2 In our home & family

The relentless passage of time

Here we are. 2017. Folks, it ain’t off to a good start, let me tell you. I know a lot of you have been with me for a loooonnngggg time so it’s good to pass along a personal update here and there even if they aren’t always so pretty.

Our beloved Lulu passed away a few weeks ago during her morning nap. I wallowed a LOT on Facebook and Instagram, so I won’t do it again. Just know that our hearts were broken, our house is way too quiet, and we’re on the mend. She will be our last bulldog. They’re not easy dogs to keep, as I wrote about 5 years ago. But having her quietly pass in her sleep right after our morning treats and love? Too much. We’re a dog family, so there will be another, but no bulldog will ever replace our Lulu. <3

I turned 50. Let’s just BLOW RIGHT ON PAST THAT ONE SHALL WE? MMMkay.

The insurance company now owns Aidan’s 1st car. Ditto to the moving along…

Aidan’s graduation documentation came in the mail today. Hmmm. Honestly, I was a HOT DAMN MESS the entire Spring of his Sophomore year, when it really (really) hit me that our days with him home full-time were closing in. I cried a lot. A ridiculous amount. I bawled in front of him on the way to school one day. Not my proudest moment. I read that damned Rob Lowe article about 50 times and cried repeatedly. I joined the Grown and Flown Facebook group and wallowed in other parents’ piteous stories. That’s how I operate: When I decide to be sad, I torture myself with more of it. And more and more and more.

It’s kinda like eating Cadbury Creme eggs until you’re so sick of them (and yourself) that you never want to see another one.

I talked to my friend Shannon, whose daughter was getting ready to graduate. “How do you get through it?” I asked her. She replied “I just pretend it isn’t happening.” Hmm. I can absolutely do that…and I have. Which is exactly why I’ve been able to get through this entire Spring with nary a tear.

Also, and bear with me here: Being really sad 2 years ago made me hyper-focused on paying attention and spending time. And you know what it’s taught me? Nothing stops it. Just look at that picture up there. I know a lot of you remember him as a baby, right? And now he’s on the verge of 18 and college. And now you suddenly feel a whole lot older. Did it go quickly? Yes. Absolutely. Can you stop it from happening? No. Would you want to? No. (well, maybe a little).

Funny: I said to Aidan a few weeks ago “I can’t believe you’re graduating in 3 months!” His reply? “Would you rather I fail?” Smartass. But yeah, there’s that.

Which brings me to my friend Cathy’s way of getting through things: Thinking of how it could be worse. It’s a superb method of changing an over-wrought mind from focusing on cup half empty nonsense to cup half full. During one particularly intense wallowing session she let me have it (as friends will do) and pointed out allllll the ways it could be worse. I love her for it.

Case in point: My boy is going to Texas A&M. Early admission, Engineering Major, Honors. Yep. So the positives? He got in (as opposed to not). He will be 3 hours away (instead of a plane ride away – no lie, this is the BIG one I keep focusing on), Engineering Major (instead of one he didn’t want). Honors (which is just awesome all-around). Being sad just seems silly, doesn’t it?

Moving on to this one. My heart. I had to send in a baby vs. current photo for her 5th grade graduation slideshow:


There’s that old Father Time at work again. I might shed a tear over this one: When she leaves 5th grade, I will be done with kids in elementary school, which seems like it’s been my life for the past 18 years. Wait…maybe I will have a party instead. 😉 Those who remember our infertility struggles and the way she arrived will know I’m A-OK with this one growing up. She’s my bestie, my buddy. The nicest, most well-balanced kid I know. She pretty much just rocks (do people still say that? I’m old so a little out of touch with the current lingo). Spitting image of her dad, with the compassion of her Oma and the vocal pipes of her Pops. Great combination.

So that’s just the first 3 months of 2017. I wonder what the rest of the year has in store…

  • Cathy
    Thursday | March 30th | 2017 at 9:26 am

    Oh sister… first off, I was just happy to see you writing and posting. And you know… when my girl left for college, I was shocked by the depth of my sadness. For me, it was that mother-daughter, we got this GREAT thing going on and WHAT? She’s LEAVING??? I wasn’t sure how I was going to make it. Of course, I was all smiles and rainbows for her. I knew this was her story now, and mine was to figure out how to parent her in this new fangled era. Turns out she needed me more than ever and for that, I was so, so grateful. 
    Honor and connect to the sadness. Without it, the joy will never be as full. And the good news is that you have a big chunk time left at home with that glorious girl. I know you are soaking it in. 
    Also, congrats to Aidan! He’s gonna rock it down there. 

    • Lisa
      Thursday | March 30th | 2017 at 12:09 pm

      Cathy, you know it was your Aidan’s graduating that sent me into my initial maelstrom of misery. And it’s the joy I see in your posts now when you’re together that help me muddle through. After an early high school period of absolutely not wanting anything to do with their parents, they do start to need you again in different (and more interesting) ways as they get older. Happy to hear that continues. <3
      Funny you mention honoring the sadness: My initial way of coping (naturally) was to focus on the negatives: “Oh I won’t miss having to see this messy room!” “Oh I won’t miss you fighting with your sister!” “My grocery bills are going to be so much smaller now!” It didn’t take long for him to let me know in no uncertain terms that I was hurting his feelings. 🙁 So I corrected that behavior quickly. 
      Also…check back in after graduation and when we actually have to drop him off. And expect days when I wake up and say “I want to have lunch with Aidan today!” and take off on a 3 hour drive.