The wrinkles tell my story!

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It’s 1984 and high school graduation is behind me.  These boys I’m dating are not marriage material but I’m far from saying, “I do” to anyone.  I’m 19 years old which is the same age my daughter Grace is today and I was not about to do the norm and by norm I mean marriage right out of high school or college.  The gym is my second home, I’ve just learned to drive a car, and the world is now calling my name.  To speed this up, the next 8 years are filled with traveling, dating, dancing, laughter, and memories of lessons learned and lessons taught…sorry boys I never meant to hurt you but you were the path that led me to my soul mate!

All I can think about now is marriage!  A blind date? Ok, haven’t done that yet, why not!  Thank you Lord he’s handsome and tall.  He’s making me laugh, ok that’s a plus.  He has a career not just a job, another plus.  The final test…does he have a relationship with the same God I serve?  Well, it would be something I witnessed.  He walked down to the front of the church and I was honored to see him give his life to Christ while on our 3rd date!  We were married 6 months later.

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Now 23 years, 2 kids, a son, a daughter later we had our ups, downs, many blessings, laughter,  failures, farewells to love ones who left us way to early, quick trips to Texas Children’s Hospital, friends moved away, job loss, several homes taken right from under us, financial loss, career change for the better, major surgeries, heartbreaks, graduations, car accidents, floods, snow, and many many wrinkles later. 
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I may be in an empty nest trying to find myself now but I didn’t get here without the hard work of pouring the foundation for their future and ours.  This empty nest is a blessing.   A blessing for my wrinkles.  It’s a pat on my back for raising a well rounded responsible son and daughter.  The silence is loud and the nights are long but it’s showing me that my wrinkles tell the story of how I got here!  This empty house is not a punishment but an accomplishment!

A special thanks to Debi Caballero for the title! I love you!

Being…mom

As a little girl, I was told I could be anything I wanted to be when I grew up…the sky was the limit! I dreamed of the possibilities. If the sky was the limit, then heck why not? Why not be a teacher, a police officer, a politician, a doctor, or president. But this little girl dreamed about being a mom to a son and a daughter.

I wanted more than anything to raise children. The joy it gave me to hear their first words, see them take their first steps, and to share memories of laughter. The first day of school to their graduation celebration. Their first love and first heartbreak. Helping them choose college courses and driving them to their first jobs. All that came along with being a mom, I wanted! It has given me such great
happiness!

So now that they are grown…a son moved out and a daughter in college, where does that leave my “mom” role? Is it over? Is this it? In one sense yes because I did my mom thing. I raised respectable, independent young adults who now have dreams of possibilities of their own. In another sense no because a woman never, ever stops being “mom” once you are a mom. I mean who else but mom looks at their son or daughter at any age and don’t see those tiny fingers stretching up at you saying, “up up?”

I find and found great comfort, peace, stability, worth, and accomplishment from being a mom! I wouldn’t change one thing!

Nights are long…longer

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It’s easy to stay busy while the sun is up. But these nights are lasting longer than they should!

It’s no surprise that the silence drowns me but the voices in my head keep my mind swimming for shore. Are they eating? Are they happy? Are they sleeping?

Sure I know the God I serve is in control and he says don’t worry but the enemy doesn’t just give up and let you go. He will attempt to defeat us one way or another.

Sure I put my trust in God and my faith is strong but if I’m being honest than I admit that I worry.

It’s a “let it go” process. It starts with closing my eyes. I pray for peace, comfort, and the need to feel less in control. See if having an empty nest has taught me anything its taught me that I can’t control what I simply can’t control!

Less is more.

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It’s amazing how the house is always clean, now. The beds are made and the laundry is done. The dishes are put away and no shoes to trip over in front of the couch. I think I miss all the above…I think.

Those things I was strongly against doesn’t seem so irritating. Could it be because there is nothing to be irritated about or were they really not that important? Could it be that everything is finally as I like it?

I’m not sure what is going on here! These mixed emotions are making me feel guilty, guilty because I’m starting to enjoy it. It feels great having the house run the way you like it, except there’s only me enjoying it so much. A little guilty…I am. What was so wrong in the first place of having a smooth running home? Did it not make them feel as accomplished as it did me?

Well, one thing for sure, less is more. I do less cleaning, less delagating, less stressing, and less complaining.

Vivian Maldonado