Becoming Obsolete

Yesterday I opened my email to find that Shaun had sent me a link to an article on MSNBC.  It was titled “Saying Goodbye to your College-Bound Kids”.  Basically it was all about the melancholy so many parents feel when their children go off to school.  I just laughed and then replied to my beloved that KT was moving up to high school not college and that he was a dork.

Shaun has been fretting about our kids leaving us since they started walking.  Of course I scoff at his anxiousness.  (There’s a clause in our marriage vows that gives me that right. Unfortunately, I allowed him the same scoffing privileges.) I view our primary goals as parents as raising confident, independent adults that can fly freely on their own.  Shaun, on the other hand, has been steadily trying to convince the girls that when they get married they will bring their husbands home to live with us.  (See why I scoff?)

This morning, KT dragged me out of bed at the crack of dawn so I could take her to the information day at the high school.  Her excitement was contagious.  Despite my lack of caffeine, I was all set for what I viewed as a slightly older version of kindergarten orientation.  

We arrived at the high school and immediately ran into KT’s best friend in the parking lot .  They seemed content to walk along with me,  but I, in my infinite Mom Wisdom, could tell that the two of them would much rather be giggling  with each other instead.  I told them to go ahead and with barely a backward glance they were off to catch up with other friends they hadn’t seen all summer.  Occasionally, they would circle back to find me when KT needed yet another check for some activity or important purchase. 

I watched my little girl with a poignant mingling of pride and dismay.  Three short years ago, at the junior high orientation, I couldn’t pry my hand loose from KT’s clinging  grasp.   Just a few moments before that, my baby was wailing because I was leaving her all alone in a kindergarten classroom. 

As much as I hate to admit it, Shaun is right, the next three years are going to fly right by us.  Before we know it, our little girl will be settling into dorm life far away from us.  Of course she will come home on holidays and in the summer.  But she won’t need us any more.  I am finally getting a glimmer of the angst Shaun has been feeling for so long now.  Our baby is leaving us. 

I’m such a dork.


Bit O Life

embroidary results

Mimi’s embroidery results.  I nearly bawled when I saw that she had added on the “Mom” and the little heart.  (Yeah, I might be just a little emotional lately!)

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24 Responses to Becoming Obsolete

  1. Cazzie says:

    Oh my, this isw making me cry already!

  2. awriterinthedesert says:

    I’m so hip to what you’re saying. For me, having my children grow up is like being on a runaway train that I’m powerless to stop. My youngest of three kids is going to be a junior in college next month. He turned 21 last week, and I said to him, “I can’t believe this is happening, when I think of you in my mind you’re eight-years-old.” He said, “I do too, which is why this birthday is so unsettling.”

  3. giveitatry says:

    I just did a middle school orientation for my oldest and a preschool orientation for my youngest. I can see how the time is flying…it makes me so sad.

  4. Carol says:

    Shaun is right — the time DOES fly by! I can’t believe that my babies who were beginning kindergarten when we moved here are now starting senior year in high school and are beginning to fill out college applications! When did all that happen?!


  5. renate1945 says:

    You are wrong about one thing, Susan. They will ALWAYS need you. As for going off to college, I found that it started a whole new life for me. No more responsibilities on a day-to-day basis, no more games to attend, and more time with hubby. Hopefully, you will rediscover your marriage and enjoy each other as a couple, rather than parents, once again.

  6. adams52 says:

    Reading this…..I remember how my parents have felt few years ago….

  7. wolfbaby says:

    hmmm so it is only the toddler years that seem to drag out? in a way i understand it seemed like only yesterday i had cookie and was a branspaking new momma

  8. lavidaboca says:

    Having just gone through an elementary and middle school orientation myself, I understand the feeling that time is flying by. We have also taught our kids that you “go away” for college. It is what kids are supposed to do as they become young adults – go away from home. Hopefully they will take what we have tried to teach them and have fulfilled lives. (Wow…that’s deep).

  9. Oh, my….I am tearing up just thinking about YOUR daughter growing up! I don’t have children of my own, but I certainly believe my two nieces are growing up far too fast!!

    I love the embroidery!! My mom saved my first efforts….a little yellow duck floating along on a scrap of blue cloth. I used to embroidery and cross-stitch. Now I BLOG!!

  10. Pavel says:

    I hate it! My kids are growing up too fast and it will kill me as well when they go off.
    Every time I drop them off to do something (without me) it makes me sad knowing that they used to not stay anywhere without me, without crying about it.
    My kids still hug me in public, though. I still have a time left.
    I know how you feel… We’ll have to blog bout it together.

  11. TaunaLen says:

    Oh my. I know what you mean. I’ve been in the “they’re leaving me’ season for a year and a half now — with kids age 20, 18 and 17 now. My first instinct is to say it really is awful. (And that would be accurate for part of it.) But it’s good too. Lots of enjoyable moments, proud moments, heart-pricking moments. Then there are weeks like this one, when I think, “oh God, how can I get them through the next three years alive and in their right minds, because today it seems like they’ve lost their brains.”

    Parenting is the best job. It’s also a lot more painful than I expected. Maybe I should look into laser hair removal. 🙂 You wanna head to Mexico with Kari and I? I hear she can get a really fast car!

    Enjoy high-school while it lasts.


  12. Kell says:

    You’re definitely not a dork, just a great mom. I know my mom would love more than anything for me to move back to our hometown, preferably next door to her. Maybe some day.

  13. Susan says:


    Writer~Interesting that it’s unsettling from the kid’s point of view as well. Right now, KT just rolls her eyes at us. (well, mostly her dad)

    Giveitatry~It’s sad, but it’s also exciting in a way. What are these girls going to become?

    Carol~It happened while we were enjoying them…

    Renate~That’s what I keep telling Shaun. Only I think he is having more effect on me than I am on him…

    Hi Adams~I feel for my parents a lot more than before I had kids. They would say I deserve anything I get!

    Wolfie~Actually, it drags out and then you realize all of a sudden that you are in another phase. It’s more looking back that time seems to have flown…the day to day stuff can make you want to throttle the little er…angels…

    Lavidaboca~LOL the girls are fine to leave the nest…it’s Daddy that’s having issues. (OK, maybe me a little too!)

    Songbird~I’m planning on framing it. You should have seen her BEAM when I showed her that it was on the blog.

    Pavel~Oh my girls still hug me in public. One time they were too embarrassed to do so. I told them that if they ever did that again, I would chase after them waving my hands in the air, screetching that they forgot to hug me. Worked like a charm!

    TaunaLen~Yes Please!!!

    Kell~Shaun has been running with that dork statement. I should have known better than to write that!

  14. Kari says:

    Thank you so much for your kind comment on my blog! I live for such moments. I have to. I’m sure as heck not getting many kind words from those creatures known as “teenagers” that live in my house so when someone out here in Blogland stops by to say Hey, I just about fall all over myself in gratitude.

    I know what you mean about feeling the early rumblings of the Empty Nest Syndrome. My youngest starts 10th grade Monday. What the heck? I swear I was just carting him around on my hip not all that long ago! I can’t decide if I’m just feeling my own mortality or if maybe menopause is making me into a fruitcake, but I seem to get way too emotional when I think of my kids growing up and away from me. And then one of them opens his mouth and says something stupid and I’m rethinking that whole “my kids are leaving me, boo-hoo, sob-sob thing” and I’m ready to put my foot on his backside and help him out the door. But that’s being a bad mom, isn’t it? I’m working on fixing that problem. Really I am. I mostly walk around with cotton in my ears, smiling like an idiot, blissfully unaware of what anybody is saying to me. Helps me get through the day without committing one heinous crime after another. Hmmm. Now that I think of it, let’s go ahead and blame the menopause for my attitude, shall we? Because it’s either that or I may need some kind of SERIOUS therapy and who wants to blow money on something like THAT, right?
    Thanks again for your kind comment. You can see how much I need things like that, can’t you? lol

  15. Lynne says:

    A wonderful, caring Mom like yourself is never going to to obsolete!

  16. Frances says:

    I’m just about ready to bawl myself – beautiful.

    Thanks for sharing.

  17. mjd says:

    I was doing all right until I saw the embroidery. Then, the tears started welling in the eyes. Even when the babies leave, they come back to visit with wonderful babies of their own. But, you have several years before that happens.

  18. Peggy says:

    The girls will always need their mom. It is just that the role of mom changes as everybody grows older. Sometimes the change is hard because you have to say goodbye to a period that you’re not done enjoying.

  19. swamp witch says:

    I’m with you on that emotional roller coaster…just watched my 31 year old daughter be married last everning…all I could see was her lying in her bassinet with a little lime green outfit on weighing about 8 pounds.
    The embroidery piece is elegant and speaks to my heart.

  20. Betty says:

    I like to think that your kids will always need you. I know that you always need your kids, in the sense that you miss them and want to see and hear from them.

  21. Keshi says:

    tho Im not a parent, I know that parents never really let go of their children…my mum still treats me like Im a 5yr old 🙂


  22. Keshi says:

    in a good way that is hehe…


  23. **PrEtTY iN tHE CiTY says:

    Oh, Susan. I am sure she will still needs you.
    Great embroidery. How sweet mimi is.

  24. JennieBoo says:

    How sweet!

    Very well done, Mimi!

    LOVE IT! I want one!

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