Something happened this past weekend that has once again changed the composite of the Ashbury household: our daughter and grandson moved into their own place.Apr 1, 2009 1 of 405View Source
Something happened this past weekend that has once again changed the composite of the Ashbury household: our daughter and grandson moved into their own place.
Despite the fact that today is indeed April 1st, this is no joke. We are once more a household of 2 humans, 1 dog and 1 cat.
Our daughter and her husband have reconciled, and we'll see how it goes. We only want her to be happy, with no parental parameters defining that happiness. We really do hope everything works out for her. But we've come to the conclusion it's time for her to stand on her own two feet.
Moving out now was her idea. She had been planning to wait until May or June, as she is just now finishing her college course. She had planned to get a job and accrue a couple of months pay before looking for an apartment, but one came available, and it was a very good deal. It's at the other end of town, which isn't a problem in any way, shape, or form since this being a small town, there are no "bad areas".
My beloved asked her if she was certain that this was what she wanted to do. Her response was very positive, with the added codicil that she thought that if she lived here much longer she might murder his wife.
I can sympathise with that sentiment one hundred per cent.
There exists a fine line between helping our grown children and crippling them. I regret to report that I have on more than one occasion been guilty of the latternot just in the case of my daughter, but with my late son as well.
It's hard, as a parent, to say no. Even when you understand deep inside that `no' is really the best response in the long run, it's still a tough call to make.
We're parents for life, of course. There will always be times when our children need uswell, until we hit that magical point where roles reverse. But until then, we know we're always "on call."
But we won't always be here, and there comes a point when our children must face the tough stuff on their own.
My beloved and I are pleased we were able to help. Over the past fifteen months, we all had to make adjustments as we learned how to cohabitate together. The only space we had available for them was the upstairs, equal in floor space to the entire down stairs, but not quite "finished". This had been a renovation Anthony and my husband had worked on before our son died, and since that time, my beloved simply hasn't had the heart to finish. So we offered but `rough' rooms floors and ceilings and insulation and windows that worked, certainly, but no drywall or paint.
We had to learn how to live with two younger people, both of whom live life louder and faster than we were used to. My daughter had to get used to not being the woman in charge, and my grandson had to get used to having older people around.
Since they are relatively close by, and don't as yet have such amenities as a washer and a dryer, I can be sure I'll see my daughter on a regular basis. Until the end of the school year, my grandson will be coming here each morning in order to catch his bus to school. So of course they aren't going out of sight or out of touch for long stretches at a time.
There's a quality to the quiet here now that had been missing; even on weekends over the past fifteen months when they would be gone for a day or two, the house didn't achieve the degree of quiet it has right now.
So life here will be returning to normal. Whatever that is.
THE LADY MAKES THREE
Available now only at SIREN-BOOKSTRAND PUBLISHING
You ve heard it said, I am sure, that people come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. My problem is I can t tell the difference. I amAug 28 405 of 405View Source
You've heard it said, I am sure, that people come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. My problem is I can't tell the difference. I am constantly, even eagerly, slotting folks into that last category. I'm like an excited little puppy all wound up having someoneor several someone'snew in my lifea puppy who gets all frisky and happy and bounces back and forth as if saying, "Wanna play? Wanna play?" Then when things happenthings that seem inexplicable to me, things that leave me wondering what I could possibly have done wrong, I'm left broken hearted because those people turn and walk away with no backward glance whatsoever and I am left feeling totally and completely bereft.
I'm beginning to suspect that the only thing I keep doing wrong is slating people into the "lifetime" category who never should have been there in the first place. I've only begun to realize this flaw in my previous behavior because the ones I have now in that "lifetime" slot were the ones meant to be there all along.
I know I can't be the only person this has happened to. Life has taught me that very, very few of us ever experience something that no one else ever has. I've had a number of traumatic and tragic things happen in my lifetime. I know that probably most of you have, too. At some point, maybe twenty years ago or so, I came to the decision that if life really was only 5 percent what happened to me and 95 percent how I dealt with it, then I'd better see if I could deal with things in a way that would be beneficial to others, and therefore beneficial to myself.
Yes, that's another variation of making lemonade out of lemons.
Because I am, down to my soul, a writer, then dealing with things in a beneficial way meant I had to write about them. Those who can look beyond the wink-wink-nudge-nudge of my novels will discover that I deal with a lot of issues that many of us struggle with in life. What I don't deal with that way, I manage to tackle within the pages of these essays, every week.
Life is a journey and like any long trip, not all of it is made over smooth roads. Sometimes we have to travel the gravel side roads, and sometimes we find ourselves on deeply rutted dirt trails. Sometimes we're making our way in the company of good companions, and sometimes we are achingly alone.
Everyone has to define the terms under which they want to live their lives. We each of us have our own priorities, and we're not all the same. We aren't all given to the same purposes or causes; we don't define happiness or sadness in exactly the same way. We really are unique, each one of us. We share a common humanity, yes, and a common spectrum of possibilities, but the fine points, the details, are different for us all.
As I've gotten older, as more milestones have gone by my personal window on this, my life's journey, I understand as I never did before how self sufficient we are, and at the same time, how isolated we are.
I believe that we were created to help one another. Do you want to have a good, really good, feeling inside of yourself? Then take your eyes off yourself and help someone else. Do you want to feel as if you matter? Then matter to othersdo something that makes a difference either to an individual or a group.
Are you the only one who has ever made a horrible mistake, lost someone dear, or suffered an injury to your body or your soul? Of course not. We all have. Is every day a day of joy and laughter and all things positive and light?
If only. Nope, there are at least as many dark days as there are light ones in anyone's life; the difference lies in how we rate them. I personally give happy, sunny days a 5 rating, and the gloomy, sad ones a 0.5 one.
Oh yes, that is stacking the deck in my favor, but then I can do that if I want to. Because the most important principle I have learned in life says I can. What is that principle? Gosh, I am glad you asked.
It's that, in the final analysis, everything emotionaland I do mean everythingis a decision. How you handle the firestorms that come your way, is a decision.
Life doesn't control your heart or your mind or your soul. You do.