Category Archives: Leaving the Nest – All About The Chicks

Personal stories about children leaving the Crow(e) nest (home)

Magic Carpet Ride

I don’t own a transforming genie, am not a person of great monetary wealth and am not bewitched. However, if I close my eyes in Durham, New Hampshire I am instantly transformed to a palace 80 miles away.

Thank you to the Aladdin of my life for our open air Jeep time. It was a great way to spend a magical afternoon – and take a nap on the way home.

Love, Jasmine

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Liar!

The last time, and I mean the last time, I went flea marketing with my husband was a nightmare. He wanted coffee and I wanted to look at the toys and dolls. I told him I would take a quick look at the collectibles and be right back. 

I suppose I lingered a little too long:

I guess he really did need some java!

Electrifying

Our youngest daughter is finally out of an 8′ x 8′ cell block dorm room after three years. She moved off-campus with her roommate for senior year. Utilities are not included in their rent.

The impact of paying their own additional electric bill was evident on move-in day. All of us were carrying, unpacking or setting up throughout the day and my daughter was also completing all the finishing touches. When I took a break to peek into my daughter’s windowless bedroom and see her progress, I turned on the light.

“It’s still daylight, you don’t need to turn on the lights.” She stated this in a very matter of fact way as she shut the light back off.

I chuckled only to myself, thinking about all the TVs left on with no one in the room, years of radios into the night and endless cell phone charging we tolerated at our house.

Toward the end of the day,  we regrouped to get some dinner. The bathroom is at the end of the hall before you leave the apartment. I stopped in front of the powder room to  turn on the light and told everyone I’d be just a moment.

“How old are you?”, as my daughter reached her arm back in to shut off the light, “you don’t need a light to go to the bathroom. You should know where everything is by now.”

The family laughed and headed toward the entryway as I stepped into the now darkened bathroom.

I closed the door thinking Tarah’s behavior wasn’t so funny this second time.  I stifled my laughter as I realized it could be. I turned the main light back on, along with the shower light and fan and their nightlight.

My passive aggressive, behind closed doors, immature behavior probably cost an additional .00063 cents but –

I didn’t want to be treated like a prisoner –

and I don’t look forward to her full release in one more year.

Enabled

Raspberry vinaigrette:

2 T olive oil

1 T balsamic vinegar

1 T raspberry jam

1 t mustard

Sprinkle of garlic powder

Sprinkle of white pepper

Dash of salt

Whisk until oil is visibly blended

Salad: Romaine, walnuts, dried cranberry, feta cheese (and chicken, if desired).

Our girls are finally settled in their new apartments as of today. It’s been a lot of hard work and I am excited for them. However, tonight my husband and I got back to some 1×1 cooking. The above vinegraitte recipe is the result of  a sadly quieter house at the same time it is a renewed sense of being together. I was the sous chef but didn’t mind, since I learn the family recipes and food secrets my husband has tucked away in his Cordon Bleu brain.  The last time Richie made this recipe, he whisked it up in moments and kept the ingredient list to himself.  I historically just eat the fruits of his labor! I love working side-by-side in the kitchen again but why am I still writing at this hour? Perhaps some other 1×1 cooking is in order…

Conference call

Despite being the only two people left in our household, my husband and I still tend to have three and four-way conversations. And nobody is on the phone. 

Richie went out to breakfast with his Mom yesterday and when he pulled into the driveway, I let our dog, Otis, know “Daddy’s home!” My husband talked with us for a minute on the deck and then went into the house to get another cushion (it rained the night before, so we bring them in). I heard my husband’s next conversation through the kitchen window screen. He was also confirming to “The Dude” that he was back. 

Other days we might acknowledge that we didn’t hear or understand what was said:

 “What? I didn’t catch that.” 

“I wasn’t talking to you. I was talking to Kapper.”

Are the additional conversations no different than talking to houseplants? Maybe we’ve always talked to the pets but are only now paying attention to one another? Either way, I wonder if this post will get us more conversations with household visitors – or less?                     

 

Gone but not forgotten

Our daughter has been in Philadelphia for several weeks. I miss her terribly just knowing she’s further away than usual. When I opened the refrigerator this morning, I saw her face. Maple syrup from the restaurant she likes. Dunkers that she  usually buys at Trader Joe’s for her dad. The bottle of Coke I had to buy yesterday because it showcased her name. Tomorrow I’ll buy some cream cheese and have a loaded steak and whiz sub for lunch. Somehow the visuals and city references bring her closer to home. It’s been a Rocky road for me. Ah, yes, that too will shorten the distance. A mom has to do what a mom has to do.

Battlegrounds

Our family headed off to a new gym to check out the upgraded competition. Unfortunately, my equipment errored and I took the back seat. I didn’t get the chance to join the raid, gather items when we stopped or hatch any eggs when we walked.  I felt as inexperienced and backwards as Ekans. Long story short, the raid continued while I battled it out with my pen. It really was an upgrade.

Unleashed

A walk with the family dog after work usually makes my day.

Our pug, Otis, was following at my heels as I entered the kitchen, where my daughter was reading her book at the table. 

As I headed toward the back door I said, “you have to do poohs and pees before you get your dinner.”

My 21-year-old daughter muttered an “okay” as she looked up at me.

I broke into laughter and explained that I was talking to Otis.

“Wait, what did you say?”

I repeated myself as the dog and I continued toward the back door.

Tarah’s embarrassed sly grin, as she realized the humor in her response, is actually what made my day.
Photo credit: Disability Images

It’s a wrap

Most people that know and love me will tell you that I take time to wrap  a lovely gift. This hobby of mine is an over the top ceremonial process, like a young woman taking the day to beautify herself for prom. My arsenal of supplies includes a plethora of gift wrap, unique adornments and miles and miles of curling ribbon. I create folds like an origami expert, press seams like the owner of a dry cleaning store and my bow application would make any dressmaker proud. My curling abilities should be included in the decorated Olympic sport. I equate the peace I get from wrapping gifts to the cup of tea my husband enjoys at the end of a long day.  It is time spent with a calm and settling companion.  

Last week I rented a moving van, drove two hours to pack a campus apartment with my daughters, drove another two hours back to unpack the van with my youngest and then returned said van.  On the way home, I ran several local errands in my own car, had a late dinner with the family, cleaned the kitchen and then packed my bags for our graduation and 21st birthday celebrations. I was tired from all the preparations but was also excited for the days ahead. When the house went quiet, I had my own pre-celebration by wrapping the last graduation gift, adorning others with ribbon and using cards from extended family to make a decorative arrangement on top of our bedroom dresser. 

I climbed into our bed exhausted but pleased with myself. The fruits of my labor looked gorgeous and I couldn’t wait to present the few carefully chosen gifts to our daughters. 

We woke in the morning and found sunshine to pack the car…..and cat puke all over the graduation gifts and cards.   

All that time and heartfelt preparation went right out the window. The discarded emotions were accompanied with a bag full of gift wrapped throw-up, slimy colored ribbons and soggy envelopes. Throwing it all out was very ceremonial.

There was no time for a redo. 

It was ultimately a presentation of ripped packaging, bent cards and soggy cash. Perhaps the cats had wanted to add their own embellishments to our lovely gifts?