I don't even remember teaching them to fly...

For the last three months I have been searching for something.

I wander the house, rearranging and moving things here and there with no real purpose. It’s disconcerting, this journey I am on; the act of releasing these birds from their captivity.

They fly hard and fast in different directions these young birds of mine, and yet they maintain a closer bond to each other then I ever witnessed when they roosted in this house.

They leave behind their brother, and although his wings are small he is already testing their strength.

And you know what I found as I searched through this almost empty nest?

In Sassy’s closet I found a stack of 26 sweatshirts and many other various items, purchased during her years of soccer and field hockey. Stacks upon stacks of things that still bear the smell of youth, cheering crowds and Friday night football games.

In Bitchy’s closet I discovered the remnants of an outrageous shoe collection; a sweater collection and many prom and homecoming dresses that we HAD to drive FAR, FAR away to purchase. They hang in her closet, harboring memories and secrets that she holds close to her heart.

As I search through the rooms and the halls of this quiet, confused home, do you know what else I discover?

Bits and pieces of… myself.

I vaguely remember that woman, the person I was before joy, love, heartache and painful parenthood interrupted me.

And I am slowly but surely putting myself back together.

I’ve decided, however, to put some of the pieces back in an entirely new order.

A reinvention.

Oh yeah, it hurts a bit, but so does everything else in this wonderful, unpredictable, crazy adventure we call life.


Cheryl said...

Hey, my word is "light." Wish I had some to share. Reinvention is great stuff once it stops hurting. So much more light comes in afterwards.

duffylou said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
duffylou said...

Good for you! It takes a lot of motivation to alter who we've become. It's so easy staying where we are. I've finally decided I am not defined by how many children I have or my empty nest.

Growing up sucks.

MrMomWorld said...

Beautiful post. I have similar feelings about the bits and pieces of my oldest son's life I find here now that he is establishing his life not far from where he attended college in PA. The twins are still at home. Wonder where I'll be in 6 years when they leave for college and the house is empty save for me and my memories…

noexcuses said...

I love going through their stuff, too!

Reinvention sounds so cool. Keep the good stuff and dump anything that doesn't make you smile. I don't want to let go...yet.

Thanks for sharing.

Vodka Mom said...

I also found two bottles of vodka and a package of things people wear on their feet.

but you don't hear me bragging about THAT.

Cheryl D. said...

Enjoy this reinvention!

lisahgolden said...

The nice thing about this stage is that you get to see them fly while you can stretch your own wings again.

Not to belabor a metaphor or anything.

Joanie said...

When I went into Dani's room after she left for college last year, I found 2 40s of Bud behind her nightstand. I sent her a text telling her I found her beer stash. She replied, "Cool. What were you doing in my room?" And you thought you had Bitchy!

Ellie Belen Ambrose said...

You're now a Middle Aged Tween - between children and grandchildren.

Time to shake things up, rediscover your own inner sassy-ness and bithy-ness, and go rock the world!

Anonymous said...

Just think about the day when they call you 800 times a day because THEIR children are new and screaming nonstop for hours.

Then giggle, giggle, giggle :)

Wendi said...

What Ann said.

Gigi said...

Well we must be on the same wavelength this weekend - as I've come to realize that we are in the middle of a reinvention as well - I just need to let it go and see where it takes us

Unknown said...

I could get all weepy here and wax poetic about caterpillars, coccoons and butterflies...but I'm not.
I'm just gonna say that whatever you've always wanted to do?
You are now giving yourself permission to do.
You deserve it.
Go for it!

Karen said...

Ok crying now! I too am going through the empty nest after having moved closer to my 21 year old to mother her, yet she is no longer in need of mothering. It's disconcerting indeed, yet a triumphant moment of feeling extremely successful that I've raised a phenominal adult who has soo much to offer this world. Bravo mommy! You done good!

Bodaciousboomer said...

Deep thoughts kiddo.

Karen said...

Ok crying now! I too am going through the empty nest after having moved closer to my 21 year old to mother her, yet she is no longer in need of mothering. It's disconcerting indeed, yet a triumphant moment of feeling extremely successful that I've raised a phenominal adult who has soo much to offer this world. Bravo mommy! You done good!

Janice said...

Very touching...I've been there. And find I am constantly reinventing myself as the situation calls for change. That's life, I guess.

tracey.becker1@gmail.com said...

Sigh... Stupid spinning Earth.

Finding vodka kinda evens it out, though. At least it dulls the pain!

Irish Gumbo said...

Beautiful, my dear. A toast to the new puzzle that is you *clink*

Unknown said...

Know what you mean as the entrance of chilren in our lives changes everything and their exit leaves us wondering.

Elaine said...

Just make sure you do it with vodka. A lot of vodka.

Notes From ABroad said...

Oh, as one who has been there and now here I am .. childless ( although there is Pup) .. I must admit, I would give everything to do it again.
A noisy messy house full of noisy messy children..
It was good, very good.. I miss it.

Now I live in beautiful clean neat rooms that are often too quiet .. and wait to get emails or phone calls and hear their voices.. but I don't often get to cuddle them or breathe them in as I used to.

thedemigod said...

You have absolutely no idea how much I enjoy reading what you write. You're funny, poignant, heroic, hilarious, flawed, perfect, the mom I wish I had, the woman I wish I were (LOL), and the writer that I one day hope to become.

Can't wait to meet the reinvented Vodkamom! :)

Missy said...

This is awesome! Perfectly worded!

WeaselMomma said...

You never lost you. She is still around, deep under the scars of motherhood that have only made her more beautiful.

Susan Higgins said...

Well done VM... I don't have any kids, just an aged mother. I'm sure when she gets on Heaven's Bus with my dad as the driver, I'll walk around my house doing something similar as you. Certainly, I'll be searching for pieces of myself too; it's bitter sweet for me, I often dream of the day and then I cry.

Leslie said...

This represents both a place I dread and, if I'm honest, that I look forward to a bit too.

Midlife Roadtripper said...

Ah, crazy indeed. When my middle son left for school, I found 28 bath towels in his room.

Don't worry, Vodka Mom. I have great hope for us.

Grace Matthews said...

I'm just gonna lock my kids in a closet and keep them forever. That's healthy isn't it?

goatgirl said...

Well said. My son just got married and moved to California. I never knew I was raising him for another family to enjoy. Sigh...
Anyway, I getting myself a horse.

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