Just felt like I had to get that out of the way before we begin.
It is a fact, unfortunately, that these dear ones will grow up. They are growing up very quickly as I type.
I can't change the fact, so I'm going to embrace it. At least for today.
There are some definite advantages to children growing older and leaving the proverbial nest.
Our Listicle assignment this week is to list
10 Things I Look Forward To
1. Eating out at every meal. I enjoy cooking for other people. I enjoy making them happier by putting their favorite meals in front of them. I don't enjoy the pressure of having to come up with something to feed 8 people every single night, taking busy schedules into account. When the kids are gone, there won't be anyone to make happy with food except COW, and he's happy with 4 pounds of hot dogs.
2. Doing what I want when I want to do it. My day is completely and utterly ruled by the schedules of other people. My hair has been needing a cut for weeks now. I haven't been able to exercise in an eternity. I can't even go to the bathroom without someone yelling for me. I'm really OK with it most of the time, but I am looking forward to being able to just browse through a store at a leisurely pace when the mood strikes.
3. Walking through my house without thinking, "This house is a disaster!" Messes make me crazy after a while. I am pretty good about enjoying the kids and not getting overly concerned with a spotless house. However, I have my limits. I look forward to the day when my limits never get tested.
4. Being friends with my kids. I am a firm believer in being a parent, not a friend, with one's children. While we do have plenty of fun, they know that I'm in charge. Just yesterday I was talking to Phoenix about what I envision our relationship to be once he is older. I expect to have loads and loads of fun with them, once I don't have to constantly remind them to brushteethputdishesawaydohomeworktakeashowerdoyourchores.
5. Traveling with my husband. We both love, love, love to go new places and see new things. We have put less into the kids' college accounts in order to put more into our retirement accounts. As he gets older, he will be able to work less and less, and we will be going more and more.
6. Volunteering/Working in a variety of ways I can't with children in tow. There are so many things I want to do to help in schools and shelters and food pantries and hospitals. I have thought I would like to be a doulah, helping women through the birth of their children. I have thought about volunteering in the classrooms of inner-city schools, where parent involvement is much, much less than it is at my own children's school. So many options, I am going to have a hard time choosing which ones to do.
7. Spending more time with COW on a daily basis. We only get a few, short minutes each night to see each other and chat before he's falling asleep on the couch. I won't even have to wait until the kids move out for this one. Once they are in school, I'll be able to have lunch with him at least a few times each month. Once they are no longer needing us to take them to school, I see us spending the morning going to daily Mass and hanging out with our friends over breakfast, then doing something fun most days of the week.
8. Seeing what my children do with their lives. They all have such potential to do so many things. It will be fun (I hope and pray) to see what career paths they choose, the adventures they pursue, the families they have, and the enjoyment they get out of life.
9. Moving to a condo. When we bought this house, COW and I made a deal. We'd live here for 40 years, then it was off to a condo for us. I don't foresee us making it to 40 years. By year 25, after Cuckoo heads off on his own, we will be ready to give up the work of the little farm. (I have no doubt, the chickens and pigs will be gone well before that.) Can't have grass needing to be mowed if we are planning to be circling the globe a few times over.
10. Playing with grandkids. We have made it clear to our kids that we will not be the grandparents taking the grandkids to school each day or taking care of them while their parents work. We will, however, be fantastic grandparents. We will have slumber parties and take them on trips and go to their games and have special dates with them. It will be so much fun.
Well, I've clearly got a long way to go before these things come to pass. Two little boys are now at my knee begging me to play a game. I'm off to play. Someday, there will be plenty of time for writing and editing.
Crossing my fingers there aren't too many typos...
Have a lovely day!