Okay….here’s the deal.
A friend of mine once said he detested “mommy blogs.” Being a parent himself – a stay at home one at that – he found the cloying sentimentality and gourmet finger sandwiches irritating. Oh, and the perfect hair – that bugged him too. I winced, knowing that when my kids were young I made a few Martha Stewart worthy meals of my own and would often find myself in the delusion I was living a Hallmark Movie of the Week life because things seemed just so perfect – even if it only lasted 30 seconds. Also, I admit to having good hair – some things just can’t be helped.
For a while I considered writing a blog. There were some unusual aspects to our family’s journey that could have proved to be interesting – our children were identical twins, I gave up my career to take care of them – a commitment that was only supposed to last until they entered first grade….but we ended up homeschooling….in Los Angeles. Which at the time was fringy and weird. I had to constantly explain that I was not some freaky kumbaya hippy and yes, I knew the world wasn’t flat and I wasn’t trying to shelter my children from the harsh realities of real life. Those realities have a way of worming their way in no matter what.
The truth is, I never thought I had much new to contribute the the conversation and to be honest I was too damn busy. If I wrote a blog about the intense years we spent parenting there wouldn’t be many finger sandwiches or sentimentality. There would, however, be lots of confusion, frustration, dirty dishes, mystery smells and stains, sleepless nights, holes in walls, chips and salsa dinners, doubts –ton’s of those, dinosaurs in dishwashers, the horrible combinations of toddlers and a Sharpies, wine and the subterranean desire to hop in the car, head North and keep going – let the wee beasties sort it out for themselves. Oh…and love…lots of that. But why would anyone want to read about the same crap they’re going through? Bring on the finger sandwiches!
Now, my kids are seniors in high school. They are almost fully formed people ready to take on the world and make their mark. And so am I. But what will that mark be? In many respects my kids and I are in the same boat. What do we want to do with our lives? What kind of person are we going to be? What’s the next step? They seem pretty clear about it..kinda. But I have no idea – and I’ll bet you a dollar I’m not the only one.
So if you’re out there, standing of the precipice of having to figure out what you’re going to do with the rest of your life now that your job as a parent is coming to and end – look to your right and know that’s me standing next to you – my toes hanging over the cliff, looking down into the abyss and asking myself the same question you’ve got rolling around in your head: Now what?
Hopefully we can figure it out together.