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"We taught them how to fly"

(29 Posts)
Fennel Mon 17-Aug-20 17:50:16

We're missing our children and granchildren so much these days. We tried to bring them up to be able to fend for themslves and make their own lives and families, with the same principlee as we had . Give or take many mistakes we did. Better than we did because they have adapted to social changes.
But now, I wish we were all back in those creative days. They've gone far and we miss them.

Fennel Fri 21-Aug-20 13:52:40

Spangler - I've just seen your post on the previous page -
No offence taken

BlueSky Fri 21-Aug-20 11:49:54

My DC and DGC moved overseas years ago, I missed them terribly, but they done brilliantly and I'm very proud of them. But now the occasional trip over has become impossible for the foreseeable future, and some days it really makes me teary. Never thought I wouldn't be able to see them. I wish they were still nearby. sad

Peardrop50 Fri 21-Aug-20 10:14:12

It seems that we all have more in common than that which divides us. We all love our children dearly, we have all enjoyed the early years of parenthood, we are all immensely proud of our adult children, we all enjoy their company and we all miss them when they aren’t there. We all seem to have a fulfilling life beyond parenthood.
Funny too that many of us have experienced this strange yearning for a moment in the past during lock down.
This thread is lovely, just knowing that we can all agree on the most important thing in life, the love we have for our children.

Lucca Fri 21-Aug-20 08:42:40

Just a final thought. Yes it was fun when they were little but you know I really enjoy my sons’ company now as they’ve grown into such lovely men.

Auntieflo Fri 21-Aug-20 08:22:43

It is a lovely thread, and our eldest son is now literally, aged 57, learning how to fly.

Why? Middle age crisis?, or just because he can I suppose.

Anyway, fly high and safe our lovely boy.

Harris27 Thu 20-Aug-20 20:27:33

This has been a lovely thread.

Luckyoldbeethoven Mon 17-Aug-20 20:43:57

This resonates with me for sure. It's lovely that our three are happy in their careers and relationships and I'm glad they are independent but i/we do feel forgotten.
There are occasional visits and phone calls but they seem always busy.
As for enriching your own life, well that slightly depends on health and income. I can no longer do the sports I loved, we downsized and have found it very hard to make new friends as opposed to acquaintances. Life can feel quite empty especially with travel curtailed as it is at the moment and all the social distancing. I sometimes wonder what the point of reading another book is, who cares, I probably won't remember it in a few weeks anyway!

Juliet27 Mon 17-Aug-20 19:55:11

They were the best days for me too lemongrove. The children weren’t the only ones who used to look forward to 6 weeks of summer holiday.
I saved so many books and toys ready for my grandchildren but sadly all three live in Australia. Nothing can be predicted can it.

Spangler Mon 17-Aug-20 19:55:05

Fennel, I've got myself into a right pickle. I had two pages of Gransnet on my screen at the same time, posted my reply in the wrong thread, corrected it by re-posting here, then realised that I hadn't read your original post thoroughly, you have grandchildren.

You know that saying, when you're in a hole, stop digging? Would you like to take my spade off me please.

Randomactsofpurple Mon 17-Aug-20 19:42:50

Riverwalk me too. I love that my DDs and GCs are happy and living good lives, but sometimes I long for the days when we would do painting after school, or we would pop them into the car and go down to the Forest or beach for an hour or so. I guess I miss being needed.
But I also miss my parents and the things we used to do as a family.
It’s called nostalgia.
But the feeling doesn’t come over me too often, we have good social life, its just now and again.

Goodbyetoallthat Mon 17-Aug-20 19:40:00

We too were talking about this in terms of not having a holiday this year. It wasn’t the long haul couples holidays we were feeling nostalgic about but the Eurocamp holidays when they were younger & we all piled in the car & headed to France.

Fennel Mon 17-Aug-20 19:32:17

Peardrop me too.
We had a chat with eldest son and wife on a whats app or whatever a couple of days ago and it warmed my heart for hours.
TG eldest daughter is the one who has the most energy and tries to keep us all together but she has her her own demands family and workwise.

Riverwalk Mon 17-Aug-20 19:31:29

How strange to read this thread - just this morning I was caught in a moment of reverie where my boys were about 7 & 10 and packing their school bags. Don't ask me where that scene suddenly appeared from but it was very real.

They're now 38 & 41.

I try not to live in the past, but sometimes it comes out of nowhere.

Spangler Mon 17-Aug-20 19:15:26

This empty nest thing? ?For the birds. Yes, that would true, whining about the very achievement that every parent should be so lucky to experience.

Let’s face it. Raising children means hoping from day one, and doing everything possible to make sure, they will thrive and find their own way. So when the kids reach a huge milestone towards that goal, you might think that all parents would give a high five, swig from the grog bottle and do a little jig. You might, in fact, think it’s downright perverse for parents to carry on with the moping, the weeping and the gnashing of teeth.

Simultaneously, you cherish memories of the helpless babies that they once were, feel great hope for the future, and cry over the realisation that you no longer need to buy milk.

But the situation isn't quite that simple. Much as some people would argue that it is. Perhaps you've met those people? The ones who insist that after the kids are on their own, you need to, as it were, toughen up. The ones who say if any melancholy lingers in your soul once the offspring are tossing Frisbees on sun-dappled beaches, then you have issues. The ones who maintain that when you’re sad, you can't also be happy for your children, and who imply that this might make you selfish, weak, histrionic, or over-invested in your role as the centre of the universe for your children.

I guess it's always easier to see the world in black and white, But in the grey area, where most of us live, one of the marvels of being human involves being able to hold more than one feeling in your heart at any one time.

Yop can lament what is lost even while celebrating what is gained. Simultaneously, you can cherish memories of the little ones they once were, feel great hope for the future, and cry over the realisation that you no longer need to buy milk.

But like so many other parents you will find that your emotions are a potent mix. You have devoted a couple of decades to those babies. All the same, no matter how proud you are of what they have become, it can still come as a shock that they have indeed flown the nest.

How can they possibly be living hundreds of miles from home and wearing size 13 shoes and studying formulas and theories that you cannot even begin to grasp, when surely you could still reach out and take their tiny, grubby little hands in your's to cross the street?

When I was young I got some serious flak for not having children. "What will you do when you're old?" many said. "Do I have kids to be my carers in old age?" I thought, but I kept quiet, instead I said: "In my old age I will probably being in the same care home as you, but I won't be the one looking wistfully out of the window for family who are too busy to visit."

Believe me from your post, you will never have to worry about that. Just wait until you have held your first Grandchild, then come back and tell us how you feel

Grammaretto Mon 17-Aug-20 19:14:50

I think I find it hardest with the DGC, the ones far away. When they were little we could cuddle and comfort them and read them stories but now they are becoming young women, we have lost that closeness. Seeing them just a couple of times a year is not enough.

Peardrop50 Mon 17-Aug-20 19:06:04

We definitely have a fulfilling life in our coupledom and I never suffered from empty nest feelings. I am proud of how self sufficient our children are, how jolly decent and caring but it doesn’t stop me missing the adult them when we don’t get together for a while and that feeling that washed over me last night was a first for me.

Lucca Mon 17-Aug-20 19:02:42

Of course we make lives for ourselves but it doesn’t stop those of us particularly with children far far away missing them. Just the other day I thought “ I really just want to go and have a coffee and do the crossword together with my son”

grannyqueenie Mon 17-Aug-20 18:59:19

I can really identify with this. Ours aged 38-50 are all independent, have been for years now and I couldn’t be more proud of what they’ve accomplished all in different ways But there is something about this current time that has made me feel nostalgic and perhaps more anxious than usual. I just want to gather them all close and have them as “mine“ for a bit. I’m not normally a possessive mum at all.
Initially paid work and more recently satisfying voluntary work more than filled any gap my children leaving home created but just now my usual activities are suspended indefinitely. I think thanks what’s made me hanker for years long passed.

Lexisgranny Mon 17-Aug-20 18:52:32

Why can’t you do both? My grandchildren love hearing stories about their fathers when they were young, and their fathers join in and there s a lot of hilarity. Equally we talk about their hopes and dreams for the future. My husband and I similarly enjoy our lives, but love both reminiscing and making future plans. I have enjoyed and am still enjoying new interests. I prefer a balance between past, present and future, all three are of equal importance to me

Luckygirl Mon 17-Aug-20 18:51:29

I would do it all again if I could. I loved being a Mum.

Harris27 Mon 17-Aug-20 18:49:38

Oh I could shed a tear at this. Yes I’m so proud of them as they are my boys but yes would love to go back down memory lane just for a few minutes.

lemongrove Mon 17-Aug-20 18:43:29

Hetty58 yes of course, and I certainly do, but still say those years were the best, when the children were young, we had a lot of fun together and also really good health and vitality.
Things are different now, although I am lucky as all the A C and DGC live nearby, or fairly nearby, so see them a lot.
We also had a really active social life, and our jobs as well, but things change for us all.

Grammaretto Mon 17-Aug-20 18:37:03

Oh yes. We have done our job and we are proud of them
but we still want to wrap them in our nest feathers.

I watched a compelling documentary about a family of cheetahs. That single parent lost 3 of her 5 cubs but kept looking out for them until they were nearly two before she left them. Job done.

I saw all 11 of our DC and DGC yesterday, some online as they are far away. It was bitter-sweet but mainly sweet.
Aren't we lucky that we can lift a phone or send a message - instantly.

Urmstongran Mon 17-Aug-20 18:26:18

Great comment Hetty58. I totally agree. Look forward and not back. Maybe it’s an ‘age thing’ aka reminiscing? Bet your bottom dollar the next generations are making their own memories. That, I suppose, is how it ought to be.

Hetty58 Mon 17-Aug-20 18:21:02

It's best to live in the present, not the past. When the parent job is over, enrich your own life and enjoy all the things that you didn't have the time to, back then.