An era is over.
Two days ago my life changed forever. For the last 33 years we have had a baby in womb or children running around the house or teenagers everywhere.
On Saturday all that ended. Our last child, the beautiful Benedicte Bess, left home to flat with friends. Incredible. It is quite a funny feeling, knowing there is no one to pick up or drop off or worry about when they have not arrived home. I suddenly don’t need to think about if she will like the dvd I have hired or what to feed the little vegetarian for dinner. I feel rather strange, sort of sad and celebratory and it reminds me again that I have a lot to be grateful for.
I am so grateful to have had lots of kids:
Five kids are true riches! I am the luckiest. When I am with them all, as adults, the feeling is incredible. I don’t know how to describe it other than ‘filled’. It has been a mad journey especially as I am not the most maternal person – yes I know I had 5 kids, people expect the mother earth type when you have more than three! I wasn’t mother earthy and sometimes I wondered what on earth I was doing but I would not trade them for anything. If I had to do it all over I would easily choose them as the most fun you can have being alive.
I am grateful they are all big enough:
All 5 of them were big enough and brave enough to leave the nest by 18 (with a little bit of mother bird shoving). At the very least they could all manage money and feed themselves a meal so they were ready to go. We have always let the kids know that at 18 they needed to move out and take on the world, how else will they know how clever and responsible and capable they are? How else would they truly become adults?
I am grateful for the changed relationships:
When they leave it gives room for the relationship with us to move onto a proper adult – adult level instead of remaining adult – child. I find it sad that many parents don’t want their kids to stand on their own two feet. They are denying the kids a fabulous feeling and denying themselves some new friends.
I am grateful for Benedicte:
This lovely child was the blessing truly at the end (the meaning of her name!). Imagine having the last child be the most laid back one? She has been a delight. And yes she is another photographer for the family. I am happy she is moving in with her dear friends and that they will look out for one another. I hope she has a ball. Tomorrow I will visit them and give them my last parting shot at parental advice:
“Your dishes are only as clean as your sink.” That should be my job done.
Awful awful photo I know but it is the only one of Bene (the right) and her new flatmate Charmaine. Sorry Hailey!
I am grateful for this new season:
It is quite a sad moment for us as we have loved having our kids but it is also a time to celebrate.
I am thrilled to have some time just with the delicious Philip and now that we have some time alone we will make the most of it. There might be an empty nest but we are also leaping out of it. No staying home and mourning the change at our house. Jump out and grab life by the horns I say. We won’t have time to have any empty nest issues – we have a film to make.
Toni Powell – loving a life, things I am learning