Friday, February 29, 2008

The Old Folks at Home

Cara worries about Tim and I. She's the last one at home, and she worries what will become of us once she's not around to take care of us. The first time that she actually said it out loud was when we were decorating our Christmas tree. I like a big tree. I like the real deal, so we wait until the last moment to put up our huge tree so that it doesn't start dropping needles until after the big day. Anyways, we were decorating our tree when Cara said, "I think that you should get an artificial tree for next year. A little one. And get it right after Christmas when they are on sale,
and you'll be ready for next Christmas."
I sputtered, just a little. "I think we'll just stick with a live tree."
She looked up from her crystal bell ornament and said, "I worry about you and Tim. I'm afraid that it will be just too much effort to put up a tree and so you won't, and the next thing you know,
you just won't be having Christmas."
I stared at her in astonishment. "We would never not have a Christmas. It's my favorite time of the year."
And Cara said, "Well, you won't have any kids at home next year, and I'm worried you'll be depressed."
Amazed, I asked, "Why in the world would I be depressed?"
And this is when she said it: "You and Tim are getting old."
To lighten it up, she said, "Your kids are all gone and you'll be alone. Really, the only thing you've got to look forward to is your Denny's discount and death."
She thought she was pretty funny.
Today, Cara goes to visit her college. We are supposed to get snow. Cara has a car of her own, but she doesn't like to drive in the snow. Her car went into the ditch last winter, and it scared her so badly that she avoids driving in the snow if she can possibly do it. But today, she's heading out to go to Clarion anyway. I offered to go with, but she wants to do it by herself (flashback to a small blonde trying to put on her own pants, with two legs in one pantleg, lip extended stubbornly, refusing all help because "I'm a big girl now. I can do it all by mySELF!"). She is a big girl now. She CAN do it by herself. And I'll let her. I'll have my cell turned on all day at work, but I'm not nervous. No. Not me.
And when Cara gets back from Clarion tonight, she'll be doing her last minute packing. She leaves for New Orleans tomorrow morning. She's doing a mission trip and rebuilding a house with a group from church. She'll be gone for 8 days there.
So Tim and I are going to get a taste of being on our own.
The two old folks left alone, and lonely.
It will be strange.
Blogging may be a bit sporadic for the next week.
The old folks got plans.


Mary Paddock said...

I hope the "old folks" have a great time. :)

I am so not ready for an empty house. I think I'm the only Mom I know who is sorry when her teenager goes back to school in the fall. Sometimes I think half the reason I homeschool is because I like my kids so much.

jeanie said...

Goodness - do you mean you will be child-free?

Its a dream of ours!

Enjoy the holiday.

debby said...

Yes, Jeanie, childfree! And, Mary, I really enjoy mine as well. They are just about the funniest bunch ~ you cannot be around them with a long face! I don't know that I'm 'ready' for them to fly away. They're ready, however. So you back up, allow them to use their wings, get used to the empty house. The free time. Endless hours unfilled by their schedules. And you begin to fill up your house, your days with your things and your activities. My auntie calls this the most rewarding period of her life. Thank goodness for aunties!

Hal Johnson said...

The thought of my son leaving home to go out on his own make me wanna cry. But then, I haven't experienced living with a teenager yet.

debby said...

Even after experiencing the hormonal roller coaster ride of raising teenagers, gnashing your teeth, biting your tongue, praying for patience, you will still cry when your boy leaves home.