Within the next year, Sparky and I will have our house all to ourselves and people keep saying that I’ll be an ’empty nester’ soon. I just don’t like that term. It makes it sound like I shoved them out of my house and never saw them again, you know, like birds do. Well, I’m not like that. I still feel the need to ‘mom’ them from time to time, so I’ve decided that empty nester doesn’t really fit me at all. I’ve decided I’m more of a Free-Range Mom.
I read this article a while back about parents that let their kids go wherever they want and do whatever they want pretty much whenever they want, and they call them free-range kids. I think that’s kind of what it’s like when the kids move out. You’re still a mom; you just aren’t obligated to be at their beck and call anymore. You can decide when you wanna mom and when you don’t: Free-Range Mom!
Besides, empty nester just sounds like it’s loaded with responsibility, and I try to avoid anything associated with that word!
Today is my mom’s birthday, so I’m going to take this opportunity to share a story from my days in elementary school that I don’t think I’ve ever told my mom. It had a tremendous impact on me and still does.
I was adopted as an infant. I don’t ever remember not knowing I was adopted. I never thought anything about it until it was brought up during a lunchtime recess in fifth grade.
Some of the kids were teasing me about being adopted and telling me my mother had to adopt me because no one else wanted me. I was in tears. My teacher, Mrs. Sloan, saw me and asked what the matter was. I told her all about it and was hoping for swift justice. I didn’t get the response I expected. She said I was crying for nothing because I was looking at it all wrong. She said I should remember that I was definitely wanted because my mom didn’t have to adopt me; she chose to. Those words gave me a whole new appreciation for my mom and so thankful she chose me.
Happy birthday, Mom!
I love you a bushel and a peck!