Thursday, December 30, 2010

No More Oatmeal Kisses......

I love this great reminder, and thought I'd share.

An Erma Bombeck Column:

A young mother writes: "I know you've written before about the empty-nest syndrome -- that lonely period after the children are grown and gone. Right now, I'm up to my eyeballs in laundry and muddy boots. The baby is teething; the boys are fighting. My husband just called and said to eat without him, and I fell off my diet. Lay it on me again, will you?"

One of these days, you'll shout, "Why don't you kids grow up and act your age!"
And they will.

Or, "You guys get outside and find yourselves something to do ... and don't slam the door!"
And they won't.

You'll straighten up the boys' bedroom neat and tidy -- bumper stickers discarded, bedspread tucked and smooth, toys displayed on the shelves. Hangers in the closet. Animals caged. And you'll say out loud, "Now I want it to stay this way."
And it will.

You'll prepare a perfect dinner with a salad that hasn't been picked to death and a cake with no finger traces in the icing, and you'll say, "Now, there's a meal for company."
And you'll eat it alone.

You'll say: "I want complete privacy on the phone. No dancing around. No demolition crews. Silence! Do you hear?" And you'll have it.

No more plastic tablecloths stained with spaghetti.
No more bedspreads to protect the sofa from damp bottoms.
No more gates to stumble over at the top of the basement steps.
No more clothespins under the sofa.
No more playpens to arrange a room around.

No more anxious nights under a vaporizer tent.
No more sand on the sheets or Popeye movies in the bathrooms.
No more iron-on patches, wet, knotted shoestrings, tight boots, or rubber bands for ponytails.

Imagine. A lipstick with a point on it. No baby sitter for New Year's Eve. Washing only once a week. Seeing a steak that isn't ground. Having your teeth cleaned without a baby on your lap.

No PTA meetings.
No car pools.
No blaring radios.
No one washing her hair at 11 o'clock at night.
Having your own roll of Scotch tape.

Think about it. No more Christmas presents out of toothpicks and library paste.
No more sloppy oatmeal kisses.
No more tooth fairy.
No giggles in the dark.
No knees to heal, no responsibility.

Only a voice crying, "Why don't you grow up?"

and the silence echoing, "I did."


  1. This made tears come to my eyes. We have only one daughter...and when she left home, I was so sad and depressed for close to 18 months. Now....that daughter has two sons of her own...and I see so much of her in what you've written. I'm gonna share it with her. Thanks for the sweet reminder that our kids...and GRAND-kids...grow up way too soon!!! :(

  2. this was beautiful! I never had children of my own but all of my friends/family had/have them and this is a most important reminder.

  3. I remember Erma well. "If life is a bowl of cherries, why am I in the pits"

  4. Love it! TFS I cherish all the moments with my boys (even when they drive me crazy). :)

  5. In about nine months, our daughter and only child will be leaving for college. The next nine months will be a gestation period for a life that's going to change...radically.

    Boy, did this hit home.

  6. I love Erma's writings, and keep a quote of hers on my email signature. As we prepare to send our oldest off to college next fall I'm already seeing the handwriting on the wall. Our youngest is 11, and things are already changing. Thanks for the reminder to enjoy every moment as it comes.

  7. that is beautiful... I am going to send the link to this post to my daughter.....

  8. So good for me to get this perspective as I am in the throes of Christmas break with 8-year-old twins and school not starting until January 3rd. I've got such little, precious time with them. Today's the day I concentrate on what they are rather than what I want them to be.

  9. Gah...that just made me cry. 2011 marks the year my baby will turn 18...I'm sooooo not ready for that.

  10. I'm a big Erma Bombeck fan. Thanks for posting this. I'm going to share it with my daughter.

  11. I love this! I haven't read it since my kids were babies and it was a great reminder today especially dealing with 2 teenage boys, thanks for posting,

  12. The woman is REALLY good isn't she!


  13. I must admit I had tears in my eyes too! Time passes too quickly.I came looking for blog hop tonight but couldnt find it, maybe next week,Blessings Jane

  14. My eldest starts college in 9 months, and, like Liza, I see it as a gestation period, my "pregnancy" has begun.
    And yes, boy did this hit home, i've a lump in my throat. It really does pass very quickly, moreso when you're looking back at it than when you're going through it.

  15. dad would have called that a "Tear Jerker". Even though I have experienced the Empty Nest Syndrome for thirteen has become tolerable but not easier!
    I miss those busy days of driving my children from one activity to the other.
    With six children, the house was always filled with their laughter, fighting, joking, rough housing and all the friends that gathered at our place.
    Yes, I even miss their fighting because I always made them give each other a hug..which at times I am sure they felt was sheer torture!

  16. Love this! I need to bookmark it so I can read it again and again. With our five, we have two out of the house, one ready to leave in a year, one middle, and one elementary school. My husband and I figured that it would be 35 years of raising kids by the time the youngest is gone. That's a LONG TIME and I do find myself longing for peace some days. But, this is so true and inspirational.

  17. Such a great reminder for all those young mothers out there. Treasure every day!

  18. Couldn't even read this. My baby is 28--how did THAT happen! Sometimes when the grandchildren leave, I don't wipe off those grubby handprints from the french doors for days.

  19. I am so teary now...I am going to have to go get a few grand kids for the weekend...
    Thank you for sharing and have a Blessed New Year!

  20. I knew I was supposed to savor it while it was going on but I was in survival mode without the luxury of savoring anything. Now it's quiet. Fortunately God is sending a grandchild my way and I think that's when you get to savor the beauty of little children underfoot. I can't wait!

    Stopping by to wish you a happy new year!

  21. I had all the family (and MORE) in the house again this weekend, with all the loudness, wrestling, bantering that USED to make me nuts...only this time I sat back with a HUGE smile and said, "thank-you, Jesus!"


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