Empty Nest

The Mighty Mouse is gone again and 23 we are now three-quarters of the way through paying for college tuition. That is, she’s starting the third and last quarter of her sophomore year. Yes, Kalamazoo is on a quarter system. Not *all* colleges do the semester thing, for those who seem perpetually confused when I say that she doesn’t get out of school until mid-June. I don’t really know why Kalamazoo uses the quarter system but my own personal pet theory is that it works well with the study abroad program. Most students go on study abroad for the first six months or so of their junior year. They come back to the snakes in about February, get a little chance to re-acclimate, and then return to school for the spring quarter.

I am usually pretty cavalier about the empty nest but I’m feeling a bit melancholy today. It isn’t exactly that I wish my kids were home. I’m happy that they are where they are, doing what they’re doing. It shows that somehow they managed to survive whatever panicky parent type nonsense I tried to jam into their heads. And here they are on the left coast 🙂

I miss the old days. Wheeling my babies to the neighborhood playgrounds in strollers and later on, trikes and then bikes. And memories:

  • When Elizabeth was 18 months old, she insisted on making a solo climb all the way up to the top — well above my reach — of the old tire structure at Haisley and back down. Happily pooping the whole time, as I found out soon enough. (Hope that was okay to post.) And that old structure was torn down long ago. Old tires are hazardous, don’tcha know.
  • Elizabeth was about that same age when she insisted on going down the big curly slide at the Yellow Slide Playground by herself. The third time she tried this, she got turned around somehow and came down head first. Fortunately, I was there to catch her.
  • Hot summer nights when we would bike to the Yellow or Red Slide Playground and then have bathtime in the plastic swimming pool in the back yard.
  • Dinosaurs poop in the grass.
  • A summer evening when we were walking to the schoolyard and the beach urchins ran into each other, fell down, started crying and I had to pick *both* of them up and carry them.
  • All the years I read out loud to the beach urchins while they were eating breakfast. And many other times of the day and night. To those guilt-inducing “experts” who say, “read to your kindergartner one half hour a day,” all I’ve got to say is, “how do you manage to get your kid to let you *stop* reading after a half hour?”
  • The time that Mouse was nine or ten and home alone for about a half hour while I was at a school meeting. When I got home, she was standing at the top of the basement stairs with Froggy, trying to work up her courage to go down there and get something. Grok grok. Mouse wudda ben safe with me down in that ol’ dunjin. Grok grok.
  • The time (only time ever) that Mouse came home from school crying her eyes out. What on earth had happened? She had made some “cute” snowballs at recess and couldn’t bear to leave them there alone. I saddled up Sugar and we went over and retrieved them and they melted safely in our front yard.
  • The time Elizabeth and Grandroobly were on a little expotition with Liz on her tricycle and Grandroobly walking along behind. He needed to spit, so he did and Liz told him in no uncertain terms, “Don’t spit!” The next time he needed to spit, he got far enough behind her that he didn’t think she’d notice him spitting. No such luck! “Don’t spit!” Without even turning around to look at him.
  • The time when Mouse was about two and very deliberately chose a pair of Mrs. Potato glasses as part of her outfit for a trip downtown and also chose to wear them upside down.
  • I’d tell about the neon green dress and matching fangs but I know I’d get in trouble. Actually, I guess I probably just did tell about it. Grok grok grok. Duck ‘n’ run, Ol’ Baggy. Grok grok.

I could go on and on but I won’t. And, to all you well-wishers who think I need a dog or cat or guinea pig. Please. I love aminals but I do not need any of those beasts. I will just try to muddle along on my neverending difficult quest to find a new place for myself in the world. Grok grok GROK! Anyway, Ol’ Baggy already has a nice, beeyootiful, green FROG!! grokgrok frgok GROK!

Of course, I wrote most of this post earlier this afternoon and I was thinking it might be a little morose but then I thought, “I’ll feel better after I take my walk!” And I took my walk and guess what? I do feel better. Cheers! grok grok grok!

4 Responses to “Empty Nest”

  1. Webmomster Says:

    While I *approach* the “empty nest season” coming up Fall 2007, I still have two Beasts who somehow continue to find ways to remind me of what I *don’t* miss about little kids:

    muddy feet … muddy floors … pee everywhere (I am DONE with male dogs after these guyz are gone! Females are much less likely to vie for leadership in THAT manner – hm, now I know where the term “pissing contest” originates!!) … wild play INDOORS (yeah, you guyz demo’d that in Planet A2 last weekend!!) … toyz all over the place, including forgotten outdoors in the muddy yard … etc.

  2. kate Says:

    I’d offer you some visits with my “townie” college student, but I hardly every see her myself. Of course, I do sometimes when she has a laundry
    emergency-although she often does that when I’m out of town. It’s been an adjustment over the past couple of years not hearing the door open followed by a “Quack” : )

  3. kate Says:

    Oh, and we shouldn’t forget the time that Mouse and Goose (then known solely as Meaghan) were new friends and stayed out after dark. What a way for us to meet eachother! Meg still gets upset when I remind her of that evening. haha!

  4. kayak woman Says:

    Wow! She gets upset? I was laughing about that *very* shortly after the fact. I still remember being nervous about calling you to ask if you’d seen them, thinking that you’d think I was a terrible mother who couldn’t keep track of her kids! 🙂 🙂 🙂