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".
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
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.