After the Wedding

  You may be familiar with that old song that goes:

One less bell to answer,
One less egg to fry,
 One less man to pick up after,
I should be happy,
But all I do is cry.

   At 10:40 last night, I was ready to go to bed.  My husband, Tom, and my daughter, Becky (16), were already in bed.  Normally, I would be making sure the outside light was on before I headed to bed as well.  I would be expecting my daughter, Liz (17), at 11:00 pm, when her Cinderella license demands her to be home.
   Immediately, this song came to mind. Why?  One less thing to do.  She's gone.  As the song says, I should be happy.  Am I?  No, I am  experiencing the loss. I will adjust, just like I have when the other five flew the nest.
   I would not have it any other way, of course.  I don't want my children to live at home with me forever. In fact, I'm hoping that none of them return, as so many adults are doing these days.  But happy? No.  I'm happy when they call, stop in, skype, send a card or visit.
   I am perplexed by families that have little or no contact with their grown kids.  They will, for better or worse, always be my kids.  I would never willingly part with them.  Nothing would hurt my heart more than their rejection.  Nothing makes my day like hearing from them.  But when they are home, it means lots of extra work, especially because of the grandchildren.
   A few months ago, our door from our kitchen to our garage was replaced.  We used to have a brown door.  Now we have a white one.  My husband is a mechanic/farmer.  Know what that means?  You guessed it - dirt!  I get so frustrated with the dark smudges that are forever on the door.
    I just replaced a soap dish with a pump dispenser.  Why?  Because I was constantly cleaning the stupid soap dish from Tom's dirty hands.  At times, I wish he were a banker, instead.  But, of course, that would carry its own set of problems.
   Back to the song.  The thing about life is this; it's messy.  There is more than the issue of physical dirt.   Relationships are work.  If you want to have relationships, you have to accept the mess of it all.  Of course, we can cut out all the people that trouble, annoy, or hassle us.  But what's left?  Emptiness.  Lonliness.  It's my choice.  I can take the smudges, the frustrations, and the inconveniences, or I can live my life with less of all those things and less of the conversations, smiles, and hellos that accompany companionship.
   I, for one, choose the work.  I choose the friction that sometimes results from living in relationship with another person.  I choose the challenges.  I choose life, messy as it is.


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