Surprise! All the kids were back on home turf this weekend, unexpectedly for the parental units (as Jess refers to us). This was my view from across the street when I went out for my morning walk.
We knew that Kailyn and Nick would be in town, but they had planned to stay at Nick's folks, as there was a birthday celebration planned for one of Nick's friends this weekend. Thursday evening, while talking with Jess on the phone, she said she wanted to come home to see her sister and brother-in-law. We said, "Sure!"
Jess arrived yesterday about 4:45 from Longview. We chatted a bit, went to dinner and chatted some more. Brandon, her boyfriend, showed up at 7:00, traveling from a work site in Prineville, OR. Kailyn and Nick were enroute from Ellensburg, estimated arrival time about 9:00. They were just going to stop for a brief visit, then go to Nick's folks to sleep in a real bed, as we now have a shortage of guest rooms.
As 9 pm came and went, David decided to head for bed, and I eventually followed. By that time, Jess had received a text from Kailyn that they wouldn't be stopping, and they'd see us later.
At some point, after I'd fallen asleep, Jess came into our room to tell me that Kailyn's Prius warning lights, three of them, had come on. They were waiting for a tow truck near Troutdale. I attempted to go back to sleep.
When I groggily got up this morning to go meet my neighbor for our daily walk, I noticed the blow up queen size mattress was taking up most of the living room floor space. In the early morning light, I could barely make out the shape of two bodies sprawled across it.
I headed for my neighbor's house. Looking back, I noticed the profusion of vehicles in front of our house, and snapped the photo above.
And now, the Toyota dealership has been called. We're waiting for AAA to show up and tow Kailyn's Prius out for repairs. I've offered my Prius for them to use this weekend and drive back to Ellensburg. We still have two other vehicles, so it isn't a big deal.
Eventually, the kids (young adults) were all up, and I made dairy free waffles for the crew. As I sit here, listening (and sometimes contributing) to the playful banter between our daughters and their men, I smile. Despite the rearranging of my schedule for the weekend, my mamma heart is happy.
I have come to cherish these "homecoming" events, that seem to grow further between as the years go by. David and I are quite content in our empty nest, most of the time. We putter inside and out, sometimes together, sometimes on our own. We go to bed, leaving the bedroom door open, so Pepper (my rescue cat) has room to roam. When the girls are home, Pepper is either shut inside, or outside our bedroom. Either way, a closed door somehow irritates her, and she meows and/or scratches to be on the other side - not conducive to a restful night.
Too soon, we are back to just the two of us. Kailyn and Nick have loaded their stuff into my car to follow the tow truck and get a work order started. They will stop back tomorrow, on their way out of town. Jess and Brandon have left in her car to wander around, perhaps hit a few garage sales, and over to REI to spend Brandon's Christmas gift card from us. :) I'm fairly sure they will be back, as they left Brandon's work vehicle parked out front.
Parenting grown children is bittersweet. I love the grown up companionship and conversations about real issues affecting their lives, that in adulthood they willingly share. We have become the nicest of friends with not just the girls, but their men as well. We are grateful and blessed beyond measure.
Yet, sometimes I miss the old days, even the discontented days, when parenting was our full time profession. I walk by pictures on my walls and shelves and remember those honey sweet days of sticky hands and faces, pulling at my clothes and covering me with kisses. Rocking a nursing baby to sleep. The precious gifts of flowers with no stems, "pretty" rocks, and indiscernible drawings. The profusion of a toddler's "I love you, Mommy" repeated a hundred times a day.
Jessica's sweaty arms clutching me for comfort when cursed with night terrors, night after night. Or standing in a steaming bathroom with a croupy baby. Kailyn's stubborn refusal to stay in bed, and me sitting in the hallway outside her bedroom growling, "Get back in bed!" for what seemed like hours, night after night.
Well, some things I don't miss so much!
I have been fortunate in this life to be given more than one chance to raise a family. The first one didn't work out so well. There were a lot of reasons why, probably the biggest being a lack of maturity. In that family, I was the only female, and was mother to my son Chris, and two step-sons. I hear from my step-sons once in awhile, and I'm close to Chris' family, but Chris died a little over ten years ago.
When I met David, he hadn't been married before, and had no children. No one was more surprised than I was when I managed to become the mother of two daughters within a couple years after our marriage. I have been determined to be the best mom I can be, if only to make up for not doing a better job in my first family.
I hadn't considered it before now, but perhaps this is another example of grace, written about here Grace. I have always referred to David as my "knight in shining armor" (or levi's which would be more accurate), as it was with his stalwart support that I put aside the drinking and eventually the smoking that had taken over my life previously. I now think that it was undeserved grace that has given me the life I have today. And I'm utterly grateful for that. While I may not be the weight I wish, (a constant lament it seems!) most of the rest of my world is pretty darn good.
|Indulging me with smiles while out to breakfast a few weeks ago with our "kids".|