Putting on the Rose Colored Glasses of Empty Nesters
In order to look back over the years raising young children, all parents are issued a pair of rose colored glasses. You will get a pair as soon a your kids leave home!
My boys had temper tantrums, they threw up in their beds and one of them did not sleep through the night until he was four-years-old (you know who you are). They disobeyed us, they spoke back to us and fought with each other so often that they once upended the dinner table in a restaurant sending all five of our dinners and a table full of dishes crashing to the floor. Yet when they left home I was given the standard issue rose colored glasses and despite the fact that I know these thing to be true, I cannot seem to remember them as they happened. My husband, I fear, was given a matching pair.
The story of one son drawing on every wall of a rental house with a blue marker somehow seems incredibly funny now, though I am going to guess when I was repainting the walls I saw it differently. I know that from age eleven to thirteen, I was “ruining their lives,” “the worst” and “didn’t understand anything…anything!” But when I envision them stomping up the stairs and slamming doors as they pronounced these invectives, truly I want to laugh, they seem so cute.
Now, when I watch them reunite with each other, big guy bear hugs all around, it is hard to remember that they regularly scratched each other’s faces until they bled and more than once my response to an Emergency Room physician question of, “how did he do it,” was two words, “his brother.”
So why is it that my memory plays such tricks on me? Why do the years of my children living at home, my almost empty nest, only now seem idyllic? When I look at these young adults, it somehow seems hilarious that tables flew, china broke, and other diners looked on in horror. With my new glasses, I remember falling asleep with all three in our bed, climbing miles up mountains in Yosemite, viewing movies in darkened cinemas with our small children cuddled on our laps, watching hard fought battles on high school soccer fields, and graduations and college visits.
You have got to get a pair of these glasses.
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Photo Credit: colchu.