Monday, December 29, 2008

Here And Gone

Our kids were here.

There's something so undeniably mature about that sentence.

"Our" being an operative word, in that Eric and I both have daughters, meaning we both have at this point full and lengthy pasts.

"Kids" is what I kept referring to them as. First jokingly, then not so. We were, after all, the oldest people in the house. So what does that make us?

"Were" in that they have lives of their own, and other places to go back to.

"Here" as we thankfully have somewhere they can come to.

It was like a miracle, having them visit, because we actually ate meals at the table, went on outings, and got to bed before midnight (one night, anyway) for the first time in months. We were transformed into grownups, and it was lovely. We got groceries, doled out advice, and a little bit of money, but how can it ever be enough? I've fought being an adult for years, but having a nearly grown up child makes it not the drag I thought it would be.

I thought it meant ordering sweat pants and turtlenecks from the Lands End catalog. And sitting in those chairs with footrests attached. Knowing all kinds of recipes. Paying more attention to window treatments. With possibly a little light shoplifting thrown in.

I didn't know that those almost impossibly joyful moments you get sometimes with your child could increase in proportion to the years and experiences they have in this world. At the same time, the stress of wanting everything to turn out right for them is almost unbearable at times.

But overall there is so much to enjoy with a grown up kid. Seeing what she wears, hearing what she thinks, about anything. Just being around her. With Eric's daughter too, and her boyfriend. Youth is all it's cracked up to be, isn't it, even if it is someone else's job now. I am definitely in transition - I think the best thing to aspire to at this point is crone-dom. At least then I'll have some helpful insights to offer.

So now it's back to eating whatever, wherever and Play Misty For Me at 2 AM. But if the occasion arrives I know we can crank up that maturity machine, like a time machine in reverse, that puts us in some temporary position of wisdom and authority. Then, when the kids leave, it's back to being clueless as usual.


KudzuCarl said...

Our three sons, two daughters-in-law, and two granddaughters were all here for Christmas. It's still amazing to me that I can feel so young (most of the time) and still feel such satisfaction from being "Dad" and "Papa". And grandchildren are a really special blessing. Something for both of you to look forward to. Merry Christmas, and best wishes for a safe and prosperous 2009.

Mitch F said...

I found this particular entry really, really touching, and just as funny. Have you ever considered the idea of writing your own autobiography of sorts? Of the sort that Eric's occupies -- a reflection back on a significant but underappreciated career in the music business . . . so far.
It could be like the sister companion to his manly older brother volume. Not a sequel, not a prequel, more like a parallequel.

Happy New Ear,

halfpear said...

Thanks Amy, that was great. We had Miranda for a big six days this Christmas, and it was sweet. She's grown up so beautifully (all of fifteen, but that seems grown up) and I'm mesmerized by listening to her opine. Time passed way too fast as usual, and now she's gone back to NO, planning her driver's ed and immersing herself in her new guitar. I get to linger with the visit's memories, and that's cool, too.

(By the way, you can aspire to crone-dom, just don't aspire to chrome-dome like me!)

Happy New Year to you and Eric and hope we see you again soon.

Lotsa love,

amy said...

Gosh Carl, I didn't realize you were a grandfather! thanks and same to you and all your gang.

Mitch I appreciate the encouragement. I really admire Eric's writing and think it's a huge accomplishment to write a book. I'm going to keep at it for sure.

How amazing that Miranda is fifteen by now Peter, and driving soon. I'm so glad you got have her with you at Christmas. Miss that chrome-dome of yours, can't wait for your next Times blog in the meanwhile!

Non, Je ne regrette rien said...

you've got 20+ years to crone-dom, Madame ... knock it off! did you get a haircut? glad you enjoyed the kids ... but we can be fabulous at 50 ... in a non-haggish way! xx

Steve Simmons said...

Heh. My experience is almost the opposite of yours. After 20-odd years of being a good example, I'm once again drinking and singing all night and looting and pillaging and so forth. It's kind of liberating.

I hear ya about "...the stress of wanting everything to turn out right for them...". God knows that'll probably never stop. My parents still try to run it on me, so I keep that in mind and try to keep my mouth shut. That just makes it all the harder, tho.