the nest

the nest

Friday, November 30, 2012

what if you fly too far?

I'm feeling homesick... Don't get me wrong, I love Connecticut and do call it "home" most of the time. I miss my childhood home.  Minnesota.  I've now lived on the East Coast longer than I lived in the Midwest, but every once in a while I wonder why.
My middle child is currently in Minnesota with my husband, preparing to make her first official "college visit" to our Alma Mater - Luther College, in Decorah, IA.  While I couldn't be more thrilled that it's currently her first choice, it's a long ways from me.  Our son is 30 minutes down the road and while we don't see him much, knowing that we could somehow makes it easier.
I have to remind myself that it's our job to give our children wings and the courage to fly as far as they want and need to, but that means a lot of goodbyes.
My parents launched my siblings and I all successfully.  I have great models for how this all works, but it doesn't make the idea of it easier.  I have a sister in California, another one in Minnesota (after living away for many years) and my brother is in Moscow (not Idaho, RUSSIA).  We launched and flew away.
Once in a while when we are together, we wonder why we all went so far and the joke is that we all just need a lot of room around us and that if we lived too close we would make each other crazy.  Imagine 3 of me in the same town... it's a frightening thought.  I guess I wouldn't mind the chance to test it out though.
I don't think we would make each other truly crazy, but having some rationalization makes it a little easier.
When we moved away, our parents were younger and healthy.  They are still healthy, but are older and I envy those whose children have a grandparent nearby to go to concerts or out for breakfast.  My children love their grandparents and both sides have worked hard to maintain a connection (same goes for cousins!), but it's just different.
There are good things about being far away.  When we were first married, we were young and spoiled and having to figure it all out without being able to "go home to mama" forced us to grow up and really rely on each other.  I'm pretty sure that our marriage is so strong partly because of those first few years when we were really on our own.
I see people whose families are all nearby struggle with "sharing" time with all of them.  We've never really had to do that.  When we are in Minnesota we are with my family.  When we are in Canada or Florida, we are with Jeff's family.  Making sure we balance visits has always be a little tricky, but once we are at our destination, the juggling is over.
My larger extended family is spread all over the country (my parents must have learned how to launch children from my grandparents!).  This means that between friends and family we know people in so many places!  Such a gift!

I still wish that once in a while I could walk next door or down the street for a cup of coffee with my mom or my sister.

Saturday, November 24, 2012


I'm thankful for so many things.  The five seats at the table represent my nuclear family - the one Jeff and I created together.  Each chair holds someone so very special to me.  This year, it was just us at the table.  I don't think that has ever happened before.  We've always hosted guests or traveled and been guests.  I was afraid it might feel "unspecial." It was lovely.
We, meaning Jeff and I, spend a lot of time focusing out into the world.  The work we do, both paid and volunteer, the social networks we are connected to.  We sometimes forget that in the meantime, the very important people who live in our house are leaving soon as they are really only guests in a way too.  At some point, they will leave.  I want to make sure that they have felt as loved and cared for as we try to make our more short-term guests feel.
Loving and nurturing at that same time you need to guide and shape can be so tricky.  I want my children to always know that no matter what, they are my greatest loves.  I will not always agree with them, I will not always like them, I will not always pick them up when they fall.  But I will ALWAYS love them and be there to hold their hand as they pick themselves up.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

I can write again!

The election is over and I can write again!

I'm relieved that President Obama won and that he has 4 more years to continue the work he as begun.  I want to see him energized to challenge the other branches of government to work with him rather than against him.

I'm so glad that the insane campaigning that has been going on for far too long is over.  The money spent was out of control.

I'm worried that all the calls for "working across the aisle" and "coming together" will fall on deaf ears in the house.  We need legislators who can focus on doing their jobs rather than preventing the President from doing his.

I'm hopeful that perhaps NOW the men and women WE have sent to Washington will finally listen and quit their juvenile bickering and find a way to energize our economy.

I'm thrilled that the reproductive rights of my daughters and nieces (and all women) will continue to be protected.

I'm ready to move forward.