The blessing of having my kids (& their sig. others!) like each other.
I became an empty nester for the first time in August. My daughter Riley is a junior Theatre major at Temple University and my son Jake is a freshman Civil Engineering major at Penn State. I still have a hard time believing the kids are gone and that their childhood is over. It all seems to have gone by so fast, especially since I feel like I kind of missed out on 4 years of their childhood because I was so ill and not participating in that little thing called life. I was here, but not really HERE. It used to make me so sad, but I try not to dwell on it because I’m better now. I’ve worked my ass off to get here and the past is in the past. And most importantly, the kids are PROUD of me. We all got through this really hellish time, so I try to think of it as a lesson in adversity that will only make them stronger. And it already has.
But I digress…..
They are both home on Christmas break now which has been absolutely glorious. Unfortunately, it’s about to end as my son heads back to State College on Sunday. I’ve loved every minute of having everyone under one roof and have also loved having Jake’s long-time high school girlfriend, Gianna, over as they spend a lot of time here trying to squeeze in as much time together as possible before they head back to their separate schools.
Riley’s boyfriend of about a year is from school and hails from Lancaster, PA which isn’t exactly close. He’s never had a chance to come visit us before and see where she grew up and where her home-base is as their work schedules last summer didn’t allow it. But yesterday James arrived for a visit for a few days and it has been really nice getting to know him a little better than just the few times we’ve had a chance to chat with him when we go into Philadelphia for visits.
Before he arrived, Riley mentioned to us that James had never had hibachi which was just MIND-BLOWING to all of us who have been many, many times. We determined that we would take him out for his first hibachi dinner last night and it was so much fun (and, frankly, so adorable) to see him laughing at all of the standard things that hibachi chefs perform at every damn hibachi restaurant. The BEST was hearing him crack up as that little plastic boy doll squirts water out of his “wee wee” to put out the fire on the onion volcano….something that the rest of us have seen a million times and think nothing of. My parents got to join us too and we all had a great time!
When we got back to the house after dinner, we played board games which is something that we have always loved to do as a family and I couldn’t help but grin from ear to ear while watching the kids with their wonderful boyfriend and girlfriend all getting along so well. I think every parent can relate to wanting your kids to always be close. Ri & Jake were very close growing up, but sometimes as we grow up and move our separate ways, we lose sight of the important stuff like staying close and in touch with your siblings.
But the BEST is tonight…..they are out on a double date. The four of them went to dinner and a movie and my heart has just grown a million sizes that they just went and did this on their own as if it’s second nature. It gives me so much joy knowing that they will always be close…and that they CHOOSE to do things together.
Riley & Jake, I love you both so much and am so proud of the extraordinary people you’ve become as well as the wonderful choices you make in your life including the people you choose to spend it with. ?
I’m a blessed woman. I could say it every day in a million different ways.
So I will….or at least I’ll try.