“If You’re Willing To Play The Game, It Will Be Coming Around Again” (The Revolving Door of Child-Rearing)
You can tell a lot about a person’s stage of life by examining their grocery cart. One glance at mine and you can plainly see the circle of life – the revolving door that is the American Family.
The stated goal of every parent is to raise your kids to grow up and fly away on their own. But, it seems like as soon as the mission is accomplished, we start wishing they were home again.
We pine for the days when they were small, adoring and entirely dependent. We yearn to have our babies back.
In the checkout line of the grocery store this morning I was overcome with melancholy as I philosophized about my purchases. My basket was definitely a “Tell All” story of children coming and children going.
Starting with the fact that sitting right on top was an enormous box of Huggies…
“I wonder if the cashier at Target was confused by the diapers and wondered if YOU were actually having a baby?!” my daughter pondered aloud as she unloaded bags.
I must admit that stung a bit.
“I don’t look that old!” I snapped, “I could still have another baby if I wanted to!”
I realized it was the first box of diapers I’d bought in 15 years. When my First-born’s First-born arrives next month, it’ll be “all hands on deck” and I was thinking it might be wise to have a case or two of nappies lying around. (Sort’ve the grandmother version of a Hope Chest.)
One of the reasons my youngest daughter was even helping unload groceries was to supervise the hiding of the healthy food. The healthy food purchases are indicative of the fact that she is moving back in with us for her last year of college.
I’m so happy about this that I’m willing to accommodate her need for expensive organic food items – which we are compelled to hide from our menfolk.
But, the guys weren’t entirely forgotten. There was also an abundance of going-back-to-college supplies in my cart. A shower caddy, a blanket, a laundry hamper and some Tide pods, among other things.
The summer really flew by. It seems like my oldest son just got home and now he’s leaving again.
He told me the other day that he needed to talk to me when I got home. I worried as I drove home, wondering what was up. But it turned out he just wanted to give me a list of items he needed before he departs for College Town and also to thank me for letting him live with us this summer.
He added that it was an awesome time…
…proving that although our kids are large, they are still adoring and somewhat dependent.
It occurs to me, with a tinge of sadness, that this may have been his last summer to live at home. Maybe – maybe not. Who even knows anymore?
I guess I’m glad, for now, that our door swings in both directions and it certainly appears The Wee One is arriving just in time.