“A wise old owl lived in an oak;
The more he saw the less he spoke;
The less he spoke the more he heard...
Why can't we all be like that bird?”
― Edward Hersey Richards




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Sunday, February 8th, 2009
5:05 A.M.


We've been very busy this week. Once again. Now that Spring weather has been here for the last couple of weeks, it's time for Bud and me to start working outdoors before it gets too hot to be out there. Our patio has been covered with lathe...lattice work. And with the subtropical weather during the summer months mostly, it doesn't take long for wood rot to appear...and mildew. This was on our list of 'to do' this year. Tear out the old and replace it all. Well, once Bud started by the corner of the dining room and took his claw hammer and a can to toss the nails into - he worked on it for about 4 hours the first day. What he got torn out that day made the dining room all the more brighter...not a dingy darkened room with the shade of the patio cover! I like it! I like it a lot!!! I'll have some photos up from the 'during' and after when it's done. But we're now thinking to not even put up any new stuff. We're thinking to leave it uncovered. The difference in the interior of the house is just too amazing. We'll see what we decide.

After he worked on it a couple of hours yesterday, I came in after cleaning up outdoors, and I peeled some apples that needed to be used up. I made four humongous apple dumplings...here they are, hot out of the oven and still all bubbly with the hot cinnamon syrup I made for basting them while they cooked!.....



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Just the other day, I was conversing with a neighborhood acquaintance [between the fences] ...He told me that he misses his kids and would love the fact to have his family 'whole' again. Even with his grown up kids and grandkids in HIS home...Now, today, at his age of 64. [to me, he has a whole lotta livin' yet to do in his lifetime --it's not like he's in his late 80s or early 90s and wants his youth back] I shook my head in disagreement and he blatantly called me selfish. Only in jest of course; still it got me wondering after we parted our ways for the day. AM I the one that truly is selfish wanting a life of my own at my age.....

- - -
Let me take a stand here. I love my kids. Very Much!! I am very happy 'just being a mother' to them. And a grandmother to my grandchildren. But, most importantly, to me....I love being ME! And I find nothing wrong with wanting my 'golden years' being with Bud only. I hear from others many times how they wish their children, even adult children, would still be home with them. Then, I think...am I being selfish with my kids' lives and still think it's too early for them to 'fly the coop'...and be on their own; staying home with mom and dad instead after they're showing signs of wanting to be on their own, even at an early age of 18, 19 or 20? I mentioned one time how I envied the life of a bird. And since the term empty nester and kids leaving the nest is always the terminology used when your own children grow to adulthood and leave home for good [or at least try to experience living on their own] is so apropos! Hey, that is YOUR JOB as a parent!!! Nurture your kids from their birth up until they are ready to spread their wings and fly away!! It's nature!!

Most all the time, I find myself smiling inwardly at all the cute children around me. Y'know? You never stop being a parent!! And if you have a healthy lifestyle, you would more than welcome your kids back with open arms...but! ---and that's a big 'but' --- you must set your standards. And I think the adult child SHOULD experience the rough times along with the good times of being out on their own. In other words, just don't say to them...'Awwww, poor child of mine...you'd be better off back at home, with us taking care of you." I say "No deal". Another expression comes to mind. "You make your bed, you lie in it". There comes a time in your life when tough love is very prominent in your child's life. Allow them the opportunity to realize that life is what they make of it. Through the good times AND the bad times.

Yes, I do envy the bird's life. For the only fact that within weeks, their offspring leaves the nest. Now don't get me wrong....I have glorious memories of being a mother of an infant, a toddler, an adolescent, a teenager, a worker outside the home, them leaving my home for good-with tears in my eyes...only of pride not selfishness on my part wishing the day hadn't come so quickly. I wanted two children. I wanted to raise them. I wanted the responsibility. I wanted to nurture them to being strong adults. I wanted them to feel good about coming home....to visit!! I wanted them to procreate and give me grandchildren to love. I wanted all that that is normal for the human species. The thing is, I also wanted them to have the opportunity to give me the satisfaction of knowing I did the right thing!!! Both my children are adult now...37 and 40 this year. Believe me, I still hurt inside the gut when they suffer relapses of finances or life's rough situations, I still cry with them when they hurt, I still giggle with them during the good, happy times, I still become elated with them in their pride and accomplishments --tho that has changed from finger painting to now degrees in law, business and ministry. I still am and always will be their mother!

Now, again, some may call this selfish with my views about having young adults that are perfectly capable of being out on their own. Let me now point out the fact that I had my first child at 20. No, I was not too young. I was much more mature than most twenty year old friends of mine. I was ready to have children! I looked forward to it.....BUT, again the 'but'. I also looked forward to being retired one day...alone again with my husband and no kids at home. I worked outside the home after our children were older and going to school. I had the foresight to save my income for....retirement! Of course, I was fortunate enough to be married to a man that supported me on his income so I was able to save my extra income and earn interest for those 'golden years' ahead of us. Personally, I think those that don't want their own kids to be out living their lives as nature intended, as being more selfish! They're still clinging to the fact that 'it's my kids' and 'I still want them home with me to make ME happy'.

Which brings me to an article I read just recently....

Adult Kids who Stay Home As I read this article, I found myself nodding in agreement with most of the scenario. This is what I picture for those that tell me "I LOVE having my kids at home, I don't want them to leave, ever!" One particular item really stands out for me:
    "The real problem

    There are reasons why birds kick their youngsters out of the nest and make them fly. It’s because the baby birds are too afraid to do it on their own, and if the baby isn’t kicked out, it will never develop the wing strength to fly later when they are heavier. Substitute humans into this idea and the same holds true.

    As long as Mike has a comfort zone he can go back to, he will never evolve beyond where he is now. If Mike should get married, it will be a disaster. Chances are that Mike's parents will have Mike, his wife, and the kids living with them when they come along (while they "get their feet on the ground" of course). This because he cannot support himself now, and therefore won't be able to support his family later.

    At this point, getting married doesn’t seem to be a real threat because Mike doesn’t represent the kind of man that most young women would want to hitch their wagon to permanently. Mike is too self-centered, egotistical (without reason), rude, arrogant, and few women choose a husband they will have to financially support.

    Without intending to, Mom is teaching her son that it’s okay to verbally abuse people, there is always a safety net, and she is reinforcing bad behaviors that simply cannot exist later in life. In attempting to help Mike, she is actually setting him up for disaster.

    Mike’s problem has now become his mother’s problem, ......"


- - -

Bottom line, in my opinion - I'm NOT being selfish in wanting a life of my own after my kids became adults!! I'm doing good!!! It's an interesting article for sure, even tho it's one case in a million...well, maybe these days -one case in a thousand since the 'trend' seems to being going the wrong way. And if you think clearly as a parent, YOU'RE being quite childish yourself wanting to have your kids [grown, adult kids] with you too much for the one reason, self-centeredness! Or maybe MY thinking is on the selfish line....just guess it depends on your 'motive' behind your thinking. Who knows, guess it's all individual, right?

25 comments :

  1. anni, you have officially become the person i want to become one day. i love your views on motherhood, kids, becoming older, and selfish in having a life of your own now that your kids have left home. you are an inspiration!

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  2. Anni, NO you are not selfish at all. You have a healthy look out on being a parent with grown children. NO I don't have kids, never married either. And why? Because my mom, rest her soul, was a wonderful mom but one of those mom's that didn;t want her "little" girl to leave the house. SO I stayed with her till she passed away 2 years ago. IF only my mom had been like you, I would have been married and maybe have a family of my own. TMI, I know. And I will stop now before I become too personal online, lol

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  3. Anni, dear friend, you, selfish??
    no way.
    I have read some books of Desmond Morris eks. "The naked Ape" and "Human behavior" in which he states that the human beings are the only species on the whole planet, that alows their offspring to come back home to the nest when they are grown, and has left the flok, They can be one of the flok, but never be "children" again, they'll be kicked out, if they can't provide for them self. So seen in that light you are so right.
    Furthermore I can speak for myself about this subject. A few years back, we bought a sort of "farmhouse"
    with lot of space, so our son and grandson could also come live with us.
    And I can tell you that it was a big mistake, in the way that it was difficult to have any space or time for one self, we thought wrongly, that because we were living under the same roof, we absolutely had to be together all the time- and much as we love each other, we soon found out that we had done something "stupid", and soon after we sold the house and moved back to the city where we live now, in our seperate homes, but pretty near each other, so both son and grandson are nealy dayli guests for just half an hour or so, just to see how we are doing and talk about "things". Our grandsson are now 27 and has his own appartement, but still, he comes around to have a chat with "grands"
    Douglas and I are 84 now, but both still going strong, but it is still lovely to have the youngsters come around for ahwile, -but else, we are content to be outself, knowing that the "children" are doing well.
    So you rest assured, you are right in your statement, and as you know
    Du er den bedste
    Mutti-the dane

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  4. Mutti....you are so right in saying it is all about being content and having them VISIT only. I like how you added that the books say we are the only species who will allow the 'fledgling' to again return after leaving the nest and as a flock, they are still no longer children and need to live a separate life as in your case, thinking that we all should be together at all times...it's just not healthy in my opinion.

    Great stuff you wrote.

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  5. Princess You're so right. I've known those 'too protective' parents who don't allow the children they bore to live their own lives. It's sad. But then again, on the other side of the coin, anyone can never say 'how things would have been'....right?

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  6. Shadow Awwwwwww, you comforted my soul this day! You're a great lady too my dear....you've got Bean to nurture. And you ARE the best mom for him, I just know it.

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  7. Selfish ?? the once who want to stay with their children the whole life are selfish ! I love my son and he loves me but I could never live with him more than for a holiday period ! Two generations under one roof is never good. Sharing the daily life is not so nice as special and quality time whenever we want to ! I am there when he needs me of course. I pity the children of your crazy neighbor ! Do they want to live with him ? I doubt it very much ! And we only push our kids out of the nest but they are always welcome to fly in for a while which makes the differents between humans and animals. I think what we are doing is a very healthy relationship to our kids !
    Curious to see your patio without cover ! Our new one is just against a wall and doesn't cut the light of the living room.

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  8. The revolving door is now a comfortable way to live! I cherish every day of our "aloneness" - there have been times when one has come back for a time, with the stipulation that it is only "for a time." I do it because I have to at times, but I cannot fathom wanting them for the norm! Recently Kristen and the girlies stayed with us for a few days because of a situation that came up (they live in the same town as us) - we had told her several times that if worse came to worst, she could stay with us until she got back on her feet - this several days, though, proved to both of us that that "ain't gonna happen!"

    Ooo -- those apple dumplings look sinfully delicious! I can just smell them!

    You guys are so industrious - good job on getting the rotten wood down - I can imagine the difference it makes inside - but will it be too hot in there in the summer sun? Just a thought.

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  9. Anni,

    You are not being selfish. In fact, you have been wise in raising your kids this way.

    Michelle and Barry depend on me to watch the boys when they are working, which is fine. I love the boys with all my heart. They were taking advantage of me at one point and I said, no more. Now Barry works days and Michelle works shifts where one of them is usually home when the boys arrive from school. There are only rare occasions that I have to pick them up.

    The apple dumplings look delicious and I'm looking foward to seeing the photos of your patio work.

    Blessings for a relaxing Sunday.
    Mary

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  10. Anni, you really spoke to my heart this morning at a time when I needed it the most. Thanks for this post and for sharing so honestly :)

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  11. Wow .. this hit home for me on so many levels!

    Snapshot of myself at 18, developing "cold feet" at the 11th hour before beginning college life, hundreds of miles from home. Begging my parents, "Let's just forget the whole thing; I'll get a day job at Clement & Benner." My father's words, "Get out of the car right now." (...tho' his own heart was breaking.)

    When my own son appeared to be sqandering his college days (and nights), I fought my ex and my mother (financier) for him to be allowed "just one more chance." Instead, I was over-ruled; and T. was given little option other than to enlist in the military. So many years later, he's told me, that was the best thing that could have happened to him... he became a man. Someone, today, I consider my "hero."

    P.S. - I don't even LIKE apples, but those pix of your dumplings have got my "spit spouting" ... yum!

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  12. Mevely: Yep, you did the right thing!!! And I'm sure it was the best that that happened to him. Tough love IS a good thing.

    Deb: I'm glad that what I blogged helped you out.

    Mary: Mary, you know the two of us think so much alike it's uncanny...and yes, if one of our kids NEEDED our help, we'd be there for them...

    Dawn: You and I have had similar family situations and we can understand each other and our way of thinking...it's rough on a parent too, as you know, but life goes on and the 'aloneness' is all important too!

    Gattina: Yes, yes. I so agree with you...two generations under one roof is NOT fun...nor is it healthy!!! You got that right.

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  13. You, my dear, have the right attitude, it all together, and are one cool mama!
    I agree with all you've said, 1000%.
    You raise your kids so they can handle to leave the nest...that is our job. Nature has it right...it's people who mess up in this area.
    A really, thoughtful and terrific post today. Thank you for saying and writing your thoughts all down for us.

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  14. Anni, I do believe we are some sort of soul sisters. I had children to raise, I raised them to the best of my ability. I love them now with all my heart and would help them in any way I can, but do I want them back living with me ^&**$ NO. They are the independent adults I raised them to be. You are not selfish, I am not selfish -- we are mothers of great children who now have things to do in our Golden years.

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  15. I really agree...I loved being a mother and I still love that!! BUT there is a time and a place for children to leave. I always looked forward to a time when Mike and I could be just "Mike and I". I was beginning to think that was just a fairy tale but I LOVE it when he is home. He still has to work and unfortunately will have too for as long as he can..BUT still I love having my kids come and visit and then leave again...You are right..In my book anyway!!

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  16. Anni, the only way that I would EVER say you were being selfish is IF your CHILDREN felt you were being selfish. If your children feel that THEY don't get to see enough of you, or that your grandkids are not seeing enough of you - THEN I would say, maybe you're a bit selfish with your desires. BUT... as long as your kids are equally satisfied with the amount of time you share with them... then it's all good! Families are ALL different. People are all different. What is RIGHT for me and my family is NOT going to work for you and yours or for my neighbors! And I'm sure if your kids wanted more time with you, you would give it! "Selfish" is really a relative term. Now... if your neighbor needs something from you, and you aren't willing to help him out - then HE can call you selfish! He can't call you selfish for not having your kids live with you forever!

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  17. I agree with you. I love that my kids live in the same town, but awfully glad they're not in my house. The little birdies need to learn to fly and make their own nests.
    Charlotte

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  18. On grown children being at home with there parents.
    I believe it unhealthy for both.
    My stepmother in law has her 40 year old plus daughter living with her for ages now.

    Coffee is on.

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  19. I love it when my kids visit and I love it when they leave, but this does not mean I love them less. For their parts, they enjoy visiting me (I hope (grin), but they, too, are glad to be independent and not "mummy's daughters".

    I think parents who don't want their kids to leave home are dreadfully insecure and immature and that bodes no good for them or their children. Unfortunately, there are a lot of them out there just like that, and it's so sad because neither parent nor child grow to become functioning adults. The day my youngest left home, I enrolled in university and since then, I've done all the things I dreamed of doing while they were young.

    I love my kids dearly but unless, there is some sort of natural disaster in which they lost their homes, I don't want them back living with me, nor do they want to be back living here.

    Good post, Anni. That'll start some debates up around the world...lol.

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  20. I just read somewhere in a comment that it is your birthday !

    That's why I am (not) singing loud !

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU !! and welcome to the club of 60teens !

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  21. Hello Anni ~~Just popped over to wish you a very Happy Birthday, my friend. Good post and now it is time for you to enjoy your life.
    I hope you have a beautiful day on the 9th February. Take care.
    Love, Merle.

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  22. Happy Birthday, dear Anni! And I couldn't agree with you more. Kids need to move out and start their life and become responsible adults. They lean too heavily when they continue to live at home. You're darn right! I want to enjoy my Golden Years too!

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  23. You know what Anni? I feel exactly the same way you do about loving having my own life again after having raised my children. I love my sons more than anything but when it was time for them to leave home and start their own lives, I was the first one to cheer them on and although I missed having them at home I soon started embracing being an independent person again and not having to be "mom" at all times. They know they're welcome any time and that I'll always be here for them but they're also thankful I'm not the clinging type. Very good post today, Anni, as usual:-) xoxo

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  24. I don't think you're selfish at all. I recall my folks let us live at home while we attended college and once we graduated we paid room & board until we moved out. They made it clear that once we left, we were on our own ... and I never even THOUGHT about going home except to visit on Sundays. Methinks the birds are right ;--)
    Hugs and blessings,

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