Empty Nesting — Tears and then…
Holy Moly…I’m FREE!

Okay, I just sent my girls off to overnight camp. Within one hour of them leaving on the bus … they snagged someone’s cell phone and here’s what I got:

1. My 15 year old sent me a close-up picture of her eyeball, with a note saying her contact hurt and her eye was so-o-o red — Mommy, what should I do?

2. My 13 year old said she took out (unbeknownst to me) the new shirt I bought her for social dance at camp because she wanted to try it on again, and left in on her bed — could I pleaseeee send it?

3.  She then sent a follow-up text … Mommy, my sunglasses are on the counter. I took them out of my backpack before we left for the bus– Send them today, Mommy. Luv u!

Goodbye, My Girls. You are on your own now. I’m off duty for Eight Whole Weeks. You will have to look after YOU. I’ve been given 2 months off of D & D (Demands & Drama).

Luv U 2

Yes, my friends. I am F.R.E.E. An offical empty nester. My life, my day, my world, is MINE.

I decided to write a Letterman-eque “Top Ten List” of being a Mommy-Without-Portfolio. Let me just state, that I was the Mom a few hours earlier crying my eyes out at the bus send-off after my eldest said, “Mommy, I know we fought a lot this week. I really love you.” After my middle daughter said, “How am I going to leave YOU –my best friend — for eight weeks?” (that one really messed up my mascara). And my youngest one (who is very internal) squeezed me so hard that I thought she was giving me the Heimlich Maneuver …

That said, I repeat … F.R.E.E. (It’s an acronym meaning: Club Med for Moms). Ah yes, the List:

1. No More ‘Tude (which rhymes with Rude and Mood)…

2. No Unmade Anything. As in beds. No clothes on the floor. No bathroom crap everywhere. No empty boxes in the food cabinet (meaning left there, not thrown out). My house is uber-organized, and will stay in shape for two straight months.

3. No carpools. It’s just me jumping in, going Wherever, Whatever, Whenever. Love it!

4. Coitus Non Interruptus (The Latin version speaks for itself). No more “Where’s my pimple cream? I can’t find my shaver — can I use yours (note: it is 11 p.m. on a school night). I have a cold sore and I can’t sleep. Do I have to wear my rubberbands?”

5. No more late night Get off the Damn Computer Already. Or stop texting during (dinner/homework/pick any spot and add a text).

6. Can you take me to … (name 50 places and then add 100 …)

7. No Fighting Zone. (All warrior sisters are safely caged in their cabins)

8. No stealing. (sisters’ clothes, or my makeup.)

9. No I Need. I Want. I Have to Have.

I was just interrupted. My middle daughter calling now from the camp bus … “Mommy, I borrowed the counselor’s phone. I love you so much. Do you miss me already? (FYI: it’s only been 2 hours since she left)

“Yes,” I say. “I miss you like crazy. In fact, I’m writing about you right now.”

“What did you write?”

“Oh you know, my usual …That I love you. That life won’t be the same. That I’m going to walk by your clean room and wish that it were messy. That I’m going to miss driving you and picking you up and hearing all your funny stories. That I’m going to miss making you dinner. That I’m going to miss having all the friends over. That I’m going to miss our coffee talks and walks. That I’m going to miss the drama and the excitement and the noise. That I’m going to miss hearing your voice, and getting those big full-on hugs.”

“Well I love you, Mommy. Don’t worry, ok. And don’t be lonely without me. Don’t be sad. Dad will take care of you. I will write you ALL the time.”

Number 10?

How can I possibly write a NUMBER 10 after that?

And then … I got the next Phone Call.

“Hi, it’s the camp.”  (note to reader: ONE HOUR after my eldest daughter stepped foot off the bus into the camp).

“Your daughter has Pink Eye,” the camp nurse says.

“Pink Eye? She’s been there five minutes!”

“Yes, and she will need to see an eye doctor tomorrow. And she has to throw out all her makeup — the pillow will need to be changed… as well as THE X … THE  Y …THE  Z…

OY. I can already see the list of re-buys coming to me in my kid’s first letter.

And then I thought — NUMBER 10 –– No doctors appointments for 8 weeks! (all those strep tests and viruses “going around” appointments)  …

Girlfriend, I wanted to shout out to the nurse but I hold back —  She’s all YOURS now!

I’m off for an afternoon bike ride.

PS. Don’t let this blog fool you. While every word is true … I confess: I’m a sappy, mushy mom who wrote my girls “I MISS YOU” letters at 3 a.m. … the truth is, I couldn’t sleep well without ’em.



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