Friday, July 22, 2005

Empty nest

On our way home from the family reunion, we stopped for two nights in Edmonton. We had been planning to stay only one night, but Hubby's cousin and his wife kindly offered us the use of their home while we were in the city, and so we stayed. Eric and Melinda hadn't returned yet from the family reunion, but were more than happy to let us stay in their home for as long as we liked. They weren't just being polite, either. These two would do anything for a person. They are fun, and loving, and if I could, I would make them marry me. His family is wonderful, like I said.
When we walked through the door, lugging our two cranky kids and all the luggage in the world, I had several thought almost simultaneously. First was "Wow. Oh wow. This is the most gorgeous house I have ever seen." Then, as we staggered in, I thought "My children will destroy this house. I cannot put them down out my arms, because they will create a tornado with a vortex leading straight into hell, and the house will not recover."
Eric and Melinda have no kids. They have a dog, which is loved to within an inch of her life, but it's just the three of them. As we walked around, admiring their lovely home, I said to Hubby "This is why people choose to not have children. Tell me again, why did we insist on having Screaming Crotch Fruit?"
After the kids were settled in to sleep, we sat in the sitting room (obvious choice, I know) and relaxed. Eric and Melinda seem to have the same taste as Hubby and I, in everything. When the Terrors are grown and I am settling into my "house for life", I want to hire Melinda to come decorate for me. It was so nice to be quiet, and peaceful, and surrounded by beauty. Not a bright piece of plastic in sight. We talked for awhile and went to bed. I admit, I was feeling jealous. And even, maybe a tiny little bit resentful about my choices, kids, and place in life. It wasn't a good feeling.
At 3 or 4 am, when I was up feeding Boy Terror, I sat in Eric's office and listened to the silence. I tried to imagine where the Terrors would fit into my dream house (which looked suspiciously like Eric and Melinda's!). I couldn't do it. Every room I tried to put them in, I had to mentally take out the knick-knacks, put up the baby gates, and add a dozen toys. It really took away from the ambiance of the house. Finally it struck me. I would love the house, the beautiful house, but I would miss so much. I would miss being "Princess Mummy". I would miss the early morning snuggles. Shopping would be dull, with no excuse to go to the toy section. I like the heart-bursting pride I feel when Girl Terror can show me Madagascar on the map. I love seeing that little boy face coming in for kisses. I even think I would miss the middle of the night visits, with the warm milky baby breath on my neck, and the soft trusting little body curled against my chest.
The house was stunning. They should be proud of it, and enjoy every minute in those rooms that they can. But what makes my house a home is not the furniture, the artwork, or the hardwood floors. It's the smell of a fresh-from-the-shower Boy Terror, the giggles of the 3 year old princess, and the feeling I get when they greet me after just one afternoon away. I wouldn't trade that for the world.


OldHorsetailSnake said...

"Screaming Crotch Fruit" got an out-loud chuckle from Ol' Hoss. Good one, Mom.

Also, finely written piece here. You got head on straight, all right.

Mamacita (The REAL one) said...

Me either.

But. . . my kids moved out a few years ago and I still haven't turned my house into a tasteful grownup house. I hope the desire kicks in soon; people come over and giggle about the ambience here.

Beth said...

Had to reply to this one..."Screaming Crotch Fruit" ??
Brilliant!! Laughed out loud. You really should be writing a column in a newspaper or magazine!! Everytime I read your blog, you make me proud & happy

Mrs. Falkenberg said...

Didja see, didja see? I make her proud. Can you hear that sound? It's my heart puffing right up. I bet no one ever outgrows wanting to make their mother proud!