a constant swivel & an empty nest

I’m writing a work of fiction about a middle-age woman, newly empty-nested and figuring out her next stage of life.  This week my husband, Jeff and I dropped off our twin daughters at college—Lucy at American University & Willa at Wheaton College in Massachusetts.  

It won’t take you too long to figure out who “Alice” is in my excerpt.

“Although, she didn’t have the feeling so many of her friends described of instant familiarity with their babies…some bullshit, mysterious, ancient connection.  She felt something else, far less magical, perhaps it was a twin thing. 

constant swivel lisa lillibridgeAlice remembers how immediately after holding Frankie and Pearl for the first time she had a feeling that she was ignoring one baby whenever she turned her head and looked at the other.  Im already screwing this up She couldn’t possibly have known in that moment that this feeling would never leave her.  Alice’s head and heart already on a constant swivel, less than an hour after giving birth to twins.”

As many of you already know, it’s quite an emotional roller coaster to send the last of your brood out into the world.  I’m only 16 hours in, so this is all still pretty raw for me.

I believe whenever my wholeheartedness is required,

the process just can’t be rushed. 

In the remarkably funny (and raunchy) Netflix series Big Mouth, the character of Jessie’s mother, Shannon has the best line to describe what I’m feeling right now. 

“Let’s finish basic training before we go to Fallujah.”

She was describing using a maxi pad, when her daughter asked about tampons.  A great line for lots of situations though.

BIG MOUTH was created by Jennifer Flackett, Andrew Goldberg, Nick Kroll and Mark Levin.  The voice of Jessie’s mother, Shannon is Jessica Chaffin. 

(PLEASE NOTE: Do not watch BIG MOUTH with young kids.)

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The Ideal Mother is a Terrible Parent

by Erin W

I stumbled upon this article recently, which helped knock back some of those ever present parenting “should haves”Thank you Erin W.

“Eventually I smothered the ideal mother. I killed her dead. I introduced myself to my kids and started practicing “organic parenting.” I yell, I curse, I kiss and I hug. I hold onto them and push them away. They hold onto me and push me away.  Together, we horrify and delight each other, all the time.”  (I love this line wholeheartedly.)

LINK:  https://sherecovers.co/the-ideal-mother-is-a-terrible-parent/

My solace will come from many sources.  I’m riding the unpredictable waves as they roll in and I’m trying to listen to my inner self .  I know she’ll guide this process far better than any outside sources ever could.  I have to be willing to actually listen though.

Hang in there fellow empty nesters.

empty nest

summertime…and the feeling ain’t so easy.

do not worry lillibrdge dakota

“I propose to fight it out on this line if it takes all summer.
—Ulysses S. Grant
I wish I was one of those moms who just can’t wait for her kids to get out of school.
I am not.
SUMMER 2015
For my 15 year old twin daughters:
—I will try to not be angry when you’re watching reruns of the Kardashians at noon.
(This will last until the 5th of July and then all bets are off on my tolerance level.)
I will pay you to read classic novels and you will thank me, refuse payment and we’ll have dense philosophical conversations about the book late into the night. Hey, a mom can dream, right?
When in doubt, picking up trash is a time honored pastime from my childhood.
—If you make a list of fun things you want do with me, I’ll try to make them happen.
I want to love you more than I’m angry every single day.  Please just pick up your room and do the dishes and don’t leave wet towels everywhere.  My needs are simple. Your life will be much easier if you do these three things.  Have you heard the term, “choosing the path of least resistance”?  Learn it.  Live it.
Here’s to a great summer of 2015!

An Absurdist Mother’s Day

I woke up early (ever earlier than usual today) at 5:00 and the birds were chirping and the sun was shining. I walked out into the garden to have my coffee and take some photos of spring growth. It seemed like a lovely time to reflect on Mother’s Day. Here are my dominant thoughts on the subject of MOTHERING.

1. It’s ridiculously hard and it’s often quite funny. If I can find the funny more often, then it makes the hard a lot more tolerable. I feel that our home life is way more like Theater of the Absurd than anything else.

Happy Mother’s Day everyone. Enjoy the day!

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