Empty Nest

We as Kenpowomen are Mothers, daughters and sisters and friends too.  I felt like writing this morning as this is weighing heavy on my mind.

I’m sitting on my back patio drinking my morning coffee, the sun feels good on my face, I have a ton on my mind with the week ahead,  work, karate, Crossfit, Avon39 training, house cleaning, laundry, dinners, this is no different than any other week.  But what happens at the end of this week is something brings me great joy and sadness at the same time.

In all of the things I am, I am a MOTHER first, I was a mother before I was an adult, by the time I was 20 years old I had three children.

derek and mom

April 8, 1988

The 80’s were much different time.  I lived in a rural Tri-Community and there wasn’t much to do.  It’s all about choices and in my mind being a mother was my choice, something I REALLY wanted to do.  I have never regretted the decisions I made, who I was with or what I did to put me where I am today as each trial, error and joyous moment has moulded me into who I am.

My three children are all grown.  Derek is 27 and has 3 children of his own  10599556_10204327175893010_5052430136594691504_nand is living his life in San Diego, I don’t see him as much as I’d like, but I know he’s grown into a responsible adult who loves his family , I’m incredibly proud of him and can’t express that enough.   Stephen is 25 and 11222240_10153419683998478_6141089038629568565_nhas a little girl Meira who’s 5 months old, he’s working on his life and he’s on the right track, he’s making good decisions to get him to where he wants to be, this makes me happy.  Each of my boys left me at a young age after the divorce to live with their father.   Derek was 12 and Stephen was 12 (at different times).  Those were some of the hardest years of  my life, the separation was heartbreaking and completely out of my control. I mourned for them for years and I think it affected me in many ways. But I’m not here to talk about my sad times, luckily my boys are doing well today and each have their own paths that they’ve chosen follow, all good things!

Three Kids 2

kids

So that leaves me with my youngest child, Maegen, she’s 23 and since the day she was born she has been by my side with a couple intermissions here and there.

maegen

On a typical Sunday night, we make dinner, sometimes together or sometimes it’s just one of us alone in the kitchen.  We’ll watch TV and chat about the shows we’re watching.  I’ll reach over and grab her hand and give her a pat or rub her back, or Sean will throw a pillow at her, we have a good relationship.  Since Sean and I have been together these past 8 years, it’s been the three of us with an occasional Derek and Stephen in the mix living with us.

1010706_10202992710492209_3419552747879439023_nAs with any mixed family, relationships build, and I’d like to say that Maegen is the daughter than Sean never or will have.  parentHe loves her as a daughter.  This doesn’t mean that he’s replaced her dad, it means that he’s an addition to.  Who wouldn’t want someone to have double the love?  We live in the typical American family,  Divorced, married, re-married,  5 sets of grandparents, adopted families, step families, in-laws, half brothers and sisters, I say the More the Merrier – the more people who love you the better.  It’s not about a competition on who’s the better parent, it’s about allowing your child to be who they want to be without coercion or manipulation.  I read a quote the other day:

“Notice the people who are happy for your happiness, and sad for your sadness, they’re the ones who deserve a special place in your heart”.

Sean and I couldn’t be happier that on this Friday, we’re going move Maegen up Humboldt for her to complete her education in Environmental Science.  But also, there’s a great sadness that I’m losing my one of my best friends.  I enjoy going in her room with a hot cup of coffee in the morning and chatting about what’s to come in the day ahead.  I love that we can sit together and talk, or sometimes not talk, just sit in silence doing our own thing, I love that she wants to be with us, that we’ll backpack, 1098360_10201173175564973_1489006578_nhike, explore the city and cook together, I love that we can be honest with one another and not hide under a cloud of guilt or misunderstandings. Maegen has grown into a beautiful, responsible adult.  She’s worked, gone to school for the past 5 years and now will continue this journey not because I want her to, but because SHE wants to. How fricken exciting is that?

I’ve been reading up on “empty nest syndrome”.. there’s a lot of stuff out there, books and poems and tons of heartbroken parents.  The reason being is because it HURTS.. We spend all of our lives being a parent, nurturing, loving and making all of our decisions based on those kids, and when they leave, what do we do?  I know logically that as a parent , I need to let my children live their own lives, make their own decisions and also make their own mistakes.   But damn is hard.

So, this Friday we’re moving the kid 12 hours up the 5 Freeway…to her own apartment, to her own new life for the next couple of years. Thankfully there’s Video chat.  Thankfully I trust her judgement and I have confidence that she’ll make the right decisions that are right for her.

I love my kids, my work probably won’t ever be done and that’s ok, but it’s time to step back and let all of them take the reigns and see where they go.

Let them fly

4 Responses to “Empty Nest”

  1. Sean says:

    Beautiful words…I’m so very proud of not only Mae…but you and all the time, effort, sweat, tears, and smiles it has taken both of you to get to this point.

  2. Mary Ann says:

    Lovely Andree! It is hard. We all do the blended family with hearts full of joy and love better than anyone! 12 hr….road trip in the Fall!

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