Thursday, July 5, 2012

Perfect Day

This post is for all the mothers who are loving having kids and terrified that the empty nest will be the end of their lives as they know them.

If you are one of those mothers, you're right about parts of that statement. You do love being a mom, and the empty nest certainly is different from your life as you know it. But don't be terrified. Many, many days of this new life are even better than your old life.

Take the Fourth of July, for example.

During your child-rearing years you will spend July 4 with cranky, heat-rashed babies who will be unable to go to sleep because the ruffians down the block are shooting off fireworks. Later you will spend Independence Day with manic, fireworks-crazy toddlers who will cry because their mean daddy won't let them hold the fireworks in their hands. Even later the holiday will be a day you'll be surrounded by manic, fireworks-crazy-and-with-money-in-their-pockets-to-buy-fireworks teenagers.

You, of course, have hated fireworks since the day when you were seven and accidentally threw a firecracker at your cousin Anita and got yelled at by, well, by every adult in the yard, even though it was an ACCIDENT and you were afraid your hand was going to get blown off  if that firecracker didn't leave it immediately, and hey, adults in the yard, what were you doing letting a seven-year-old light a firecracker IN HER HAND anyway?

Ahem. Anyway, you have always hated fireworks but the men in your life have that extra chromosome that makes fireworks the equivalent of pure meth to law-abiding sorts so you have spent your child-rearing years ooooh-ing and aaaaah-ing as if you enjoyed sitting out in the heat with the mosquitoes having a holiday feast on that spot of your calf that wasn't properly Off-ed.

Now that the kids are gone? You'll wake up and help your husband paint the garage, which is an amazingly gratifying task since it has a beginning and an end and makes a noticeable difference in how the House on the Corrner looks. Then you'll pick tomatoes! Woooo! Enough tomatoes that you can pop as many as you want, still warm from the vine, straight into your tomato-loving mouth.

You'll give the dog a bath, even though the dog despises water, and you won't mind when she returns the favor and bathes you with her first drying-off shake because it's hot outside and that doggy-smelling spray actually feels kind of good.

Then you'll use your new-to-you cast iron skillets to fry a chicken and make cornbread. Yes, you will. You will fry chicken instead of buying it at the deli. It will be delicious, even if it's a little burned, because you will add potato salad from your mother's recipe and some watermelon.

While everyone else in town is sitting out in the blazing heat ooooh-ing and aaaaah-ing and fighting mosquitoes you'll be eating blueberry pie with the Boys who are at home and laughing at Boy#3's experiences as a lake ranger, especially the story of the people who brought the hot tub to the lake.

Then, just before you go to bed, you'll sew up this little gem.

Know what it is? Here's a hint.

Yes! It's a tiny little origami bag to carry around the purse project knitting. It will look completely spiffy with the purse it was designed to accessorize.

You will not believe me when I say it took me longer to pick out the fabric than to sew this stylin' bag, but would I lie on the Fourth of July? I would not.

And then you'll go to bed, grinning at what a nice day it was, and knowing that the noise made as the ruffians down the street shoot off their (illegal) fireworks is not waking up anyone in the house who will need to be soothed back to sleep.

There are days when I miss the full nest. The Fourth of July is not one of those days.


  1. Thanks, I needed a ray of hope. I am setting here, a nervous wreck, as my two teenage sons leave with three other teenage boys to go blow up the remainder of their fireworks from yesterday. I'm sure my lecture about fires, glass and metal projectiles and burns (sun and powder) fell on ears deafened by the many fireworks exploded yesterday. This nervousness I feel starts as soon as the brightly colored flyers and ginormous white striped tents appear. Then the on slot of questions begins; "When can we go ... look at,... buy, ...blowup fireworks?"
    I do not need to feel guilty about not enjoying the celebration of our country's independence. You have given me hope!

  2. Being another mom-of-boys, I really enjoyed this post MomQueenBee! And Amen! And . . . of course I can't WAIT to try making one of those amazing bags! :)

  3. Pam, it's a whole new (peaceful) world! And Pillows, I was thinking of you last night as I made this bag. So easy, and cute as can be.

  4. And it's nice to enjoy beautiful music and fireworks on television these days, in the cool of your home. Carol L.