Pumpkinville and “Empty Nesting”

15 October, 2005 Ken Uncategorized

Mer and I went to Pumpkinville today between choir practive and a meeting I had to go to tonight. I wished Christina was with us, but then I realized something.

All these years, I wanted to include Christina in everything we did. Always. But she’s getting older and doesn’t care to spend time with parents much now, and I thought about how we’re only a few years away from her being an adult anyway. Then we will just run into each other or make plans once in a while, if she isn’t living a zillion miles away. And that’s okay.

So basically, I’m having a little bit of “empty nest” syndrome. Maybe a bit early, but letting go of your kids as they sink into their own separate lives is a slow process that starts long before they move out. But I also see all the little kids and miss when Christina was younger. Even more, I wish I could play with a child, in all their wonder over simple things, such as picking fall-colored leaves or reading books together. I want more times where my kid(s) actually want to go for a walk just because, or where everything in the world isn’t terminally boring to them. And I know I could offer them more than I could even offer Christina.

I know now that there are many things I would do different. Some because I would have the support of the other parent and be able to have say over many things I should have with my daughter over the years. Some are just realizing in hindsight the causes and effects of my relationship on my daughter late in life. Maybe I wont be so eager to share everything and teach them everything all the time, because my time isn’t as limited, and because there is a such thing as “too much”. I’ve grown as a person as well as a father, and it almost seems a waste to not use what I have learned.

So today, Merry and I seriously talked about adopting an infant or maybe a toddler. We would start soon, and Chrissie wouldn’t feel at all squeezed out by the time it actually would go through in a few years. Merry wants a boy. Gender doesn’t matter to me, and we would both gladly accept a child with special needs so long as we felt we could adequately care for them. I would also be totaly open to a child who was ethnically different in appearance, and would welcome the diversity.

But it’s a big choice — one that we talked about for many years but wanted to wait for the right time. And right now, I still have a daughter I would move the world for if she’d let me, but is still mad at me. I continue to pray our realtionship will be healed.


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