I've heard the old "Just wait until your kids get older" line. But I thought I would be different. I thought I could hold on to family meals and time together in the family room reading or talking. I honestly thought I had some keen ability to keep all five of us in the house at the same time, if not every day, at LEAST once per week.
Besides, I HAVE FOOD. That should keep the kids around.
Sports didn't really interfere with my plans that much. It seems we always were able to spend time together before baseball, football, ice skating, dance, soccer, and basketball. I assumed that if we made it through the sports era unscathed, I could give myself a gold star for holding us all together.
And, I HAVE FOOD.
Umm…why didn't anyone tell me that once my kids were old enough to get jobs (in our house, the kids have chosen to work as soon as they turn sixteen), I would almost never ever ever ever see them again!!
One goes to college and works as the cook at a pizza place. The other is a lifeguard at the county pool. And the last little piggy cried "wee wee wee all the way home"…. Oops. Wrong story. The last one - he actually prefers xBox over time with me.
All those years of reading picture books, snuggling at nap time, running through the sprinklers…gone…gone…gone.
And I'm still MAKING FOOD!
Like today. We were all home. Unbelievable, right? So I whip up The Pioneer Woman's awesome chuck roast recipe, pick green beans from the garden, and make the yummiest cake with buttercream frosting. This was a family meal - a cause for celebration.
You can feel it coming, can't you? That looming bolt of disappointment that is about to strike. Yep. You are correct.
While I was busying myself with grand plans in the kitchen, my oldest said he had just come back from….
I can hardly type it without feeling faint…
He had just come back from…
(Insert gasp and tears here.)
I was crushed.
Mainly because….I HAVE FOOD!
So, four out of five of us sat down to this nice meal. That's not too bad. This is good, in fact. See? I still get a gold star. Sigh… then the daughter starts to talk about going to college far, far, far, far away from here. And although I'm proud that we've raised a go-getter, I'm sad that she will be away from me.
Maybe I'm trying too hard to hold onto the past. You know, those days when the biggest problem was how to time grocery shopping just right so the baby would be ready for a nap once you returned home. Or the big decision was how many skittles can I give my little boy and still have him hungry at dinnertime.
These days are gone. And since we're talking about "gone", my uterus is sort of gone too (physically there but out of commission) If getting your uterus terminated doesn't scream middle age, I don't know what does. Okay, okay…the growing waistline and thinning hair scream middle age too. And the fact that I almost don't care about the growing waistline is a symptom of getting older.
It's also a symptom of the fact that I LOVE FOOD.
I'm passing my keyboard over to you now. Please tell me you understand. Share your wisdom. Tell me if this is a midlife crisis. Voice your stories and how you got past this huge void in life. Heck, even if you're still in the middle of the void, let me know so we can commiserate together (or have wine… or wine and FOOD).