Posted by: chlost | September 7, 2014

Blogging and weddings, ain’t life grand?

Finally! My laptop has returned from the repair shop.

Nearly one month, $300, and a trip to Colorado later, it came back all shiny and new looking.

Over the past month, I’ve learned that I can do almost anything I’d do on the laptop, I can do on the smartphone. Writing a blog post was the exception. Commenting on other people’s blog posts was difficult, too. But I tried here and there.

Now I feel a bit renewed in my energy and inspiration for blogging. We’ll see how long that lasts.

Since the last time I was here, we’ve had some big events around here. I know that there have been big events in the world as well, but other people cover those events much better than I could hope to do, so I will stick with the more local, personal events to report here.

My oldest son was married.

That’s pretty big news in my world.

It was a gorgeous day. The bride was beautiful. Our son was handsome. The granddaughters were adorable as flower girls. Our daughter’s singing was beautiful, as was she. Our youngest son as best man was great-he gave a very good toast.

And I felt a little sad.

Don’t get me wrong. I was very happy. They are a very happy couple. I like her a lot. She is very good for him, and he is happy.

But this time it is as though we not only have an empty nest now, but that empty nest has been whacked right on out of the tree. It feels as though the nest that was our lives is now sitting upside down on the ground beneath our family tree, just waiting to be stomped on by some passerby.

When our kids left home and went off to college one by one, we were still involved in their lives. We had them home at holidays, we moved them from dorm to apartment, and even into their own home. We heard about their job searches, their graduate school plans, their dating stories, at least as much as they were willing to share. They were on their own, but they were still a part of our family

As odd as it sounds, we were still their next of kin on their medical emergency card.

One by one, they have married.  We have watched as each of them has found a partner, and we have seen them grow and commit to spend their lives with those partners.

Now, it is their spouses who are listed as next of kin in case of an emergency, not us.

As it should be.

But I am having some trouble with this. This is truly a new stage of life. It is different from when they went off to college or moved out of the house.

Now they are someone else’s family. And Merle and I are superfluous in a way that I had not considered previously. I have to figure out how to manage this newest way of life. It is going to take some adjustment. I have to find some new things to do to keep myself busy.  If this is what retirement will be like, it needs to be filled with other activities and people. Working on it.

The second thing is related to the first, but makes it just a bit harder for me.

Our family has always been close, but we are not the loud, laughing, actively together type of family. We are the sit back with a few drinks, dinner, and talk about life, the world, and our thoughts about those things kind of family. Maybe most families aren’t like that. Certainly our children’s in-laws are not.

Our newly married son’s in laws are very much the type of people who always have a house full of friends and family, with lots of golfing, country club, and party activities. Their grandchildren live nearby, and they are often there. Both of our daughter-in-law’s parents are retired, and they have always been very social. And they love our son.

Our son has been heartily welcomed into their family. He and his wife will be involved with them much more than they will with us. I know that my feelings are of jealousy and feeling sorry for myself, but I am already feeling as though they have taken our son into their family, leaving ours behind.

Yeah, I know…….stupid. But the feeling is there. I just have to figure out how to get past that.

On the positive side, we have had a few happy texts and photos from Hawaii, where they are honeymooning, and we have been given reason to believe that more grandchildren may be something we can expect.

Long story short….We now have two Elizabeths in our family. Our daughter’s name is Elizabeth, and she did not change her last name after marriage. Our newest daughter-in-law’s name is Elizabeth, although she uses a nickname, she did change her last name to ours when she married.

Ain’t life interesting????

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Responses

  1. Thanks for dropping by my blog. Your post made me kind of sad as it is certainly something we go through as we get older. Our kids are still our kids but they have their own lives and we are not part of them any more except in a peripheral sense. Our family is very close knit but scattered across Canada and the globe. Hugs.

  2. Okay then, two things. Now that you get to be free of the responsibility and care-giving you have had for your family you can just love them and enjoy them straight up. They have eased up on your responsibility to them because they are now grown up and responsible for themselves. I understand it is a big change, but you should try and embrace it. This is their gift to you for all you have done for them. You are still very much a part of their lives and you and they won’t forget that.
    The other thing is that even though you are not the party animals your fellow in-laws are, there are times when people do not want to party. Sure, everyone wants to party for a while, but eventually that gets tiring. I believe you will have your share of quality time with your family.
    My 2 cents.
    Hope to see you soon!

  3. This post reminds me of the saying, “Your daughter’s your daughter all of your life, your son’s your son ’til he takes a wife.”

  4. This made me kind of sad. I think it might be because I have two sons (no daughters) and I guess a part of me worries that one day we’ll only see them at Christmas. I don’t want to think about that yet 🙂

    I hope you enjoy your new phase of life!

  5. We have two sons and they live in opposite directions from us and far, far away. We stay in touch and happy to say I never had those feelings that you are having. Enjoy them and as jono said, I believe you will have quality time with your sons. Change is hard!!

  6. I appreciate the emotional insight you’re giving me into this stage of life–it makes me go back and reconsider how my parents must have felt when I married and gives me a heads-up for how I will, most likely, be feeling a few decades. The “no longer next of kin” line hit me particularly sharply. Oh, my.

    • Oh, I look back at my parents during the time that I was my children’s ages. I don’t think it was the same, as my parents were never as close to us as we have been to our kids. I think I like it better the way my husband and I have done things, but it makes it harder at this point.

  7. This post really hit home with me because I’ve had similar feelings recently. Only one of my three is married, but two live quite distant. And I feel a certain melancholy.


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