Emotions and Regrets

It has been a whirlwind of emotion, beginning last week…

My eldest son graduated High School.  He had his 18th birthday last summer so the “empty nest” syndrome started kicking in last year, but it really hit me last year.

His graduation.

I just can’t believe it.  Last week, I started preparing a slide show to be played during his graduation party.  I was up until about 3am -4am every morning going through pictures of him…. Memories.  Some nights I would just cry myself to sleep thinking about all the memories we have had together.  Sheesh, he is just graduating!  He’s not even moving out (going to a local college)…. But, it was just incredible.  Not only was I looking through pictures of my first born, I was seeing how I grew up WITH him.  I had him at 18 and now my baby is 18!  I don’t think any parent could easily say they have “no regrets”… because I sure do.  I was 18 when I had him… Like I said, I was growing up: I had my “clubbing days”, my “I am just SO tired of being single” days, my “I want to be as good as the other moms” days, my “but…. How???” days.  And through all of that, my son was patient with me.  As he has grown older, there have been times when he has said “mom, that’s not how it’s done” and I listened to him… Because unbeknownst to me, he appointed himself as the man of our house at an early age.

My family flew in from across the country to celebrate with us.  They spent the week with us and it was amazing!  But, my 1-year-old baby was napping as we dropped them off at the airport.  When he woke up, he cried for my sister and I couldn’t help but flash back to the days my older boys cried when family had to fly back home… or when we had to fly home from a visit.  My heart is so sad because of this.  Why do I have to live so far away from my family?  The people who truly care of me and my children.  I tried, oh yes, I tried to move back a few times but there was always a reason to stay.  A job, a house… now being married.  I seem to have signed up for a lifetime of separation from my home… Regrets….

How do you get past your regrets?  I don’t believe anyone (with children) can truly say they have no regrets… can they?  Some decisions I have made affect them.. and there’s nothing they can do about it because they depend on me.  That’s where I’m at today.  I’m not alone, am I?

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I’ll Love You Forever

Ill Love You ForeverI was 17 and pregnant with my eldest son. Yep, I was a baby having a baby.  While I was pregnant, my ex-husband’s mother gave him this book, “I’ll Love You Forever.” Partly for her son, and partly for our new little one.  Back then, I was so bitter and emotionally bruised by my own upbringing that I didn’t quite understand the meaning of this book.  But, last week, my own son turned 17. 

Lord, oh, how the time has passed.

A couple nights ago, I could not sleep.  Thoughts ran through my mind about my 2 teenage boys:

Did I do a good job?

Did I do enough?

Did I give them enough?

Do they feel loved?

Do they know how much I love them?

Wishes…. Regrets…. Fears…

I wish I could give them more…

I wished I hadn’t made some of the decisions I made..

I hope they won’t have to struggle the way I did….

I hope they’ll always know I tried, even when I felt it was impossible. 

I hope they know I always tried to give them what I thought was best, sadly seeing sometimes it didn’t turn out that way.

I’m not even sure if these questions will ever be answered – or if I’d even want to know! But, as my eldest approaches his Junior year of high school, I’ll continue to reflect… I will undoubtedly love them forever….

Firsts

On my way to work this morning, I was in a pre-coffee daze… Not sure if it was a song or a radio deejay, but something got me thinking about “Firsts”.

I’m in my mid-30’s, my skin is not as fresh-looking as it used to be – I’ve started to wear a bit of foundation… my morning and evening routines include about a sitcom’s time to apply the various creams and lotions from head to toes.  Coffee used to be a morning perk-me-up, but has become a “do-not-talk-to-me-before-I-have”… What I’m saying is, firsts are for the younger folk, right???

Obviously, I’ve had my first step, I’m sure it was AMAZING.

I’ve had my first kiss… my first almost-kiss was in the back some folded lunch tables and all my friends gathered around us to witness the event.. but I chickened-out (stage fright?) and ran away… my first kiss was spur of the moment, in the hallway between classes in middle school. Still awkward, but I’ll never forget it.

My first job = McDonalds. I smelled like grease every evening but I had first dibs on the selection of Happy Meal Toys.

But, as time allowed (my commute to work is about 45 min), I started thinking outside the box .. I’ve had some firsts as recent as this year.  My husband and I recently purchased our first bed together – our first big furniture purchase.  I attempted to bake a cake from scratch this year.

We went on a road trip this year – it was my first time taking a trip via “Megabus”.  It was definitely an experience to remember.

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Megabus Tip #1: Bring a Blanket!

Our Megabus trip brought us to New Orleans – another first!

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These Masks were beautiful, ornate… and inexpensive!

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One of many sights to see on the infamous Bourbon Street. Don’t be fooled – she worked that pole better than I could ever attempt!

I’m sure there’s more… but I’m only midway through my first cup of coffee this morning 🙂

That being said – I’m adding a task to my “Empty Nester Bucket List”: Make 2014 a Year of Firsts!  Won’t you add this to your list?  I’d love to know ….What firsts have you experienced recently?

~1Suburbanchic

Holiday Blahs

It’s been a while since I’ve posted…. I’ve truly neglected my blog.  But a lot has happened over the past year – some I just can’t begin to writhe about…. yes, I meant “writhe“…. others I would love to share (and I will make sure to update my Empty Nester’s Bucket List).

So, as far as the good stuff:

Over the summer we took a road trip to New Orleans. It was awesome, fun & exhausting… I MUST write about it before the year ends!

I got promoted in my job! Something I’ve wanted, but didn’t know how to do…

Started a Mary Kay business. Phew, owning a business is Hard Work but surely has it’s rewards!

As far as the writhing, here’s a brief synopsis:

No buns in the oven yet.

Lot’s of difficulties in our marriage – can I call it the Terrible Two’s?

And, ’tis the season for the Holiday Blahs…..

I know for sure I’m not the only one who experiences holiday blues.  And everyone has their own reason why…. this is my reason.  Not sure if I’ve written before that I moved across the country at the age of 19.  With my (ex)-husband, and 2 babies.  But, let me just go back in some history – after all, this is my blog, and I’ve committed to be entirely transparent in my writing. When I was about 6 or 7, I was in love with my Dad.  As any youngest daughter, I was completely fascinated with my dad, I wanted to be an engineer like him, “we” had a song (“It Might Be You” from Tootsie), “we” had a favorite restaurant (Arby’s)..the list goes on.  I was truly a Daddy’s Girl.  And to this day I can still remember as vividly as it was yesterday, my dad bringing me to the Seattle Center to walk around and pick up fall leaves… we put the leaves in a photo album (the kind where you peel off the top layer of plastic, then place the photos on the sticky side of the page).. that dreaded day.. my Daddy told me he was moving away and I was not going with him.  My parents were not getting divorced. And looking back, I’ve wondered if it was just the times that kept them together. The word “divorce” was still taboo. But, all I knew was that my Daddy was moving away. I recall the night my dad left, I ran under the kitchen table and cried my eyes out and my mom yelled at me to stop crying. It was the hardest time of my life. Months passed and the times my dad came home were for maybe an evening and I didn’t get to see him.  He spent the time with my mom..then left early the next morning. Not sure how long my dad was gone (2, 3, 4, 5 years??) Not sure… but it seemed like an eternity but he came back… and then he left again… and then he came back. My mom tried her best to take care of my sisters and me.  But I didn’t know any better, she wasn’t very affectionate, so I looked to my friends to “get away” from the home I loathed so much.  By then – my teenage years – I grew to push people away. Especially my dad.  And especially the people I loved the most.

A couple years after I graduated high school, my (ex) husband and I decided to move across the country. At that time, I was done with Seattle.  My family back home meant nothing to me… as I thought I meant nothing to them.  But, now, 15 years later, they mean everything to me… and I still mean nothing to them. I call, text, email, connect on Facebook.  But get little response. I try to send gifts, but get little response.  What I have done and said to push my family away …worked.  So, the holidays are the hardest for me.  It starts with my mom, nephew, & sisters’ birthdays all wrapped up into the fall season.  Then as the holidays roll around, I get to see pictures of their get-togethers and family events posted online.

While I get to enjoy my own family of 4, it is most difficult to get into the holiday spirit… Outwardly, I decorate the house, cook the big meals, take lots of pictures.. but inwardly, I want to sleep the winter away…  I pray to God who mends all broken people to heal me and my relationship with my family.

If you, too, have the holiday blues.. I pray that you find those who love you and hold them close.. and if you find no one – seek them.  Seek a church, a network of people, a meetup group, get connected.. WE will get through this..

Slacker

I’ve been neglecting my blog…  In my head, not so much. I’ve had things I’ve wanted to write about almost every day.  But, time flies so fast and now it’s been 4 months since my last post and I have so much to say!  In 4 months:

Infertility: We have tried.  I took the last round of fertility meds I stored in my closet from before our hiatus in September.  Needless to say, no news to report.  We are still trying, naturally.

Empty Nest Bucket List:  I’d like to report some progress in this area! I have a lot of updates to my bucket list… and a family road trip coming up.  More to write!

Newlywed/Marriage:  Yesterday, June 23rd, was our 2-Year Wedding Anniversary!  I give all long-term married couples HUGE kudos and welcome ANY marriage advice you can give.  Year 1 was very difficult… and Year 2 was hard work!  I can say that our love for each other is stronger.  But I am gearing myself up for Year 3… let the battle (for a love-filled lasting marriage) begin!

I promise myself I will write more this week, lots to say and lots to read… can’t wait to catch up on with my fellow bloggers.

E.N. Bucket List #14: Road Trip

Ahhhh…. It has been another great weekend! Along with all the chaos and GPS recalculations, this weekend could not be more perfect.  My best friend graduated from college yesterday and it was a wonderful excuse to take a road trip.  For over a month, I have planned a no-rules weekend for my son, but who knew how much fun that would be for me!

For instance, the “no-rules” Bacon Sundae from Burger King.  Yep, I actually ate this entire sundae and it was AWESOME.  My son ate it like he was starved – it was gone in 2 minutes flat.  This was at a stop in Ocala.  I asked the cashier what city we were in and she had to ask her manager.  Hmmmm…. shouldn’t she know what city she works in?? But anyway, it might have been a delirious trance from the Almighty Bacon Sundae.

Burger King Bacon Sundae… it really does exist!

In Columbus, we got to see my friend graduate which I have to admit I was a little more emotional than the Graduate herself.  But we have known each other through the ups and the (very bottom) downs.  I was just so proud of her.  Ok stop me before I start crying again!

Graduation Ceremony, Columbus GA

After the graduation, we stopped by a mall in Atlanta to do a little shopping, then I took my son to Dave & Busters.  (GPS Tip: GPS addresses are not always accurate! If you don’t know the area very well, look up the location address on the internet first, then type the address into the device.) It took 3 tries and 40 minutes to get to the Dave & Busters that we realized was 3 miles away from our original location. Needless to say, I took a short nap while he played and came back to the car with this:

The rubber chicken? No….he brought that with him from home.  He won the light up green glasses, along with light up white glasses, and a pack of basketball cards at Dave & Busters.  We hung out the rest of the evening with my friend and her family, then headed home early this morning.

Since the rental car did not come with Satellite Radio, we plugged in his iPod: The Beatles Greatest Hits.  Friends, we listened to the Beatles during our WHOLE road trip.  (and yet I still can not explain the meaning of the Yellow Submarine)

A couple other highlights from our road trip:

We kept seeing these big wheat-looking plants all over the Georgia Interstate.  To me, they looked like huge allergy bushes. I googled “wheat bushes Georgia Interstate” and “grass bushes Georgia Interstate” and could not figure out what type of plant they are.  Definitely beautiful, but not too sure if I want to get too close to them and break out into a sneezing fit!

My son’s #1 goal was to find a Firework Stand and not just any stand would do.  If it’s connected to a Pecan Stand, he would not even waste his time, he envisioned a Firework warehouse.  And thank goodness, we found a store called Ceremonial Fireworks in a city called Micanopy (Mi-can-O-pee, he said it is NOT prounounced “my-canopy”).  In this picture, my son is happily holding his Waterproof Fireworks.  Might I add, he held these in his lap the rest of the way home, and excitedly blew up my leftover breakfast burrito in a metal bucket later in the evening….. Boys.

This trip was absolutely a treat for me!  And though hubby and my younger son could not come with us, they had a blast at my son’s football game then going to the Tampa Bay Bucs game (looking good, by the way).  Dad & son time was truly needed as well.

By the way, in preparation for my road trip with my elder son, I took the ‘Baby’ (my 13-year old) to Disney World’s Hollywood Studios last weekend.  So, I leave you with this:

Can You Find The Hidden Mickey?

Can you find the Hidden Mickey?  The cool thing about Disney World is that they hide Mickey Mouse profiles all over the parks & resorts.  This is at the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater at Hollywood Studios. (Hint: Relax your eyes and focus on the yellow tiles)  😉 Enjoy!

#14 of my Empty Nester Bucket List = Road Trip DONE!

Dinner in Bed

Today was a long day.. it might as well have been Monday.  My eldest son just came home from College Night at school.  I could not participate because my younger son had football practice and hubby had to work (woo hoo for the new job!).  Thankfully my neighbor took him as her son attends the same school.  I was already in bed with my dinner: hummus and pita chips

Pita Chips and Garlic Hummus

I got up to greet him and noticed he was looking up a college in my hometown (across the country).  I felt I handled it pretty well, asking him if he plans to go there.  I had no argument since it is the college I’d planned to attend as a child. I listened to him talk about how his friend is from Seattle as well and how they both want to go to “U-dub”.

But these feelings I hate revisiting start bubbling up… my babies.. at this time, my only children.. May be leaving one day.  I have to think, if they planned to go away to a local college, would I be feeling this type of anxiety?  Probably so.  Maybe not at the same level but as a single mother for several years, they were my Only family here on the East Coast.

I had a great conversation a couple weeks ago with my “fertility counselor”.  She said, “if I tell you to stop getting dressed now what would you say?” (don’t worry this will make sense in a second) I responded, “I can’t I’m already dressed.”  She said, “ok, now what if I tell you to stop eating dinner?” Politely, I responded, “It’s not even dinner time yet.” Then she put it all together and reiterated what my son told me (in a previous post).  The past is the past, and the future is going to happen eventually but right now neither one exists.

So right now, I’m going to go to sleep and tomorrow morning I’m most likely going to take my son to school… then work, then pick up my son from the Fall Dance, then make dinner, then probably sit in bed with hummus and pita chips till I’m done watching my DVR, then go to sleep and start the next day all over again.

Sweet dreams 🙂