Thursday, May 21, 2009

Sixteen Again, and Not So Sweet

I can't imagine what it must be like to be 26 years old and living at home again--not by choice, but by circumstance. That's Nicole's world at the moment. It's like she's a teenager who doesn't have her driver's license yet, so she has to catch rides with her friends. And she's encouraged to get in early, because her tired old folks want to go to bed!

That's what's happening tonight. Keith Luke picked Nicole up and they went to meet up with Josh and one of his friends at Hal & Mal's for dinner and a show. Of course, the show didn't begin until 9:30pm, and just a little while ago (it's 11:20pm), Nicole sent me a text saying the main act was just going on stage and that they'd leave in about an hour. I have no choice but to wait up for her, as I have to help her get ready for bed.

I want her to live a normal, happy life, but the mama in me is saying "you just had surgery on Monday! You have to be careful! I think you're pushing it!" And the part of me that wants/craves sleep is saying "hurry home, I want to go to bed!"

What happened to my life as an "empty nester?!"

I'm not complaining. Really. I'm just a little tired. I've really enjoyed having Nicole home, especially the past few days as she's been recuperating from surgery. We've watched movies, laughed at the stupid reality shows, and just generally enjoyed each other's company.

Joe left today to go to Hattiesburg for a few days of cheer practice. He's so excited that he's going to be cheering for Southern Miss this fall. So, that's one little chick out of the nest, if only for a few days!

I've met a few other mothers in the past few months that have been thrust back into their children's lives in a very hands-on way. Mary Margaret Graves has been the poster mom for patience and love with her son, Will. They've been away from home for a long time (since January 1) and they are now in Atlanta where Will is in rehab at the Sheppard Center. And Brenda Dunaway has had to deal with daughter Brandy's ailments, all the time fighting with insurance companies to get the care that Brandy needs.

There's a saying that "a mother's work is never done." I always thought the idea was to raise adults, not children. And that's what Larry and I have tried to do. Now our adult daughter is back home, and we are having flashbacks to 16. It's hard not to. She's the same size now as she was ten years ago, and she still needs us like she did then, but in a different way. So, I remind myself every day that Nicole is a young woman, finding her way in the world. And when I do so, I am rewarded with the fact that she is one of the most tenacious, persevering people I know.

Even while stretched out on the chaise lounge in her room the past few days, she's had her little computer on her lap, tapping out emails to all sorts of people. She's thinking about her future, and making plans and preparations now. Nicole would like to do motivational speaking on a large level. She's done some speaking locally, and will continue to do so at no charge, as that is her way of giving back to the community that has been so supportive of her. Her next engagement is on June 4, when she'll speak to the Madison-Ridgeland Rotary Club. In the coming months, she's hoping to have a demo video and website and become affiliated with a speaker's bureau. I believe she'll do it, and folks nationwide will be amazed at her story!

So, I'll take Nicole at both 16 and 26, although I'm sure she's ready to leave Sweet Sixteen behind!

Blessings to all who read this!

No comments:

Post a Comment