Empty the Nest?

How long do I tend the nest for a child who has already flown?

Here I sit, feeling like the worst mother in the world, right now. Tears pooling in my eyes as I type this, because I told OnlySon that I am planning on leaving North Dakota in a year, and he’s angry, albeit trying not to show it. 

He wants everything to remain the same forever, but that can’t happen. Life stagnates if left to sit too long with no forward motion.

And I have been sitting still for many years now, waiting for something to change.

I’m not happy here, anymore.

Too many heartaches and heartbreaks.

Not enough reasons to look forward to getting out of bed every morning.

So, why should I stay?

For a son who has moved in with his father & is now going to be starting a new life of his own, getting a job, being busy with that & dropping by when he needs a shower or to pick up something else I’m storing in my basement or his bedroom?

For a job, which, yes, I enjoy my work – but, let’s face facts, isn’t a life?

Let’s see… Hmm…

What else does North Dakota have to offer me?

Two ex- husbands, one within city limits, and the other an hour away… No, that’s OK.

I’ll pass.

No one has been able to come up with a compelling, or even logical, reason why I should stay beyond my timeline.

I can’t live for my children’s benefit forever. There comes a time when they have to spread their own wings and leave the nest.

This is the way of life.

Why should I stay?

Tell me. When I feel as though there’s nothing left here for me…

Why?

Commencement

OnlySon has graduated.

It was a fairly quick ceremony, compared to both of my daughters’, inexplicably, as the class sizes were comparable, but for whatever reason, it went easier. Which was alright with me.

I teared up a couple of times, when they first walked up, realizing that this was my youngest, my baby…and he was now old enough to claim his high school diploma & entry into adulthood…leaving childhood behind.

And when he stood in line to await that diploma, that final walk before he left his mother’s care, and her home, to venture into the wide, wild world as his own man.

A Man in Motion.

He was not to be stopped.

With a grin on his face, he kept going…leaving me to find my own way from here on out.

Learning the Dark

This is a difficult post to begin, so I’m just going to dive right into the middle, and work my way out to the edges from there.

The Morrigan works from the gut, most of the time, anyway. She is instinct & courage. Passion and fire and fury.

I’m learning to listen, here, to what She has to say, because I’m in the middle of a battle…and I need all the help I can get right now.

And being told that my emotions, at least the “darker” ones, need to be abandoned, given up, let go… 

Is bullshit.

I used to repress my emotions.

I used to tamp them down, pushing them into smaller & smaller spaces, because they were deemed “unacceptable”, “socially abnormal” and just plain “dark, morbid, negative & wrong”. 

Until, of course, I’d explode, sending my anger, darkness, whatever you want to call it, by this time magnified exponentially, onto whomever was closest to me at the time, whether they deserved it or not.

I was Vesuvius.

I was Krakatoa.

I was Pele.

I was fire and ash and death, burning the air, scorching oxygen from others’ lungs and melting the ground out from under their stance. 

And, when I was finished, I would feel horrible over the destruction I’d caused, but would have no idea how to fix it, so would run away…leaving the wreckage behind.

So, I grew up.

Learned how to express myself better, with more clarity. (For the most part) Yes, sometimes I still fall down the verbal well when it comes to expressing my feelings to someone, especially someone who knows me from my past, because they have access to those emotional buttons (triggers) that caused me to go off “back then”. 

Started blogging, which really does help me figure out my emotions, & how to verbalize them.

But, back to the darkness.

I…am not a sunshiney kind of person. I’m not a hippie, or a bohemian. I’m not a cheerleader or perky pixie type. (Factoid -I tried my hand at cheerleading in high school, but even to this day, people don’t believe me, & need photographic proof)

If I weren’t almost 47 years old, I’d say I was closer to a Goth or Emo kid, or at least on that end of the spectrum, because of the way I think, speak, act, dress, blah, blah. 

Hell, I’ve said it before, in relation to my poetry… “I was Emo before it was a style”.

I wear black, pretty much all the time.

Not because it’s slimming, but because it helps me blend in to shadows better, and, as I’ve said before “It goes better with my soul”.

I laugh at morbid jokes.

I don’t get scared watching “scary” movies, but instead critique the special effects techniques, laugh at the stupid dialogue, & make fun of the plot choices.

I prefer to sit in the dark, rather than turn on a light.

I sit up late at night, and hate early mornings.

I detest early morning chatter at work, and do everything I can to avoid it.

I need my dark side.

After all…

You cannot see and know the light unless you sit first and accept the darkness.

Morrigan came to me at this time of my life for a reason.

She knows I need my darkness.

She is the Queen there, & can help me navigate my way far better than some of the lighter Goddesses. 

This is not going to be an easy battle.

My darkness is the only thing holding me together right now.

Don’t touch.

I Am Not… I Am…

I am not a hand-covered giggle…

I am a low, husky, evil-coated chuckle.

I am not a soft-petaled rose, dainty & fragrant.

I am a dandelion, feral, rugged, considered by some a weed, by some a flower, & by some just a pest. But I am nearly impossible to eradicate, have a zillion purposes & manage to find ways to pop up everywhere I want to, & some places that seem impossible. I am ninja that way.

I am not a 4-star restaurant, catering to the rich & famous, with French cuisine, linen napkins & tiny servings of impossible to pronounce foods.

I am a Mom&Pop diner, serving comfort food, barely making ends meet, serving meals to homeless folks on a picnic table out back when I get a free minute, because I can’t stand to see hungry faces.

I am not an average day at the beach. (ha-ask around, the laughter will tell you)

I am a slow wander through a darkened forest, with a very high chance of getting lost, because there is no path to follow. But then…there are all those interesting places to find, too…

I am not a light beer to be chugged, because you want to finally get to second base with that blonde…

I am that dark, smoky bourbon you’ve been dying to sip, slowly, decadently, all evening, next to the fire.

I am not a coy, flirtatious sidelong glance, eyes lowered quickly away…

I am the frank appraisal, genuine appreciation and eyebrow lifted. 

I am not water-cooler small talk, or office gossip.

I am the thoughtful pause before the insight.

I am not a young thing, any longer, but that does not preclude me from being vital.

I am deeper, richer, far more now than I ever was back then.

I contain multitudes, universes, infinities, within me now, that did not exist then.

I am so much more than I was…

You should see me now…..

But you won’t

Because you have your eyes closed.

Exit Strategy

Graduation approaches swiftly, & I’m heavily in planning mode.

OnlySon has his cap & gown, & is eagerly awaiting the day he can kick high school to the curb.

He has requested Texas chocolate cake (a much-beloved recipe of our family’s) for his graduation party, which will be held at my house after the ceremony.

And…it’s going to be a joint party for my son…with his father, my ex-husband.

I know the ex really only wants to do a joint party because he doesn’t want to be bothered with having to plan a party, buy the supplies, host the damned thing, clean up afterwards, yadda, yadda, yadda… It’s always been his MO, to make me do all the work when it came to this sort of thing, while taking a share of the credit. Asshat. 

He says he’s bringing a second cake (he works as a baker at a grocery store here in town, so OnlySon requesting a homemade scratch recipe has wounded his pride, I’m sure), but I know his family… I’m making 2 of my cakes, just to make sure there’s some left for my family.

All the while, my anxiety has me in heavy emergency exit-strategy mode.

Except…

How do you get away from someone when they’re at your home? And they bring their family with them? Their very loud, very confrontational, very Greek, family? (If you’re picturing My Big Fat Greek Wedding in your head…Yep, you’re seeing the right people).

If anyone gets up in my face, I’m going to have a tough time holding my cool.  I will try, for my son’s sake…

But, as I’m passing out pieces of cake, I might be tempted…

The Newest Little Monkey

Ok, so I’m a little behind with this post, but it’s not my fault.

Honest.

I have a new grandson.

Everybody say hi to Maxwell!

His Mama (EldestDaughter) calls him “Monkey”, because she says he gets this little wrinkle in his forehead when he’s thinking really hard, or confused, or working on his next magnum opus, that makes him look like a baby monkey.

He was born 2/12/2017 in Washington state, where ED is now living with her SO & Schnicklefritz.

And I didn’t get to be there.

*sniffle*

But, he’s healthy, happy, & adjusting to life on the outside, according to all accounts, which is all I can ask for.

I DO get to see them all when they’ll come home for OnlySon’s graduation in May.

*BIG YAY & high five!*

So, for now, I have to survive without baby snuggles & will live vicariously through texted pictures & a recently set up weekly Skype date.

And, I’ll have to revamp my ABCs I wrote when Schnicklefritz was born, & tailor some much-needed “Gramma wisdom” for this newest addition to the zoo.

*I feel a challenge coming on*

For now, here’s some pictures I’ve wheedled out of my daughter!

Who is this person holding me? A brother, you say? Ok, I’ll start working on my “little brother pestering” skill set now.

Here’s this “big brother” person again… Are you sure he needed to follow us home, Mom?  Well, at least he seems to like me somewhat, so maybe this could work.

You know, I’m not too sure about this whole “being outside” thing, Mom & Dad…couldn’t I have just stayed where I was? I was kinda comfy there.

No snark…just awwwwwwwwwe…

*sniffle* 

I wanna snuggle him!

Vintage Poetry #2

After dealing with a migraine today, it’s time for me to pass on some of the love.

Cue the old poetry…

Mirror Image 

You sit there

Talking to me

But I don’t hear what

You’re saying

I’m looking 

In your eyes

Seeing my own pain

Reflected there

You’re telling me

Something about

How you never promised me

A rose garden

I never

Asked for one

All I wanted

Was that you

Be honest

With me

Tell me what

You feel

I’ll understand

I

Won’t break

I promise.

*funny how present life seems to imitate the past, ain’t it?*

One Tear for Me

Just cry one tear for me

Then I’ll be on my way

Please tell me that you loved me

At least you did one day

It matters to me now

What you have to say

Even if it won’t

When I am old and gray

I could have loved you deeply

But you just walked away

Before I had a chance

To say what I had to say

So just cry one tear for me

My love

Then I’ll be on my way.

-4/8/87

*damnedest thing, how these still sound so familiar*

Mannequins

Here I stand

At the window

Looking in.

My hands pressed against

The glass

My breath making fog

On its surface.

Let me in, I say

I tap on the glass

But they don’t see

Or hear

Their backs are turned

And then, so is mine

I turn and see her

Standing there

With her hands pressed

Against the glass

As mine had been

I know that I

Am no longer alone.

We back away from the window

“They’re only mannequins”

She says

I noticed that too

We walk away together

Knowing that they are only

Window dressing

While we have the whole world

To ourselves.

-4/14/89

*this was for my best friend, who showed me how much bigger the world was, when all I saw was a small town*

*and here’s the last one I plan to publish here, as this has reminded me why I haven’t posted these before…*

Think of Me

Every time you see a happy child

Think of me

When you see something free and wild

Think of me

When you read a story

With a happy end

Or get a letter from

Your best friend

See my smiling face

Happy for you

Think of me.

When you’re lost and alone

And you want to go home

Think of me

If you’re sad or you’re blue

Know I’m thinking of you

When you see the sun come out…

Think of me.

-1/30/89

Fini