nudge from the nest


I have a little more work to do before getting to paint today. That is fine and it probably won't hinder the mood. But earlier this morning I had to do something that could be a mood breaker. I had to crack down on my son.

I truly believe that the role of wife and mother involves a lot of things but one of the most important is creating a haven for your family. I am not talking visual, although if you saw my house you would know I put a priority on that too. No, what I am talking about is creating an environment of kindness and peace that is a safe retreat from the challenges of this world. And we, as a family, have been pretty good at caring for each other in this way. No matter how rotten a day goes we can all come together at the end and find a place of refuge, encouragement, and love. For us this plays out in practical ways. Simple acts of kindness to one another that aren't requested, but are done by observing the needs of the other. It is a give and take situation that comes from a true place of caring for one another. It also comes from a place that works hard not to take each other for granted.

Sometimes that goes south.

Like this morning. Our family enjoys our little indulgences. Making capuccino for one another, encouraging each other in our artistic pursuits, and lots of other little things. One of the things that I have done in the morning is wake up my guys, make the coffee, and make oatmeal for Daniel as he gets ready for school. I also pack the lunches, etc. It sounds very "leave it to beaverish" but it has just been one of those things that seems to start the day on a positive note for everyone. I have done this since Daniel was 5, and up until recently I have loved this particular act of kindness. But lately it has been impossible to get my teen out of bed. Multiple times of coming in his room to wake him only for him to roll over and go back to sleep. Once or twice is no big deal. But it has gotten progressively worse over a period of weeks and I finally told him today that starting monday, he is on his own. I am not playing human alarm clock and as for breakfast, well...get it yourself. I am done. No more.

This didn't come from a spiteful place, but from a mom that has felt seriously under appreciated in this area. Repeatedly being ignored gets old. Especially since I am regularly sleep deprived. I guess what was originally an act of kindness became an expectation and then somewhere along the line became something even less. So in the give and take of healthy relationships, in this particular instance, I had to draw a line in the sand.

Of course it is probably a natural nudge from the nest (in fact you are probably thinking...ah blair...duh, who makes their teenager breakfast anymore?). But the act of nudging is sort of painful.

And today it is a little ironic that the painting that I am working on is all about the seasons of motherhood.

I could just cry.

But it is good, because each season brings something new. Beginnings and endings and the journeys in between can be treasured.


Ah Blair, I feel your pain. Your story makes me want to cry too - for what you are going through with a teenager, for what I am going through with teenagers, for what every mom with teenagers must do - start to pull back their mothering so that their children may learn to fly on their own.

Parenting is the one relationship in the world where the end result is to learn to disconnect.

And quite honestly, it sucks!

I hope painting goes brilliantly today and that in the midst of this you are able to see the duality of parenting - the joy and the sadness - but always moreso the joy.

Anita, your words are a comfort and "to see the duality of parenting" is something that really struck me. The timing isn't lost on me and may actually contribute to, or change the direction of my painting. Thank you.

blair, you are an example of kindness to me in so many ways. i hope you can see this nudge as another kind of kindness. it is deeply printed in my mind one moment at 17 when i disregarded my mother and she drew the line in the sand. it helped me grow up and even in the moment, in an odd way, i felt thankful.

Jen, thanks for bringing up that memory. It helps to think of it in those terms. It will be interesting to see what monday looks like.

hey blair, i echo jen. you are giving him wings. he's got the roots down solid and deep - and it's time to start strengthening those wings so they are strong enough to fly when that nest does become too small.

as mine are 9 & 7 i can type those words so easily. my day is coming and i can't imagine that it is easy. he will thank you for this one day (as will his wife!) :)

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This page contains a single entry by Blair published on March 11, 2005 9:42 AM.

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