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Coffee Break with Liz and Kate » Headline, »

shooting starMy grandmother used to wish and wish for “the good ole days”, and at the time, I could not understand what made her hindsight view of “the good ole days” so rose colored. I know from stories my father has shared that those times were not, by any stretch of the imagination, always so “good”, and in fact, at times, were quite horrible. I smile now remembering what my grandfather, a much wiser man in my opinion, would say.  “The good ole days? Why we’re living ‘em, Ivy. We’re living ‘em.”  But lately, I’m thinking I have a better understanding of her longing.

Don’t get me wrong. I know that, like my grandfather said, I’m “living the good ole days”.  I so appreciate being cool in the summer and warm in the winter without any physical labor on my part other than turning a dial, and if I had to actually depend on my own ability to grow my veggies and meat, I would surely starve.

Furthermore, as a marketing professional (and those of you that know me can quit snickering at the word “professional” right now), adoption and understanding of the latest and greatest in the tech world is critical to my livelihood, so you can better believe I Tweet and Facebook, am LinkedIn and signed on for the better part of my life.

But that doesn’t stop me from sometimes wishing the world and everything in it would … just … slow … down …

Since 1986, my nest has been feathered with a succession of boys, three of my own and all of their friends. There were many times when I wondered if I would ever again have a home that wasn’t littered with stinky shoes, Hot Wheels cars, baseball cleats, and drumsticks, and a schedule that wasn’t dictated by ball schedules, or band practice, speech tournaments, and part-time jobs.

Our house was the house where everyone wanted to hang out. That was, after all, how I hoped it would be, and had made a concerted effort to make it that way. For a few years there, it was not unusual for me to go to bed with my three boys up playing video games or watching movies, and wake up the next morning to find I would be making pancakes for 5 or 6 boys, the unidentifiable “lumps” littering my family room.

And then, it started happening. First the oldest flew the nest and landed (thankfully) in a nearby town to find a career he loves, but one that requires strange work schedules with very little time off. Until recently, however, his apartment didn’t have a washer/dryer, so I was assured of seeing him at least every couple of weeks. Then son number 2 graduated high school, started college, and worked a part-time job when he wasn’t in class. He still lives at home, but …

When those two moved on to bigger and better things … so did their friends! I should have seen it coming, but I didn’t. Suddenly, it seems, the nest is a whole bunch emptier and frankly, I’m having a hard time dealing with all the “peace and quiet”.

Number 3 son is not helping me out here one bit. He has a core group of friends, all good kids, but they are quite different from those of my older boys. They actually think they have to go do something somewhere in order to be together! No “just hanging out” at my house for them. Maybe it’s because very few them have gotten a driver’s license. Maybe, they’ll start to congregate here when they’re able to drive themselves over. I can hope for that, can’t I?

But really, it’s more than just angst over an empty house. I worry that, in all their rush to grow up and out, did any of the lessons I’ve tried to teach over the years stick? Are they so hell bent on being connected, fast-tracked, socially networked that they will forget some of the pleasures of life that aren’t found on the information highway, but rather out the country highway where they’ve been raised? I guess I just don’t want them to forget where they came from, even if it’s not the life they choose to live from now on.

I worry. That’s what moms do. I know. I’m not whining. Really, I’m not, but surely I should just see some evidence that at least a part of their old mom is in there? And just when I think I won’t, something like this happens.

Late last summer, number 3 son and his girl, a sweetie that we all love, were spending time together at our house. To give them the privacy I know they need, I had retreated to my bedroom while they were, or so I thought, watching yet another movie in the family room. Suddenly, number 3 comes bursting into my bedroom saying, “Mom you gotta come out and see the stars. They’re amazing.”

I, of course, did what any sane woman who had to get up at 5:30 am the next morning would do. I jumped out of bed and followed him out the back door, greeted with his girl’s voice saying, “over here. It’s the best place to see them.” So there we were, lying on our backs in the dew soaked grass, gazing at a night sky filled with stars, watching as the clouds moved and revealed more and more. I had his girl to my right, and no. 3 to my left. And we talked. And we laughed. And his girl saw her very first shooting star. And it was wonderful.

And I, for a brief moment, had evidence that, even through all his bravado, jock, video game playing, teenage attitude, a little bit of me is in there. The part that appreciates a beautiful sky, on a beautiful summer night, sharing it with the people you love the most. No internet, no video game, no satellite TV. Just mother nature, doing her thing. And it was wonderful!

I know that times like those will get fewer and further between, and it won’t be too long until the nest is completely empty. It’s times like this one that I can sympathize with my grandmother’s longing for the “good ole days”.  And like my grandfather said, I know, too that I’m living them, right here and right now, and the days that come will be good too, for they will be filled with memories of boys eating pancakes, and band competitions, of baseball games and starry nights, and that’s as it should be.

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denise fusonDenise Fuson has known Liz and Kate longer than any of the three of them want to admit. The mother of 3 amazing young men, she spends her days marketing high fidelity stereo speakers for THIEL Audio, and her “free” time with family and indulging in her latest passion, designing and creating beautiful jewelry and beads. She has an oft neglected blog at

Enjoy your Coffee Break!

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