with our kids in the more delightful years. At one point I couldn’t wait for the kids 4th birthday but now time seems to be passing too quickly and I wish I could delay their next birthdays. Grades 2-5 have passed/are passing way too fast.

  29. My teens do still talk to me, although they can be moody at times. But I do know what the author means. I was just thinking about this earlier in the week. It was announced that an annual Gingerbread Festival has been canceled for this and future years (it outgrew itself). That was a huge favorite of my kids when younger, and they’ll be disappointed even now because they’d hoped to go again, but it was a very different experience last year with the younger two, working independently on their gingerbread houses and finishing within an hour or so, than it used to be with three all needing significant assistance but demanding creative control, frosting everywhere (this is why it was so great to do it away from home!), having to plan on getting in line to see Santa after the houses were basically done but before everyone broke down from excitement and exhaustion, and so on. Now my kids march in the various holiday parades instead of excitedly standing along the route watching. It really is a different stage of life and while I’m terrified of those stories of 40-something oops babies, I do recognize that there were parts of it that won’t be coming back (until grandchildren, I guess).

  30. I’m in no hurry for DS to grow up, but I do long for a couples only vacation for DH and myself…so far we have only been able to take family trips

  31. RMSM – I like to point people to gyst,org – a reminder that we should get our sh*t together before tragedy strikes. It doesn’t help your friend now, but it can be a place to point people who aren’t sure what they should be doing to get papers and things in order.

  32. I feel very lucky. Junior is a pretty good kid and I’ve enjoyed being a parent all the way through– equally exasperated, exhausted and amused. We’ve always been a little team and know generally that if we want to get something done we either have to work together or do it ourselves. Similarly, if one needs or wants to go someplace or do something, it is a shared activity.

    Now he is a young teenager. I certainly cannot do anything right, which is not entirely wrong. But I think the snark is predictable and somewhat funny. He is growing into his own man and I hope that he will be a far better man than I am.

    Of course, my career has gone to hell. And as much as I complain about the mothers, along the way, I’ve made some extraordinary friends that I wouldn’t have known but for Junior.

    Still, I’m looking forward to him growing up and leaving me. At that point, I’ll see what life has left for me. Maybe I’ll meet a very fetching sixty-something. Maybe I’ll be a bagger at Publix. Maybe I’ll take up golf at The Villages. Maybe I’ll be miserable being alone– but I hope not.

    I am eager to see Junior as an adult on his own. After al, that’s the goal, right?

  33. “I am eager to see Junior as an adult on his own. After al, that’s the goal, right?”

    It is indeed. I have to remind myself of this truth many times. And I think of friends who have children with serious disabilities, who will NEVER be able to move out and live on their own. And those whose adult children have returned to the nest because of divorce or unemployment or career change or illness or substance abuse or the inability to find themselves. Having an empty nest is actually a blessing, and confirmation (if dreadfully silent) that you’ve done your job as a parent.

    But that doesn’t mean that I have to like it.

    RMS, sorry about your friend’s loss. But I just wanted to mention that though marriage might have solved some of the problems she will be facing, execution of wills would have helped too.

  34. The seeing your kids as adults part has been great, as far as I’m concerned. I forgot how enthusiastic you are about life at that age. The career I’m going to have! How I’m going to decorate my apartment! Travel! It’s all just beckoning. It’s great to get to be a part of again. And they’re just funny and fun and irreverent and cynical and naive, and just generally great to be around when they’ll bless us with their company.

  35. I am in the wave of people who get along well with their parents. I like going shopping, seeing movies, eating out with my parents and now that my kids are older, they come along. Sometimes, it is just my parents and myself and that is nice too because it is just the adults.

  36. DD is 8 (and a half!) and I don’t miss any stages yet. Not that it’s getting any easier – just that each stage improves something but brings new difficulties. I fully expect to be a parent who enjoys my child much more when she is grown up and we don’t have to live in the same house. I definitely get along with my parents better in adulthood than I did up to about age 25.

    Re: Women in their 40’s having babies – As a recently separated 42-year-old, my chances are already pretty low, but I had minor surgery last month to make sure that does not happen to me IF I find someone I want to date AND there’s a malfunction of other methods.

  37. It is very different when the nest empties in one’s forties, as it did for me. I had a whole ‘nother life that became possible at that point, and no adventuresome 20s/DINK phase to look back on nostalgically in lieu of seizing the moment at hand. I even moved to a neighboring town the same month that my son graduated from high school when a friend vacated her prime 3 br apartment.

  38. Off topic FYI: I just was on Amazon and the Echoes are $30 off today only. So $150 each. I have been wanting to order 3 more so I can have mine back in the kitchen and the boys will stop fighting over who gets Amazon in his bedroom every night (give my daughter credit that she hasn’t been taking part in that fight), and although I was waiting for Black Friday in the hopes that it would be $50 off, I’m going to go ahead and jump now.

  39. Thanks, HM. I just bought one for Junior for Christmas. He wants one, but I have no clue how they work.

    My father absolutely hated his children and grandchildren– all of us– until we became 18. Then it was all beer and pretzels (the family equivalent of wine and roses). Lots of laughter.

    It is a good thing we had my mother as children. She loved kids.

  40. DS1 was pretty easy. Then “my cup runneth over” when I had twins. Three children within two years, and the ensuing schedules and diapers, was a challenge. I thought I was done, then my cup got taken in for a free refill and I’m OK with that, though I’m still figuring out life with four.

    One of my four children (Twin2) is a difficult child, born at a low weight and with NO ability to self-settle. The other two boys are middle of the road and Baby WCE, a term baby with no feeding difficulties, has been pretty easy. I sat nursing her last night while shopping the Kohl’s sale (It’s great fun to buy your items with transactions just over $25 but not fun to stand in a 28 person line at the store), ordering piano books on Amazon, and deciding which cable modem to buy, after spending ~3 hours over the past couple days determining that intermittent data from the modem, not the router, the repeater or the backup router, was the root cause of our internet problems. I called Comcast to confirm our signal and it was a two minute call, with the rep noting, ” You’ve already tried everything there is to try.”

    I wanted to respond to Hoosier’s comment about mothers at the park. I never made many friends as a SAHM, and it’s gotten progressively harder as smart phones have become more common. When you’re sitting around, people interact with their families and people they already know. Smart phones make it much harder to strike up conversations at the park. I was unable to be “spontaneous” as a mother of 3, and the people who were out and about tended to have fewer children and to want to be spontaneous.

  41. Facing the empty nest next year with DS headed to college. The challenge this year has been to really try to savor the “lasts” and enjoy him instead of nagging about college applications, dirty laundry, etc.

  42. I have been thinking a lot lately about why some parents suffer when the nest empties and some parents don’t. We still have one at home, but many of my friends are empty nesters and some are really floundering. It doesn’t seem to matter whether the mom (and the strugglers seem to be moms) works or was a SAHM.
    Someone told me early in my parenting life that my job now was to put myself out of a job. I’ve tried to see it that way. But I’m not sure how I’ll be when the last one goes to college, so I try not to be all judgy.

  43. I realized that soon our twice yearly visits to the school book fair will be at an end. At one point my non reader wanted only Lego reference books, pens, book marks anything but a real book. There used to so much of a tug of war over what to get without blowing the budget.
    I realize this Christmas will be the most expensive one so far as we move to all electronic vs. plastic toys.

  44. Fred- not pumping gas is one thing I miss about Jersey! But there’s so much more to a Jersey girl!

    I have only one stage to write about. The early days were hard and I worry if we go for #2 we will have to live with another growth restricted preemie. But I do love how Baby Rhode is now. This week he figured out log rolling and how to hold a bottle. He also decided that the Caribbean Tank and the Beluga whales at the Shedd Aquarium were the best thing ever. He laughed and smiled and I could have sat there until he was bored. He loved looking down on the open floor of the Willis Tower. No fear whatsoever.

    I like Fred’s take on enjoying each stage. I miss how small he was but I love his personality now. I have to remember Fred’s sage advice the next night Baby Rhode refuses to sleep.

  45. “I forgot how enthusiastic you are about life at that age. The career I’m going to have! How I’m going to decorate my apartment! Travel! It’s all just beckoning.”

    I think this is what I’m enjoying the most about DS’ college search process. Right now, he has so many options open to him, and everything looks so promising, and he’s so optimistic and enthusiastic, and gets so excited when he hears about his older friends getting into good colleges and enjoying their time there.

  46. I can’t remember who the Mystery Science Theater 3000 fans are here, but just wanted to let you know that there is a Kickstarter campaign to bring back the show. It looks like they have already raised half of the 2 million dollar goal.

  47. Our nest is empty. The youngest, who I posted about a couple of days ago choosing a state U over a SLAC, is the last one in college. If I could freeze a year and relive it, most definitely it would be the years they were 9, 7 and 4. Everything clicked that year–school, teachers, friends. We knew it was special. OTOH, the teenage years were tough at times, but mostly they were hilarious. (Never underestimate the creativity of adolescent brains in a group.) Once we accepted that we would never be prophets in our own land, things went more smoothly.

    We miss the energy of having teens in our home. Yet, being parents of launched adults is very, very gratifying. We are really happy for them. Careers, apartments, friends, you name it, things are working out. In fact, I was just thinking the other day that even though I miss them, I kinda feel like I did when they were 9, 7, 5. Happy, simply happy for them.

  48. Off topic: I made this recipe tonight for the first time and it was a hit with adults and kids alike. I served it with just a salad, no other side, and it was plenty of food. For the dipping sauce I just used our favorite jarred pizza sauce, no cheese added. It would be a very easy recipe to make ahead of time and just pop in the oven in the evening. Also, one cooking tip I’m sure many of you already do but it makes such a difference – salt your meat as soon as you get it home and then let it hang out in the fridge for 24 hours. Makes a huge difference in taste and juiciness, particularly with chicken breasts.

    http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/pepperoni-pizza-chicken-fingers.html

    I have been thinking a lot lately about why some parents suffer when the nest empties and some parents don’t. I wonder about this too. I also don’t discern any particular pattern, but I know moms who really struggle and moms who are content to be in the next stage.

    Although I would have liked to have frozen time when ours were 5 and 8, I really enjoy the stage we’re in now, as well. When we went to NYC for fall break, twice our oldest walked back to the hotel by himself from a restaurant (daylight hours), and I was just marveling that we could let him do it. (We weren’t that far behind, although I confess, after the discussions here, I wondered if NY has a specific law about minors being alone, but I never looked it up.)

  49. “This week he figured out log rolling”

    Wow, I am really impressed. I am guessing it is not easy to find other competitors in his age group.

  50. ” The youngest, who I posted about a couple of days ago choosing a state U over a SLAC, is the last one in college. ”

    Let me guess… in somewhere other than Michigan? I think Risley can relate.

  51. I loved the baby stage. If some factors were different I would have had more than two. Although I was tired, emotionally drained, uncertain, I loved the 2am cuddles when the neighborhood is asleep and the snow is falling. I’m constantly missing the tiny little baby in my arms. But this morning my 3yr old told me I was the most amazing mom in the world, so once they can talk it is pretty awesome. I’m in constant wonder with my 7yr old. I did not like 18-30 months. Such a struggle with both children. Now that they are older I love that now I have some time to read a book.

  52. Finn/buckeye – yes, state flagship in OH? Uh oh, I guess we can no longer be friends. ;)

    With 2 out and 2 remaining and a household that feels so easy and quiet and tidy, it’s hard for me to lament years gone by. I liked all the ages but have always favored whichever stage we are in at the time and that remains true. I love the relationship I have with DS right now and the experiences he is having, and wouldn’t trade it to have him underfoot.

    I also think I like each stage so much because in each one, life has gotten easier. The kid issues may not be easier but I’m more relaxed, have more free time, have more patience, etc. I’m a better parent than I was so its hard to want the old days back.

    As DH reminds me often, we have more time with them out of the house than in, so best to see the positives in the post-18yo relationships rather than wishing for the pre-.

  53. I’ve mentioned here before how I miss my cute little DS. He was such a delight from the time he starting talking up through elementary school. In MS he physically changed quite rapidly, and has long since passed me in height. While he is still a great kid with whom I really love sharing interests and having discussions, I do miss the little kid stage.

    I was reminded of this recently when I saw a coworker’s 1.5yo son.

    DD still has a lot of little girl in her, so I don’t miss that with her yet. Even though I have had to take her bra shopping, she’s still quite a bit smaller than me, still has a little girl voice, and still wants to get her hugs.

    I can now understand why parents so often look forward to being grandparents.

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