My children were visiting for Christmas, and now they have all gone back to their own homes. I have four kids, aged twenty-one to twenty-eight, and now that they are grown they only come to visit. None of them live with me. I am an empty nest.
I adore them.
I want them to be twelve again… even though, at twelve, they weren’t all exactly the easiest people to get along with… but I want them to be home, here, with me still making their lunches and yelling at them to do their homework and grounding them for sneaking out at night with the most disreputable boy in the neighborhood, and driving them to hockey at obscenely early hours… I start missing them as soon as they get in their cars and toot the horn.
They all have their own cars.
I never saw that coming… back in the day when all they wanted was the five Spice Girl dolls, or Conquer’s Bad Fur Day, I never saw them driving away from me in vehicles they paid for themselves.
With speeding tickets they paid for themselves.
And tattoos I never gave my approval for.
When one of my daughters was twelve (-ish… their childhood blurs in my mind to a foggy smear of memory induced by lack of sleep and fear that they would get un-approved-of tattoos)… she had a boyfriend.
This is the point where I must state, emphatically, that it is wrong to allow your daughter to have a boyfriend at the age of twelve.
As if. Good luck, you parents of pre-teens.
She had a boyfriend and she was determined… as in all things in her life, determined… that their love was eternal and ethereal and everlasting. One day, when she was grounded for some long forgotten indiscretion, she left a note on her body-shaped pillows when she snuck out of the house to be with him at the movies. The note told us where she had gone, and that she was willing to accept the consequences when she returned because “I just love him 2 much”. She ended this epistle of emancipation with the epic line: “U can’t control me 4 ever.”
She has spent the years between now and then proving that statement, repeatedly. Needless to say, she spent many weeks of her youth grounded. To no avail.
I can’t control them forever, and they can’t live with me forever… and I probably don’t actually want them to. They eat an awful lot. They are very loud. They want to have Dance Parties at ridiculously late hours. My 220lb son crawls on my lap and impedes my breathing. They leave clothes everywhere.
So really… bye kids! Thanks for visiting!
Please come back… tomorrow!
I hope you, gentle reader, had a wonderful holiday with your own wayward children, who you also can’t control 4 ever. Don’t worry, they’ll come back for the next big feast!
Here is my favorite blog about all things family, including the food you need to make when they come to empty your cupboards: