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In which i still worry about it

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I asked my aunt not to long ago at what point you would stop worrying about your kids and she told me “never” which wasn’t actually the answer I was looking for.  When your kids are little they have illnesses and school and friends and sports and you try to keep them happy.

 

Sometimes it’s as little as a band aid and a kiss and sometimes it’s more significant like a health problem or even just holding them while they’re crying but at least your doing something.

 

When they get older, however, there are no quick fixes.  Whether it’s not getting into a certain college or post grad school or not getting into a fraternity or sorority or even having their heart broken, there’s very little you can do.  For some people, that’s okay but I’m finding it very difficult just to stand back and say soothing things.

 

I think of myself as a “fixer.”  When Andie had asthma or Daniel had Asperger’s or Keely had this tumor, I Googled everything and read everything out there on the subjects.  I sort of made myself an expert so that I would work with the doctor’s and medical teams to sort things out.  Of course I didn’t have control over the situation but I certainly controlled my sense of helplessness and anxiety by knowing what was happening.

 

But now, with Andie applying to Med School and Keely out in Los Angeles, I just have to sit back and watch and listen.  I hate it.  When they’re upset about something or another not only can I not fix it, I can’t even hug them.  I try to say stuff about “this is life” and “you’ll get through it” and stuff like that but it doesn’t really help and actually just pisses them off.

 

It’s frustrating.  It really makes me wonder what my mom was thinking when I was struggling with Bulimia.  I mean, I never really talked to her about it.  Of course, my parents knew I had it and was in therapy for it but it wasn’t something that I was really comfortable discussing with them.  After all, I barely discussed it with Kevin.

 

But now, I wonder how stressed out it made her?  I bet she felt much the same way I do.  I wish I could ask her but she’s been gone 16 years.

 

When your kids grow up and have hopes and dreams all you can do is try to help them make good decisions but even when they make valid choices it doesn’t always work out.

 

I think the most surprising thing to Keely is how different the culture of LA is compared to the south.  From my vantage point, people in the south are much more supportive of each other but LA is much more dog eat dog.  There’s not a lot to say about that subject.  It just requires tougher skin and a more cynical way of thinking which isn’t a natural thing for her.

 

So I stand back and tell her I’m proud of her (we both are, Kevin and myself) and yet, I still wish I could fix everything.

 

But I can’t so I’m trying to figure out what to do with myself instead.  People always talk about being an empty nester as the “Holy Grail” and I could see that if it was all fun and games but that’s simply not the case.

 

So as I try to figure it all out I’m sure you’ll hear all about.  Well, I suppose you won’t hear all about it but you’ll read all about it.  I mean, since I tend to write out my thoughts in this here blog.

 

Welp, that’s about it for the day.  See ya.

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8 Comments

  1. Faith.TheBlonde.
    February 21, 2013

    Lynn, it’s never easy watching our children grow up. I, myself, amd the mom to 2 pre-teen (10 &12) girls. So on top of the normal kid stuff (peers and school) I also have hourly (or sometimes minute-ly) hormonal flucuations. As much as I want to “make it all better” for them, I know I can’t. They need to experience this stuff and deal with it on their own.

    One trick I’ve found that works is very simple. I just simply tell them that I’m sorry it sucks, and I’m always here if they need me. For my girls it’s just a reassurance that although they are going through crap, they aren’t going through it alone.

  2. Name *
    February 21, 2013

    I saw a greeting card for a new parent : Welcome to Parenthood : …The first 40 years are the toughest

  3. Julie
    February 21, 2013

    Sometimes I think it was easier when they were little. The problems and issues today seem bigger and bigger. I wish band aids were still the solution.

  4. Jester Queen
    February 21, 2013

    I have a friend whose kids are grown. One of them has moved back home while he gets his career started. He’s … I won’t say profoundly depressed, but he’s in therapy and suffers dreadful insomnia and some level of depression. The fact that she cannot fix it breaks her heart. All I can say is that you aren’t alone.

  5. doug
    February 21, 2013

    Ahhh…worry not my dear girl, things have a habit of working themselves out.

  6. Susan
    February 21, 2013

    I feel ya. My daughters are 30 and 32. They do not want advice now, just an occassional “ear”. YAY for all those folks who love the empty nest. I’m not quite there yet. Good luck!

  7. Lynn
    February 22, 2013

    Does Daniel really have Asperger’s? Cuz…in reading your blog I have often thought that Daniel and my son are very similar (personality-wise, at least from what you’ve written about him). My son is 12, but I have suspected Asperger’s for many years, especially when he was between 3 and 9. We had him tested when he was 9 and he was “high” on the scale, but just under the cutoff. Parenting him has been the hardest thing I have ever had to do. He is very emotionally draining (to me) and I worry about what the future has in store for him. He is extremely intelligent but very un-motivated and also deals with ADD, making the lack of motivation even tougher to deal with. Anyway, I was just wondering based on your comment if Daniel has AS because if so it gives me at least a little hope that my son will someday be fine!!

    • Lynn
      February 24, 2013

      That’s what he was diagnosed with at age 4. It’s so subjective and he’s certainly had many difficulties. But he’s in college and doing ok. He still has issues but he can cope with them. You can email me with questions

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