Empty Nest Mothering

When our children have left home my wife redirected her motherly instincts toward helping me grow up and find something to do now that I am retired. Not that I need to…as I see it, maturity is over rated. My wife on the other hand feels I need to get a grip on life, adulthood and knowing what it is she wants me to get out of being alive. But she has not wasted all these years learning to be a mother to let an empty nest stop her when she is at the top of her game.
“What are you going to do today?”
“You did that yesterday.”
“I know, but I didn’t get it done.”
That doesn’t go over well and she quietly lets me know by sending her eyes rolling around in her head and giving me that exasperated look that can only come from a redirected mother who is thinking, and her body language screaming, “I really can’t believe you just said that.”…How do they roll their eyes in their head like that and not have them fall out?
She then starts with “The kitchen faucet needs to be repaired. It kept me up all last night with its constant dripping. I didn’t get a wink of sleep.”
“Then who was that next to me snoring all night.”…There go those eyes again. How does she keep from falling over? With the speed her eyes travel you would think they would cause her equilibrium to be so out of whack she would go into orbit…”Ok, I’ll get to the faucet,” I tell her…as soon as I get done doing nothing!
Now, I should have realized that agreeing to fix to the faucet was a mistake. I should have said that as soon as I can locate the tools and go to the hardware store and shop for the parts…then I’ll fix that faucet. She doesn’t know I bought the parts yesterday and was going to fix it today anyway. You see as soon as I said I would fix the faucet the flood gates were open…the dam broken…the sky is falling…because out comes the “While you’re at its…”
If she ever retires and begins to spend time at home “relaxing” and simply doing what she wants to do, she will be back to mothering, attempting in her oh so nonjudgmental way to make me grow up and become “useful around here” and I’ll have to unretire, pick up my sledge hammer and go back to work at the rock quarry so I can go back to doing something less tiring than completing the list she will have dreamed up while the dripping faucet kept her awake all night.


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