I’ve noticed a lot of new types of posts on Facebook lately. Lots of ladies in the 40’s and 50’s getting new pets and frankly, they are obsessed. I’ve watched ducks have their own photo shoot, a dog being ordered a plate of carpaccio in a restaurant and another dog was treated to well over $1,000 of accessories. I look at these pictures and think these people are nuts, when the truth is that they are all suffering from empty-nest syndrome. Two of the three examples I gave have adult children who have recently flown the coup, and the third has a teenager.
As mothers, we pour love out to our children daily and when they are gone, we still have lots of love to give. That’s not something that can be turned off. Once a mother, always a mother. So these women I am watching are simply transferring all the love they have to offer to their pets, and really, who am I to judge?
It’s actually something that scares the crap out of me – the thought of my children not being with me, not living with me. I know, mine are only small right now and there are many days that I just tear my hair out, but one thing that I always realize and acknowledge is that there will very much be a day, and probably not too far away, where I will miss this craziness. I watch my 3 year old and 5 year old tear naked through the house and I marvel at how precious they are. They can be hellions but they are my hellions, masters of madness created by my own body.
There are still days where I forget to brush my hair, or I only get to shower right before bed. In a way, I am grateful for that craziness. I have a full, rich life and I don’t want it to change. But time will march forward without a care for my wants. Every night before I go to bed, I go into their bedroom and kiss their little sleeping faces. My heart aches for their preciousness and I curse every day that they get older. I remember my daughter being two days old, and I already wanted time to stop. My father told me, “just wait, it only gets better,” and I told him I couldn’t imagine anything better than what I felt at that moment. But it was true, I love watching and learning about my children. I get to discover what they like, what’s important to them. Interact with them, watch them learn, watch them change.
But I still want time to stop.