Thursday, August 20, 2009

In Which I Sound Maudlin...

Theo's gone....as Larry said, "One launched, five to go!" Larry and I felt great yesterday, knowing that Theo was off to college with his ROTC money and the guarantee of at least 4 years in the military after that. We rejoiced that, for the time being at least, we could stop interfering in his life and let him try his wings.

I should have checked his suitcases and boxes before he left, however. It appears that Theo inadvertently took 18 years of my life with him, perhaps packed in among the bed linens (X-Long Twin) or maybe in the box with his winter clothes. He took with him the pregnant 28-year-old who worried throughout her first pregnancy that she wouldn't love her own child. He took the young mother who assiduously read aloud to him while he nursed, devoured all the parenting books she could get her hands on once he was born, and generally acted in a totally nauseating, new-parent, know-it-all fashion for the first 5 years or so of his life. He took with him the many-times-pregnant mom who taught him to cook by calling directions to him in the kitchen while she lay - felled by morning sickness - on the couch.

All that remains here with me, for some reason, is a middle-aged woman I don't even recognize - a woman who keeps remembering the times she yelled at her eldest, or expected too much of him, or otherwise totally messed things up. That is, when she isn't gazing fondly at his little-boy face in old photo albums...

What's up with that, anyway?

****************

But the more things change, the more they remain the same. Here, for your viewing pleasure, is the drawer full of abandoned zucchinis:




If you click on it, you get a better view of the fuzzy parts. Just be glad you can't smell it. The odor makes roadkill seem appetizing by comparison.

So give me a break, MadMad, with your pretty 4-month-old Easter eggs! You'll have to do better than that to run with the big dogs, you know...


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26 comments:

  1. Hm... I don't know. I STILL can't decide which is worse. And you at least had a vacation to blame. I, on the other hand, have only bad housekeeping skills to blame...

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  2. I can guarantee, mine smells worse!

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  3. My 2 oldest are going into their senior year in college and I still stop and gze at the picture wall in the hallway.

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  4. Now I'm all teary eyed! My oldest just started 1st grade... I know it will all go too fast! Thanks for reminding me of that :)

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  5. Those darned kids. They take take take and leave us with what?

    Oh man I know I'm not going to be able to handle it when mine leave.

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  6. Not maudlin . . . reflective.

    This summer I've been learning to cope with my son's backpacking trips--up to 10 days of no cell phone reception. That's a lot of days of what ifs . . .!

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  7. MusicMan is 18 and starting his senior year of high school. I can already feel his leaving... and thank you, now I have guilt to add to my pre-empty nest feelings! *sigh*
    Maybe I should purchase those XL-twin bedding items now when they are at their cheapest?

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  8. Mine are only 5 and 6 and I am already thinking about how much I am going to miss them when they leave for college. The only bright light for me is that my house might be clean then...maybe...if I hire someone to do it.

    Stay strong!

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  9. STOP IT!! I'm having a hard enough time with my two oldest having their first days of school at the same time. Not to mention, I go over all the times I yelled or was too hard on them every single night, practically. It's what keeps me up. The bright spot here is that probably we'll only be able to afford the state university, which is 15 minutes from home, and if my oldest still wants to study oceanography by then, he could hardly pick a better place. So there's that.

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  10. Oh, this post makes me feel all nostalgic and weepy and my oldest is only 8! Hugs to you, mama---what a big step!

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  11. It will get easier....the first six months are the hardest.

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  12. Sob.

    And I just have fourth graders.

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  13. I'm crying too. My oldest is just starting middle school, but, this post really struck a chord with me!

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  14. Oh honey! I'm almost glad he took that 28 year old mama with him. She loves him like no other.

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  15. Good luck to Theo!!!

    Just curious...are you going to be this maudlin when Anna goes off to college? :)

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  16. College? You mean this little guy with ferocious lungs and an obsession with breastfeeding has to leave one day? Pause!! I want to push pause!

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  17. When a child leaves home, it's funny how your whole life flashes before your eyes. So glad you have your memories...and someday when he wants to hear them, you'll have them to tell.

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  18. I'm right there with you.

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  19. Thanks for the tears...my only baby is not even 2!!! I can't handle drop offs at day care some days!

    But the fact that he wants to go to college and try his wings means you raised him right...he's confident enough to be able to leave home. Great job!

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  20. This is wonderful. My daughter leaves Tuesday. We need to stop being so hard on ourselves, right?

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  21. This made me so teary eyed! I remember the summer before my oldest left home: we were at each other's throats the whole time! He was so nasty, so mouthy, so testy all the time! And all I was doing was just trying to get him ready for the college experience. I couldn't wait to drop him off that first day. Beleive me, I was ready for him to leave.

    Then I came home that night, walked into his empty bedroom and burst into tears! He really had grown up and left home. Or so it seemed. Four years later, he's back home with a new degree and no job. He eats all the time, stays up until 4 a.m. and is still pretty mouthy! Somehow, that whole in my heart isn't quite so big, now, although I'm afraid it will break again when he really leaves for good. At least you know where yours is going after he acquires that degree!

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  22. Oh honey. I'll hug you today if you hug me 2 weeks from now. I'll be that mama then.

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  23. Ours is going today and I have been a mess all week remembering the younger days when we didn't argue and fight and wanted to sit by me and talk to me. Makes me feel old. Good luck!

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  24. i know the post title should have tipped me off, but PLEASE don't do this to me with a warning (neon sign, anyone?).

    my baby starts 10th grade in 3 days, and i. am. WEEPING.

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  25. Your post caused a few deep breaths of my own. My oldest also left the nest (just yesterday in fact). Sunglasses were the item of the day. Keeping busy during the weekend was another have to! The dominos in house are shifting and haven't found new spaces yet. My sons pet just looks sad - or possibly that's just me projecting.

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  26. I did giggle a bit over the eggs though!

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