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Last Christmas?

Last Christmas?

I’ve spoken of this before – the inevitable severing of all that has been constant and comfortable and traditional.

My boy is in love. My boy will be turning 20 in a few months.

My boy is movin’ on from me.


We spent the first holiday apart this year on Thanksgiving.

I try to remember how it felt when I was 19 and in love. It was amazing – and I was full of hope and so sure they were my ‘forever’ partner.

All I thought about was the person I was ‘in love with’ when I was in my early twenties.

And that’s nature folks.

We split away from our family and venture off to experience life on our own and ‘go forth and multiply’.

I think it has to be a little easier to come to terms with this when you have a partner that remains?

I don’t know that to be true, because I am not in that situation.

I can tell you what it feels like for me.

As a single parent – having spent the last 19 years with one person. A person once so tiny and dependent – a person who grew before my eyes and in my heart.

I’m going to say it: It hurts that I’m not the love of his life anymore.

And I know that’s silly, and I know that’s selfish – but it’s how I feel.

He’s been bringing gifts home for a couple of months now, for his girlfriend. Planning and carefully choosing what he knows she’ll love.

I love that he’s so thoughtful.

But I feel like so suddenly, I was pushed aside.

And it’s normal!

And it’s natural!

And it’s necessary!




The best I can hope for going forward is to be included in some way in his life.

I’m never going to be #1 again. That’s just a fact.

When he’s hurting, physically or emotionally, he’ll be turning to his love for comfort.

When he has exciting news to share, I won’t be the first to hear it.

I try to put a positive spin on things … like, maybe I had something to do with how much love he has to offer someone.

Maybe I showed him how to treat someone he cares for?

But in all truthfulness – the main feeling I’m having is that I miss him. Because even when we’re together at home, we’re not.

His thoughts are elsewhere.

Even when we’re spending time together we’re not, because he’s responding to the ‘BING!’ of an instant message.

In so many ways he’s already gone. Even if we do still share the same roof some of the time.

And I know I must accept this.

And I know this is how life needs to be.

And knowing all of this doesn’t make the fact that this could very well be the last Christmas I spend with my ‘boy’ any easier.

He’s my favorite person in the whole wide world – and always will be.

Merry Christmas to my bird – I know you have to spread your wings – and I know you’ll find a way to soar!

Just don’t forget I’ll always have a little spot in the nest for you. x

empty nest

Thanksgiving 2013 album

My favorite part of the day wasn’t the food (although, the food was amazing) it wasn’t the football (especially since the Packers lost ARG!) it wasn’t driving home and seeing Christmas lights …

My favorite part of the day, wasn’t even eating a spoonful of freshly whipped cream.

It was sitting across from my son at a table of six, making eye contact with him and getting the giggles.  No words were exchanged, they weren’t needed – and we sat trying hard not to laugh as we shared a private joke.

It proved to be impossible and Nicholas ended up leaving the table before he completely lost it.

We laugh … A LOT! Just moments ago – we hugged and I told him “I love you – I’m thankful for you. ”

I’m so blessed to have such a strong connection with my son.  Having spent so much time together alone (that didn’t sound right to me the first time I said it either) we have a bond that is unbreakable.

Hope all who celebrated Thanksgiving and Hanukkah today had many moments that made them smile – and many things to be grateful for.

Here is a sampling of our day.


Pre-dinner silly poses.  I pointed out the sticky-up-hair after the pic 😉


Still unfed – but full of happy


The table – pre-food laden


Visited by my moms dog – Meesha


Went outside to escape the smell of the cooking food – Nic caught a candid moment

image Now I’m just really restless and messing around



I had no room for dessert – except for that spoonful of whipped cream. 😉

Tomorrow – we’ll recover from a week of food debauchery – no black Friday for us.

If you plan on going – be careful out there!

These dreams … (and dreams we have for others)


Last night I dreamed my mother was pregnant.  The shock that she was carrying a child at her age gave way to wonder.  I felt a sense of peace and safety and excitement.

I was in the hospital with her, for a check up or perhaps because the time was close to meet the little one?

I looked at her swollen belly and then into her eyes.  She was smiling in a tired yet calm way, and had some bad news.

The baby wasn’t going to make it.

It wasn’t long after that ‘scene’ when we were in a gymnasium, and she was finalizing plans with a score keeper to try again.  I didn’t even question why he would be the father.  It just seemed like a business transaction.

I noticed my mom online this morning and told her: “I dreamed you were pregnant.” She responded “We weren’t going to tell anyone just yet.”

That made me smile.

I am fortunate to have a mother with a sense of humor.

I researched the symbology of seeing someone pregnant.  It said: “To dream someone else is pregnant indicates that you are experiencing a closer connection to this person.”


So what did they say it meant to lose the baby?

“Suggests that some idea or plan did not go as expected.  The dream may also serve as a warning against your continued course of action.  You need to alter your path or risk losing something of significance and value to you.”

Hmmmm ….

I have my own theory.

I’m ashamed to admit, I’ve had some resentment lately.

Nicholas returned from England and the next step was to enroll in college and look for his first job.

I stand by my theory that no one can want anything FOR you.  While you can suggest, encourage and support, you can’t want someone into doing something.

Of course I’ve discussed school with Nic.  But in my opinion, unless it’s something he wants for himself, he won’t put in the work.

I planted seeds and offered ideas and hoped to see him decide to take that path on his own.  For him to make the effort to look into how to make it happen.

And he has.

Yesterday he went to the college and in the evening, we pushed “Submit” on his student aid application.

My resentment comes from the fact that every conversation I’ve had with my mother lately includes her telling me what Nic has to do.

As if I’ve been dropping the ball on the whole ‘raising your child’ thing.

“He needs to go speak to a counselor at the college.” “He needs to apply for jobs.”

I think a part of me feels like she doesn’t trust my mothering.

I felt talked down to,  like a little girl being given directions because she couldn’t figure it out on her own.

And the feeling returned that Nicholas is not mine, but hers.

I sat in that feeling and it wasn’t comfortable.

So I shifted my thoughts and my position.

Nicholas isn’t mine.  He does not belong to anyone. “God doesn’t have grandchildren” came to mind.

I considered that I’m fortunate to have others love and care about my son.  The directions come from a well intended place.


I have to take myself and my pride out of the equation – because it’s not about me.

I don’t know what it’s like to be a grandmother.  I can only imagine.  I imagine it’s indescribably amazing.

The love I have for my son is the most honest and pure and complete love I’ve known.  So to one day, perhaps, hold his child?  My eyes are watering just imagining it.


And I’ll want the best for his son or daughter.  And if I’m fortunate enough to be there and to know my grandchild – I’m sure I’ll offer Nic advice.

But I trust the person that he is – even now.  I know his values and his heart.  I know that he will be an incredible father one day.

Mothers Day edition of ‘Musings from the laundromat’

Feeling a little guilty about being here.  They’re closing early for Mothers Day.

I get the same feeling when I pop into a shop on any other holiday and they’re open. :/

I’m sure when I walked in the lady behind the counter was thinking “Oh, great.”  They close in 50 minutes.  I can be outta here by then.

So, Happy Mothers Day! My morning started (after being up with Butters at 5 am) being late up.  I actually crashed out after crawling back into bed and didn’t wake up until almost 9!  Unheard of for me – delightful.

Although, I had planned to be here by 8 am – then I could have avoided the awkward early close predicament.

My son had a surprise outing planned.  We were to leave at 10:45.  What to wear?  His response: Formal casual.  (Note to self: Explain dress codes to Nic.)

Pulling up to the laundromat, my car advised me that it was 110 degrees out, so you can imagine that my attire was more casual than formal.

Here we are driving there.  Yeah, I know, bad influence.  Taking photos while he’s driving.  (ooo!  By the way – I think this was the first time as a passenger I didn’t freak out and actually enjoyed the scenery!  He’s a LOT better driver now.) Here’s me enjoying the scenery: image I didn’t know where we were going – but I knew food was involved.  I’m ok with being fed. 🙂 So we arrived – which of course, means more photo ops. image   image     The restaurant is really lovely and does a great brunch.  I’ll withhold the name but here’s some inside pics: image image     image

That’s the decor, and yes, I did have to take a photo of the golden toilet plumbing and seat cover dispenser. LOL!


This was my first plate … Also had, um, 3 or 4 desserts 🙂


See, I still participate in debauchery.  There were so many to choose from!  How could I not sample them all??  I would have hurt a desserts feelings.

Thank you Nic for planning such a lovely surprise. x

So I’m here … clothes in the dryer and really only wanting to nap off some of that food.  But, due to work circumstances right now, my plan B of going afterwards tomorrow didn’t seem like a good idea.

While we’re on the topic of mothers – the man I process for and assist is going through a very tough time with his mom right now.

I’ve been holding down the fort while his mom is dying.  😦

Friday I spoke to a Father (Priest? Vicar? Deacon?) who was trying to get a hold of him.  It’s been a tough few weeks with false alarms, last rites and emotions riding high.  However, Friday his mom was unresponsive.  I don’t know what to say.  If he was a woman, I could hug him – listen to him.  But, he’s a pretty stoic, logical man.  All I can offer is making sure things at work are running smoothly by stepping up to the proverbial plate.

So to end this edition – let me just say to my mom – I’m glad you were born, glad that you’re here and Happy Mothers Day.  I had a lovely day with you.  Love you, ‘Mand. xxxxx

image image

Happy Birthday Nicholas

“Twenty years is, after all, a long time.  We are not the same people we were.  Old friends, lovers, even family members; they are strangers who happen to wear a familiar face.  We have no right to claim to know anyone after such a distance …” – Graham Joyce from Some Kind of Fairy Tale

But I do know my son.  There has been no distance. 

I’ve had some people say to me, “Let him grow up!” As if I haven’t been.  Or, “Get your own life” as if I haven’t had one.  

Yet, if they found themselves before someone who was suddenly without their partner after 18 years of a constant shared life – would those be the same sentiments offered?  “Let them go!”  “Get your own life now!”

I would hope not.

Even someone who just lost their pet after so much time would be treated kinder than that. 

I know I am not losing my son – but this is the beginning of the end of how things have been for many, many years.  And before long, I won’t have the right to say I know him.  Not the way I do now. 

And that’s as it should be.  I know this.  I am not stupid.

He was never mine, after all, I merely had the honor of raising him for the world.

I’ve made a lot of mistakes.  But I can with utmost certainty look back at my life and my son will never have been one of them.

It has just been he and I for most of these 18 years.  And he was my life.  Shouldn’t a child be a parents number one priority? 

Not putting myself first led me to a happier heart and a wiser soul.  I’ll never understand why some children are born into the world to be tolerated and not adored. 

Nic was my purpose.  And being his mom is my pleasure, not some thief of my own time.  

From the moment I felt him kick and hiccup – I loved my baby.  I did not want to know the sex. Upon hearing “It’s a son” in the hospital room, March 31st, 1995, I became Nicholas Avery Charles’ mother. 

What an amazing experience it’s been! 

I remember when I was little wanting to be an archeologist – perhaps a teacher – a writer – a rock star?  My interests changed as I grew, but the one constant was knowing I wanted to be somebody’s mom.

This is so hard! My sixth attempt at this post.  I haven’t been able to find the right words! 

I so wanted this to be the post I look back on as my best.  I am writing this to the most important person in my life after all.

I tried just typing, but got so caught up in memories I couldn’t do them justice.

Weighed the options of humor or  taking the mushy route and waxing poetic …

Then while reading, the quote I opened with sent me back to the computer.

So, let’s begin.

Nicholas Avery Charles – today you are 18.

You’re on the precipice of something great.  You’ll make your way and your own decisions – but you’ll never be alone.  I will always be here for you. 

I will never stop being your mom.

Never stop wishing the best for you.

Never stop supporting your dreams and goals. 

I love you so very much bird.

I’ll try really hard NOT to use the following sentence: “If you want to be treated like an adult, you had better start acting like one!”  I hated that. 

You don’t suddenly go to bed 17, liking video games, anime and being catered to then wake up 18 with brand new interests and a sudden overnight maturity. 

I want to tell you Thank you.  Because what you’ve given me just by existing is the largest love I’ve ever known and the most educational experience I’ve ever had, and the strongest bond I’ve ever had with another human being.

Thank you for being my memories, my todays and my hope for the future.  I look at you and know that the world will be just fine with people like you in it.

I hope you enjoy the rest of your teens – it’s so odd isn’t it?  Technically an adult, still a teenager.  It’s hard to know what is expected of you.  Well, I personally expect nothing of you.  You are right where you are supposed to be, being just who you are meant to be. 

There is no right way to be 18. 

Make some memories, dream and try not to do anything you’ll wish you could erase upon looking back.

Read books.

Listen to your heart.

Expand your mind.

Have compassion and try not to judge.

Smile and know, you are enough.

Because you are – and you always have been.











And hey …  1,2,3’s and I know you’re not 15 … but I hear this song and think of you.  Love you so very very very very much.  – Mom. xxxxx