Thursday, October 10, 2013

Updates from an empty nester

From the age of 50, I have felt a surge of happiness over newly-felt freedom. My kids were all still living with me at the time, but they were teens and not in need of me as much as they were when they were younger. I was able to hang out with friends more and finally do alot of things for myself.

These days, while only my son is living at home with us, the food bills have gone down slightly - as he eats vast amounts of whatever crap it is that he eats - cereal, tuna fish, chicken, rice, pasta with tomato sauce, deli, huge amounts of chocolate, and that's about it. He sticks up his nose at anything else I seem to be making that day. Fresh salmon? Spaghetti with garlic and assorted veggies? Chicken in wine sauce? Smoothies? It's all "disgusting" to him.

One of my married daughters just rented a lovely apartment in Beit Hakerem. She constantly invites us over for dinner and I am only too happy to have a Friday evening off cooking and entertaining or to have a place to crash during the week between the time I finish work and a party or a concert later on in the evening. This is what you call "nachas" - deriving pleasure from the kids.

And my daughters are floating back to me on occasion - some are pregnant and are in need of advice. They seem to know nothing. One did her ultrasound last week and had no idea what it was. When the technician asked if she wanted to see the baby in the monitor, my daughter freaked out. Seriously. And then calmed down once she saw the almond size fetus on the screen. "I don't know if I'm feeling the baby move" is another often-put question to me by another one. One kid wants to stay with us every other weekend for 4 nights. She's the noisy one and we always ask her to just please, PLEASE come for one evening only. We'd love to have dinner with you on Friday night, but to have you over for 4 days every 2 weeks is like having 10 extra people - with the energy and noise level and complaints. She even wants to come with her baby once he's born and wants us to buy a porta-crib and change table and what-have-you-not. She wants our cat declawed too. I don't understand my eldest daughter's mother-in-law who wants all her 7 kids around her with their family, every Friday night, in her cramped apartment. I am so not Middle Eastern.

We thought of downsizing and moving to Jerusalem, but I think Hubby is quite frightened he'd never see me at all - with all the lectures, funky things going on, restaurants, cinemateque, friends. He's probably right. We'd also have to move to a much smaller place like 60 meters instead of our current 140 meters. And we could only afford a 60 meter place that would be run down and one that Hubby would have to renovate. The good thing is that we wouldn't have space for any of our kids to sleep over, but we wouldn't have room for an office, nor would we have that magnificent view of the Judean desert and the distant Jordanian mountains. Tough choice.

Now getting back to having them all out of the house, at least the daughters, I can now safely display my good quality makeup and perfumes on my shelves without worrying that I'll never see them again.

No comments: