When Yancey and I got married almost 30 years ago, we were still in school. We almost immediately wanted children. Before long we had two wonderful, amazing daughters! We've enjoyed them so much. Every year seemed like the best age ever, and they continue to amaze us.
We saw a movie before we had kids that said that if you marinade your children with lots of love, when they grow up they will be nice and juicy. We thought that sounded like a pretty good plan. We also figured that they came into this world perfect, and that it was our job as parents not to mess that up. The third piece of wisdom that we took to heart was that children needed so much time and attention that you shouldn’t have more children than you have care givers. For us that meant 2 kids.
Although we weren’t perfect, we worked hard at it. Yancey quit her day job to be a full time Mom, which was important, if you can afford it, because it is a full time job. We chose to live simply in a small 1100 square foot house, for example. It was a job we both loved, and we never felt we needed to hire a babysitter or vacation away from them. We were happy being together as a family.
Magically, they never went through the terrible twos or the terrible teens, they just grew up strait and strong and into amazingly smart, talented, beautiful people. For us, it was the best job ever, raising them. And, they helped us grow as we nurtured them, and loved us back! How amazing is that?! Our job loved us back! How many of us can say that about our day jobs?
Now they have graduated with highest honors from the best schools in Virginia (sorry, I had to brag, just a little), and have moved out of the house and started exploring the world and their growing role in it. My parents commented the other day that it must be sad that they are away. I told them, of course we missed them, but we were happy they have the ability and confidence to make their way in the world, even if it was in Colorado or New York, and that we figured we were raising adults, not children, Starship Captains, not Cling-ons.
|Student Driver Scene in Naked Gun|
How did that happen? We were young parents, and like everyone else in the world, didn’t have a license to raise kids. It has been said that you need a license to drive a car, but not to give birth to and raise a human being. How crazy is that? So many bat shit crazy parents out there… just look at the Casey Anthony trial for Christ’s sake. Wouldn’t life be better for children, wouldn’t this planet be more joyful with just a little instruction, a driver’s manual, a test to make certain you are competent to drive this car? Just a thought. Perhaps we need birth control in the tap water as a public health policy, and you have to take a pill to have a baby – so then only wanted children would be born?
So now we are empty nesters. It has been an adjustment, and we are still working through it. It has been amazing to spend more time together as a couple. That has been a lot of fun, actually, to be able to focus on ourselves and our needs. Now we can have sex in every room in the house (without fear of scaring the children) :). Sorry kids, too much information. But, honestly, I miss that our present job doesn’t yet love us back – at least not yet. I miss that, and I miss the extra hugs I would get when I got home from work in the evening too, among other joys of raising kids too numerous to mention. Man, it was a great job.
We are still figuring out our next great job. Very likely raising our girls will be our best work, but we are excited about designing and inventing beautiful things for a living. And if we can’t do it for a living, then we will follow our joy and do it anyway. It’s not who’s going to let us, it’s who’s going to stop us. Right? We’ve had a lot of fun so far, but then we’ve been empty nesters for only a short while. Who knows what we will accomplish in the coming years, but we feel we’ve a lot yet to give creatively and otherwise. We still love the idea of nurturing others – but we don’t want to make new babies or adopt foster children or anything. We may find other ways to nurture and help others find their most joyful potential. We’ll be working on perhaps folding that into our 2nd career as well…
Shine On! Braxton