Saturday, August 28, 2010

Empty Nest Syndrome - Part Trois

Mollie Writes:

Well, I'm off to my little l.3 acre yard on a mission to undo all the damage done in July and August.  For MS'ers, July and August are the worst months for gardening, and all the blame goes to the heat.

On Whidbey Island, where I live, we have not had much of a summer.  We had a few wild and crazy days of heat, followed by a few days of wild and crazy rain, ad nauseam.  And John and I, when there were no small craft warnings, have been trying to sail on moderate weather days.  This left my poor yard a distant ten on my list of top ten things to do in the summer.

And the weeds are everywhere. The paths carved out in the back yard by my gardening partner, John, have been eliminated by our pup, Bos'n.  He has worn out his puppy self by running crazily up and down the terraces fetching frisbees, chasing tennis balls and swimming in the pond.   And he's taken to eating trees - not a good thing at all.  And the foxglove and lupine are in desperate need of deadheading.  The lavender needs to be harvested and the list goes on.

Gardening is another good fill in for the nurturing soul whose children have flown he coop.  I can get absorbed by soil and weeds and pruning and feeding and watering . . . oh man.  I can fuss over the rose with black spot just as easily as I can fuss over a kid with an ear infection.  I can spruce up flower beds as nattily as I can dress up a child, and weeds, I can eliminate them with a little digging and a quick tug, much like a mom helps a kid break a bad habit.

When the fledglings are off on their adventures, there's nothing like an absorbing hobby to replace the persnickety absorption of a retired mommy.  Sewing, gardening, reading, writing and cooking are just a few of my new interests since moving north five years ago.  These were all things that I wanted to do years ago, but had neither the time or the budget to indulge myself.

So if you are a frustrated new mother, keep a list of the things you want to do when things quiet down.  They will, although not anytime soon.  If you are the parent of a school age child, try to introduce them to the things that you love (although this went over like a lead balloon with my boys when it came to sewing and gardening).  Some day that list will come out, and in the beat of your heart, you'll be compensating for all those years of unfulfilled  interests.


  1. Once the arthritis in my knees (see, I AM ready to be a grandmother!) got to the point where I can no longer kneel, my poor kidlets got "weed the garden" added to their chore charts. I hate weeding but I sure do miss the rest of it!

  2. That all sounds quite lovely. I am hoping for a garden next year! Nothing big, as I don't want to put in a huge amount of effort only to be side tracked with the four kids and have everything die. A small garden the kids can help with, though, would be nice.



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