From An Empty Nest to A Full House (Again)Posted Tuesday, January 10, 2012, at 10:42 PM
Two of my little angels
If we were homesteading, we could give them their own dug-out to live in. And they could have their choice of milk cows too. Everyone could work their own 5 acres and be self-sufficient.
But we are city-dwellers and the city has pretty strict laws about what you can do with your property within the city limits.
Why do your children come back? I am not sure because they constantly reminded us while growing up about how eager they were to be on their own.
There was a time that three-generations of families lived together; but I am not betting that David and I can retire and rest on our laurels anytime soon.
The benefits of two excited grandchildren waiting to greet you at the door far outweigh the toys and clutter. Fortunately, we are not burdened by diapers and diaper-changing this time around.
10 years ago, I could have told you without hesitation, how much I was enjoying being kid-free. I took trips with my women friends. I haunted the antique stores for great finds and furnished my home with whatever caught my fancy.
And then our first grandchild arrived. KaeLynn was so early, that we were not ready for her at all. Our entire household shifted like an earthquake to accommodate this tiny little person. Antiques were stored and baby furniture was set up in various parts of the house.
By the time Nathaniel came along, David was a pro at handling babies. He didn't lose his cool when they peed or drooled on him. But he did come pretty close to tossing his own cookies when Nathaniel threw up on him a year ago.
I don't know if it is a bad thing to be helping your children raise their own children. We seem to have more patience and a better sense of humor as we get older.
Regardless of the circumstances, some of us will just have to buck up and take the bad with the good. The blessing of this whole dilemma is that we get to experience first-hand what most grandparents miss out on. The daily sweetness mixed with the tired tantrums and the fierce hugs that squeeze love into every pore of our being.
So what if your washer and dryer now have a full-time job and you have to make an appointment to use it for your own dirty laundry. Or that your dishwasher needs to be filled more than once a day? Or that there are 4 cats who taken over every inch of your home?
It isn't easy, but it is possible to hate the chaos and love the occupants at the same time.
What do any of us really need? Love. Just Love. And if you can throw in a place to sleep and eat, it is just icing on the cake.
No one knows what our future holds, but I do know one thing for certain. Families matter. We might not approve of our children's choices in life, but our grandchildren deserve as much of our support as we can possibly give them.
Our little nest may be empty again someday. But I don't wish for that to happen unless there is a happily ever-after ending for all the members of our family.
Each day, we have an opportunity to entertain Angels Unaware. Our angels just happen to have big brown eyes and radiant smiles.
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Walking the Fence Line
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Fixing fence is the one of the hardest jobs on a ranch. I no longer live on a ranch, but I do know what hard work is. Fences are everyone's concern, but nowadays,the "hole" is always your neighbor's side not your own. It used to be that you would respect your neighbor and mend the fence together. If their cows got in your field, a simple phone call resolved the problem. You might even saddle up your own horse and help them gather them up. We need more people who are willing to roll their sleeves up and fix the fence regardless of who your neighbor is. There are people in this country who need to be reminded that a fence is like the way you should conduct your life. Your posts should be straight and neat. The wire needs to be stretched tight and your gate might be closed, but can still be easily opened. And most of all, we can all saddle up together and ride the range, it won't matter if you have an Appaloosa, Quarter Horse or Thoroughbred. The cows still have to be gathered, fences have to be fixed, and the range is a wide open space of opportunity for us all.