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FANGFACEKITTY
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Tuesday, June 04, 2013

I am officially on vacation for 3 weeks. I went to bed after midnight...and was awake at 6 am. WTF?! I do not even get up that early on work days! Not a particularly auspicious start to my time off; I hope that this morning nonsense improves quickly. Vacations should be about sleeping in.

Anyway, I was actually "up" at 4 am because Stupid Dog thinks if he goes outside that early I will be sleepwalking and give him breakfast without realizing it...and then a second breakfast once I actually do wake up a few hours later. Didn't happen, but he had hopes.

And I was on dog duty this morning because I am now officially...an Empty Nester.

My daughter flew home to the US yesterday evening and will be living with her dad the next 2 years, until I return. My son already sort of lives there. So now it is just me and the cats.

And Stupid Dog, but he goes back to the US tomorrow to be with my daughter.

Because I am, in case it has escaped notice, a cat person.

I like dogs but much the same way as I "like" small children....best when they belong to other people. When I can pat them on the head and say "good doggie" and continue on my way. Not that I actually say "good doggie" to the small children, it tends to upset the parents.

Her flight was at 7:30 pm so we left the house at 3:15. It generally takes an hour to get to the airport and park and I wanted to have plenty of time in case of...anything. The way my life works is when I allow a lot of time...everything goes perfectly. We were there at 4 pm, last check in was not until 6:30.

Now, if I had allowed just enough time there would have been road destruction, accidents, traffic jams, computer system crashes, terrorist bomb threats...you get the idea...and she would have missed the flight. Instead we were there several hours early and she was through security by 5...for the 7:30 flight, which actually didn't take off until 8 pm.

This might not have been a bad thing though. The Psycho Ex-Husband (PEH for future reference) booked her on some budget airline that flies to New York, not to Detroit. He did this because it "was a lot cheaper" than the airlines that actually go to Detroit. But note...he now actually had to drive from Detroit to NYC, which is a full day's drive. He had to leave on Sunday, stay in a motel, park at the airport to pick her up, stay in another hotel Monday night, sometime on Tuesday start driving home, stay in another hotel Tuesday night. Gas is expensive & PEH has an exceptional talent for buying cars that need constant repairs ("But it was cheap!"). Plus meals and tolls...and dealing with traffic and the subway and crowds and lines because he promised sightseeing as a way to pacify her. None of these are things he is capable of handling well; I predict a major temper tantrum before noon EST.

Add up those costs and you have the price of a ticket to Detroit, which is only a 60-90 minute drive from his house and $20 for parking. Instead of a 3 day road trip with a jet lagged teenager.

PEH logic at its finest.

The airline had the typical 1 checked bag and then pay an unholy amount for more. And since she is moving and can open her own store from her closet we had more; I limited her to just 2 checked bags, thinking she could also take the carry-on. Nope, the budget airline restricts carry-ons to the normal dimension BUT only 5kg (about 11 pounds). Her laptop & case alone weighs that much. She had to grab her camera, DS & purse to carry on, I had to take the rest back with me, including the laptop. Because the fee for the 3rd checked bag fee was beyond outrageous.

Now if she had flown home normally she would have had a free 2 checked bag allowance from her frequent flier miles, plus a normal carry-on and could even have taken a 3rd checked bag since I paid the fee.

Remember, she is moving, not on vacation. Under normal vacation circumstances we have our carry-ons and that's about it. Of course now I have 2 large suitcases of her stuff, plus I now have to take a carry-on myself with 2 computers since I will need to work for a few days...and the 90+ pound dog. Should be fun getting through the airport tomorrow.

Now back to the original purpose of the blog...

When I've told people she would be returning to live with her dad the universal reaction has been "Oh no, what will you do?!?"

Ummm...pretty much the same things I've always done. My life isn't ending because I'm now here by myself.

Yes, I'm a "bad" Mom.

Yes, I will miss her (maybe even miss Stupid Dog a little bit, he is a handy excuse for walking around), just as I miss my son. But I always raised them to become independent people (sooner the better lol). I have eagerly anticipated every life milestone...walking, talking, school, friends, driving, etc. When other Moms were crying because their babies were starting daycare or kindergarten I took them out to do something fun to celebrate because it was a happy day.

I am not the clingy type.

Because isn't that the best thing you can do for your children...prepare them to live their own lives without Mommy taking care of everything...and then let them do so?

My friends and coworkers are horrified when I say I am happy with being an empty nester. Of course they are also horrified by (or would be if I shared) my views on a variety of parenting and societal subjects. I have never been accused of being a lemming or a mainstream thinker.

Before she left my daughter was talking about one of her friends and said the friend's mom was "awesome". I asked her if the mom was more awesome than me.

She said "yes".
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But then she said it was because the mom let the friend do anything she wanted and did not make her do anything...the mom was just another "friend" to the daughter. But, and I quote, "You're my friend, but then you go all Mom on me, which is probably a good thing sometimes".

I think that was a compliment emoticon

So yesterday was another milestone, just a few years earlier than expected. Even if/when one or both move back in with me for a time it will be different as they will be legal adults and the relationship will be different.

Life is what you make it and mine is not "empty", even if I am the only one in the house.

And now I have to go figure out how to finish getting everything packed.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • v JAZZEJR
    Thanks for the late-night chuckle (description of the ex's reasoning with the NY flight). I'm with you on enjoying my "empty" nest. Just seems peaceful & liberating to me. And I can really enjoy their visits. :)
    1096 days ago
  • v HOPEFULHIPPO
    awwww, but I LOVE the stories of Stupid Dog.

    That part is emoticon
    1098 days ago
  • v SLIMMERJESSE
    Several smiles from this blog as I've been there, done that. The "everyone else's parents are awesome" routine. Knowing the cheapskate who pays more to save money than spend the original amt needed. The loving the empty nest and liking kids better when they belong to others. I understand oh-so-well. Life is your oyster now that it is just you to take care of. Have a wonderful time.
    1117 days ago
  • v CAALAN23
    Love that man-logic for monetary savings. There's no proving it wrong.

    I hope Stupid Dog got where he was go ing this week!

    Sounds like you've got a solid relationship with your kiddos. It's better to be a great mom than a good friend and even better when they recognize that too.

    Have a great weekend!
    Tina
    1118 days ago
  • v DEZZIEJAMES
    A very practical way of looking at it. I'm glad to see you are back in the states, and hope you have a fabulous vacation my friend!!!

    emoticon
    1118 days ago
  • v 23KAIYA
    I am the same with my kids and looking forward to an empy nest, that doesn't make me a bad mom any more than you. You're a great mom and a great person, keep up the greatness!
    1119 days ago
  • v MCJULIEO
    "You're my friend, but then you go all Mom on me, which is probably a good thing sometimes".

    DING DING DING WE HAVE A WINNER!
    1119 days ago
  • v PMISHAMRA
    You are a great Mom, and yes that was a compliment!!! Have a great vacation and enjoy your airy nest!!!!
    1119 days ago
  • v FROSTY99
    I am with you-loved my sons but never wanted them to live with me forever and like you raised them to be independent. Enjoy your vacation and I too will miss Stupid Dog tales.
    1119 days ago
  • v CODEMAULER
    Well, I'm going to miss the Stupid Dog updates. I think he was getting on track with his fitness minutes!

    My mother raised me to be independent... and now kvetches that she rarely sees me. Lesson here is that you can't have it both ways when there's 700 miles between us.

    Some days, that's not even enough.

    Good luck on the return trip to the airport. After our trip to China, it'll be a while before I get back into the terminal!
    1119 days ago
  • v 3016DEBRA
    Great blog! I usually back off the long one's, glad I didn't this time. Have a great vacation...something tells me you will! emoticon
    1120 days ago
  • v IMPROVINGME
    Loved reading your blog. Have a wonderful vacation!

    1120 days ago
  • v FLORIDASUN
    Ha..ha...good story! Your PEH and my XPEH X..being for EXTRA emoticon would probably be the BEST of friends! The day I walked out of that 10 year marriage from H*** was the BEST day of my entire life!

    I actually heard from our daughter that he got mad at the LUCKLESS wife #2 and threw a refrigerator on her foot! emoticon I didn't even have to ask for details! emoticon Could see the entire scene unfolding before my eyes.

    Lucky me...no refrigerator attack...but...he used to just pin me up against the wall holding my NECK as his point of contact while I wiggled and waggled like a raggedy ann doll. I was MUCH lighter back in those days! emoticon

    AND...my darling second hubs of our recent 35 year anniversary 5/20 wonders why I don't take any guff from ANY one at this point in my life.

    I learned well how NOT to tolerate insane and obnoxious bullies...learned from the time I started dating this creepster at age 13 and got bullied into marriage at age 17...WHERE were my parents on THAT one?

    My mom actually LOVED the guy..a high IQ does NOT impart common sense..I can tell you THAT for sure...for sure! emoticon

    If you have taught your children well on how to handle the world and develop survival skills..then you have done your job...no matter what their age is. emoticon
    1120 days ago

    Comment edited on: 6/4/2013 11:35:53 AM
  • v KAREN_NY
    CAROLCRC: "Like the glass-half-full, it's really full - it just has air (space) in it for you to breathe more " love that. :)
    1120 days ago
  • v KAREN_NY
    Enjoy vacation! And here's to non-emptiness! :)

    On the mom front, I'm both -- a little emo, AND celebrating my daughter's independence and adventures. Not quite bipolar, just... Gemini, I guess. :) So I put her on the Kindergarten bus with a smile, cried and read her baby book after she left, and then we celebrated like crazy when she got home. Not because I'm hiding it, but because I actually feel both. Ditto for dropping her off at college last year. In 3 weeks she's off to Turkey for the summer- a big adventure... maybe too big, if they don't stop teargasing Istanbul! I did miss her while she was at school this year, mostly because she's an awesome person to be around, not because I was empty.



    1120 days ago
  • v TRIANGLE-WOMAN
    Oh dear, you are not a bad Mom! Or if you are, so am I! I am loving life with my teen girls and looking forward to them flying from the nest in the next few years!

    Have a great vacation!

    ..*) ♥.*)
    (. .♥ (. .♥ (.*`* ♥☆.*`*♥☆
    ;.*
    `*♥☆ Keep Spreading the Spark!!!
    1120 days ago
  • v JUSTME29
    Can you ship some of the excess baggage? Or would that cost even more? I can't imagine moving with just 2 suitcases. Good for her! I hope the road trip isn't too traumatic for her, that would be rough dealing with jet lag and a road trip at the same time.
    1120 days ago
  • v DIANEWITHASMILE
    I love my children but I also love when they are away visiting others! Enjoy the time to yourself! Have a great flight!
    1120 days ago
  • v CAROLCRC
    It was a compliment. Enjoy it.

    Enjoy the "empty nest". Like the glass-half-full, it's really full - it just has air (space) in it for you to breathe more and enjoy life on your own terms (which it sounds like you already know how to do!)
    1120 days ago
  • v GETSTRONGRRR
    Sounds pretty cool kiddo! You've done a great job with them...that's the kind of parenting where they come back at you a few years later and thank you!

    So what's the deal, are you vacationing in Detroit too? Personally, I'd celebrate a little empty nest action in Tahiti or Bora-Bora
    1120 days ago
  • v BOILHAM
    Great blog! Love your style, except you fail to appreciate dogs enough, but still a fine blog. My coffee got cold while reading it, but I was captivated.

    Love the PEH thought processes, too. Once again, I repeat one of my favorite comments - "it's all about math" folks. Success in life depends on basic math skills. My prowess in math suggests I not become a bridge bungee jumper, too.



    1120 days ago
  • v ONMYMEDS
    Love this story. You sound like a fabulous mom and a wonderful person. I love your attitude towards children and dogs.
    1120 days ago
  • v GARDENCHRIS
    loved the story about the PEH !!! I roared laughing! Defies logic!

    You and I are more alike that I thought! LOL when my boys were little and they'd come in crying because someone "hurt their feelings" I'd ask is anything broken.. NO... are you bleeding anywhere... NO... then go back outside as I don't want to hear about it.

    sounds harsh I know .. But when I first went out to mediate with the kids the other moms would then be mad at me and the kids were "friends' again within 10 minutes! So what did I accomplish?? And the kids learned to stick up for themselves and be independent .... wasn't that my job? lol
    1120 days ago
  • v CAROL6X
    Have a great vacation!!! You can do it!!

    Carol emoticon
    1120 days ago
  • v STRIVER57
    it was definitely a compliment.
    1120 days ago
  • v SPARKCHANTAL
    don't you just love 'cheap' people
    1120 days ago
  • v ILOVEMALI
    what a great story. I ove how you have room for everyone in your life -- and that you know how to take care of yourself. You are a great mom. Don't let anyone fool you.

    Have a great vacation!
    1120 days ago
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