I’m over here…behind 1000 vintage plates


Almost eight years ago, my little girl, all grown up,   packed up her car with all of her most important belongings as I followed behind with more…. on our way to  her new place in LA.  As I drove away with my empty car, feeling like I was in the middle of a bad hallmark movie, I prayed that The Good Lord would watch over my little Country girl!

A lot has happened since then and I couldn’t be more proud. She has carved out quite an unique little piece of the pie for herself in the big city, finished school, made a lot of friends, let go of a few, and found her Prince Charming all inside the last part of this side of a decade! (The wedding is this June!)
I think we both grew up a little since then! Learning how to let go in ways I never imagined was huge for me. But she really is all grown up. Even though she will always be my baby.

Please support my daughter by reading and following her blog. Here is the latest sampling of her most recent adventures! Love you Brookie!

Your Mama

Fern & Bone

Hi old friends,

I’ve been away for ages. I’ve made some changes, including my focus here. If you don’t want to hear about antique china, mushy thoughts on love and life, dinner parties, recipes, and weddings, then get.

If you’re still here, I have some news… Chase and I are engaged! After 5 years together, he proposed on our traditional hike to Elizabeth lake in Tuolumne Meadows (Yosemite.) This deserves it’s own post, so I’ll come back to it later, but it sort of sparked everything that follows…

I love everything about weddings, but once we were engaged the idea of actually planning mine seemed daunting. The one thing I did know, was that I wanted antique china, mismatched, but perfectly curated as if one person had traveled and lived and collected her favorite dishes through her life. I wanted my reception to look like we decided to have a wedding in the…

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I Wish I Could Go Too


peter pan never grow up

I went to Cal Poly yesterday and saw Peter Pan with my daughter. It was the same show she’d played the “grown up” Wendy in almost a decade earlier. It was the last show she was in here at home, before she left for school to attend AADA, The American Acadermy of Dramatic Arts, a drama school that has been around for over a century. Ahhh how I remember those last days. They were so fragile and they’d hit me like a Mack Truck.

I wasn’t prepared for the whole “Empty Nest” thing. In fact, it really kind of creeped up on me. It all started with her driving, and then curfews changing and slowly, me figuring out how to let go. I’d done it almost a decade earlier with her brother and that was hard enough, but there is something about the last one. Anyway, I’d remembered this line in the play at the end and searched all over to try to find it again and couldn’t. I kept wondering… What was that line that had me sobbing in my seat all of those years ago?! So silly.

NOW I KNOW, it was a combination of things that caused it to have had such a strong impact on me, but I was sure that line was so much more than what it was. Maybe it was because my baby was playing the older Wendy and I related to that character so much right then, but it was the scene when Peter came back to find Wendy and was mad at her for growing up. She’d told Jane, her own little girl, all her stories about Peter Pan and was letting her go with him. The line was simply: “I wish I could go too.” At the moment I heard the line back then all those years ago, I guess I felt that I was saying goodbye to my youth as well. NOW, I realize that it hadn’t been the words, but the time in my life.that made everything more meaningful. Not only was I letting my daughter go, but I was giving her wings, letting her fly, to go find her way, to go realize her dreams, to embrace her youth and find her way. It was time for me to stay home. I’d had my chance. It was her turn. Today I’ve realized how stuck I’ve been. But it has been my fault. I am in this time of my life where I am in deep reflection. My parents are getting older. I am having to face realities that I haven’t had to until now. Even my friends are dying, two in two weeks. But I have to realize that, THAT is not the norm. They died too early! “All” my friends are NOT just dying. Sadly, two of our closest friends who’d both fought different illnesses for around twenty years went home to be with the Lord. I knew it was happening, I expected it. But when it did, my world kind of crashed for a minute or two or… well, I’ve been kind of stuck since, in a depression. Focusing on everything negative. This also happened when I turned forty. I wasted my whole 39th year focusing on the next. Funny, but it took the very same play to kind of make me think about it. Lately, I’ve realized that the weeks seem to whip by, as if my life is going in fast motion. I think I got lost for a while. I think that I felt as if I’d missed my chance. My art room is packed away in tubs in the garage, my book is in the archives of my “saved documents” and I’ve kind of felt like Wendy when she knows she has to let her daughter go and live her life saying “I wish I could go too.” But yesterday I realized that it probably wasn’t that line that bothered me… it was the line after Wendy’s wish to go too when Peter said… “Well, you can’t.” “You wanna bet Peter?” Watch me!”

Empty Nesters Unite! As we watch our baby birds graduate and learn to let go!


 

This is the time of year…

empty birds nest

We are trying not to count the days. We know it is coming up. We are trying to be happy. And yet it is extremely hard.  This is bascially a re-share      that I posted  before my blog was very well known. I thought that I would reshare it as some of you are approaching that time in your life as you watch your babies graduate and wonder where the time has flown off to. It is hard to believe that the boy in this story is going to be 34 tomorrow! I just had to stop today to say….. Happy Birthday Chadly! Your mom loves you!

I remember when my son left home. It was his Senior Year. It was a crazy time for us to move and yet it happened. I remember always shaking my head when I’d hear stories of parents uprooting their kids from their last years of High School and yet we found ourselves in that same position. I was not ready. He was not ready. And yet it is a choice I made and will always look back and wonder about. In the end, he moved in with his dad. I am glad because his dad is gone now and it was a great bonding time for them that my son will always cherish. And yet as a mom who was pretty over protective all of his young life, I had to let go, knowing for the most part, that the supervision would not be identical. In fact, it was pretty non existent. I am pretty sure all curfews flew out the window along with my baby bird!

I remember once my son calling me and telling me that one of his dad’s room mate’s had brought home Jack In The Box for everyone but him. I am sure there was food in the house and he was not going to starve and that there may have been a good reason for leaving him out… mainly his attitude which has always been a bit challenging… Smile… But I can’t imagine his father partaking in the food while our son sat watching. Though I “get” that I was not privy to the full picture. As a mother missing her baby you can imagine my heart. So I began sending care packages.

care package

Sure I could have sent money and saved the shipping, but I found joy in choosing his favorite things and “knowing” he’d be fed. I don’t doubt that my ex was supplying the basic needs but not the hugs from his mom and so I sent those packages pretty regularly. Until I was asked not to.

One day I got a phone call asking me to “stop” (sending the packages) by my ex. He said, “Diane, you are not helping.” I will never forget how hard it was. I understood that my son was actually 18 by that time, had a job and was living rent free so just had to pay for his gas and food. My ex had moved out of his parent’s house his senior year, and  I know that he just wanted our son to grow up and learn about life the way he had to. It was a love thing. He wasn’t trying to be mean. But it was hard for him to understand my “mother’s heart” and that the thought of my baby being cold or sad or going hungry for even just one minute was hard for me. Okay well maybe I wasn’t that bad but  I did want to confront him about that Jack In The Box incident but I didn’t want to betray my son. And I wanted to tell my son that it was his dad who was making me stop sending the care packages but I could not betray his dad.

box open

It seemed as if everytime I turned around that year, I’d see a little boy that reminded me of my son. I missed him so much. But I knew that he wasn’t that little boy anymore. He was all grown up and I needed to let go.

Chad's first day of school

 

I guess I actually was glad that his dad taught him the hard lessons that I couldn’t.

I’ve shared this poem before here but it is one that I wrote right before my first baby bird tumbled out of my nest… This one is for all the moms having to let go this year as their baby birds fly off to school or where ever it might be. I understand and feel for you all. And I am here to tell you that you will survive! My son did! He has his own business and a beautiful family. Letting go isn’t always easy, nor is letting our baby birds fall out of the sky sometimes… but if we let them… experience the highs and the lows… someday they will learn to soar and that is enough hope for me. (This poem is also for the young moms who can’t wait for school to start and need a little reminder…  of just how FAST it all flies by!)

SON

 Seems like only  yesterday I held you in my arms

Oh how you swept me away with all your baby charms.

The days just flew by quickly, soon you began to talk

and then a little later, you began to walk….

“Mommy will you cross me? I want to go and play.”

Oh those words ring sweetly, now seem like yesterday.

The years have swiftly passed,

don’t know where they’ve all gone,

And when you cross the street now,

 you don’t need to call your mom.

It has happened right in front of me, before my very eyes…

packed away, your faded jeans, one of every size…

Teddy bears and old match box cars,

all packed with loving care,

boxes son

baseball cards and folded notes of secrets that you shared.

I sit amongst the boxes recalling our memories all alone

and realize that baby, once in my arms,

 is now fully grown~

boxes

And silently I wonder through a mixture of joy and tears…

Did I truly show how much I loved you

through  those tender years?

Sometimes it’s hard when you’re the mom

to make your child understand

just how VERY  proud she is when he becomes a man!

Diane Reed

1997

teddy in box

(Time flies! The one I wrote this  this poem for now has a family of his own!)

Brenden and Chad Muslemen

Seems Like Only Yesterday…


SON

 

Seems like only  yesterday I held you in my arms

Oh how you swept me away with all your baby charms.

The days just flew by quickly, soon you began to talk

and then a little later, you began to walk….

“Mommy will you cross me? I want to go and play.”

Oh those words ring sweetly, now seem like yesterday.

The years have swiftly passed,

don’t know where they’ve all gone,

And when you cross the street now,

 you don’t need to call your mom.

It has happened right in front of me, before my very eyes…

packed away, your faded jeans, one of every size…

Teddy bears and old match box cars,

all packed with loving care,

baseball cards and folded notes of secrets that you shared.

I sit amongst the boxes recalling our memories all alone

and realize that baby, once in my arms,

 is now fully grown~

And silently I wonder through a mixture of joy and tears…

Did I truly show how much I loved you

through  those tender years?

Sometimes it’s hard when you’re the mom

to make your child understand

just how VERY  proud she is when he becomes a man!

(My son and his beautiful family)

by

Diane Reed

copywrite 1997

Beginning In The Middle


I think that admitting you are middle aged is like turning the light on. Though, recognizing what a full blown mid life crisis is and that we are having one is a little less easy. Sometimes when we are in the dark for so long, we don’t realize that just turning on a light would help us see things a little better. I think that I have been in the dark for a few years now. I would never have suspected that I would be in the throws of the classic symptoms of a mid life crisis and have missed them all together but now as I turn around and look at where I have been recently and what I have done, I am sure or maybe even positive that I have been experiencing just that.

A young girl with a lot of wisdom and research under her belt spoke to me about hormones and the mixture of menopaus and my experience with my now empty nest mixed in with a bit of being stuck in a marriage that seemed to be on a merry go round of excuses and wah lah you have what we define as a mid life crisis. The problem was just how far I took mine.

Stuck in a job that didn’t leave room for a lot of creativity which is what I crave, lost in regret of many areas of my past, guilt about a divorce, anger about a past relationship even  before my marriage that defined much of who I am now, and pieces of my childhood that seemed fragmented into much pain, my current marriage barely had a chance.

Go forward a thousand years and I found myself right in the middle of a profound place of being stuck…. My dad died when I was twenty six. I thought I would never stop grieving over that. I was not ready to lose a parent yet and was devestated. Even today, I can find uncried tears easily when I think of it too hard. Death is difficult at any age, but when it is cut short so early there is something that just never seems right about it. And even though we were divorced, when my first husband died it was all surreal. It didn’t rock my world as I might have thought. It all happened so fast. And I truly think that I am just afraid to go there. To really feel the pain about losing the father of my children, to wonder what if… and the guilt of the divorce. When he told me he was dying, he said something that made me feel that he thought that maybe if we had stayed together, I may have magically been able to stop this from happening… his dying I mean.  I can’t seem to get it out of my head… what he said when he told me he was dying… I said… “I should have stayed with you to nag you about your smoking.” And he said, “I knew you were going to think that.” I didn’t really think that. I just said it, to have something to say in a moment of having nothing. Maybe he thought that. I never knew.

I don’t think that I have dealt with a lot of pain in my life. I think that I have pushed it all away and at times it comes out in anger and in other times bad judgement, as I look for things to numb it. Alcohol and drugs is a temporary fix. I don’t like the way they make me feel after it has all worn off… and so I must go on the journey to find something opposite to numbing the pain. I need to finally deal with the pain and in turn heal the wounds. I have started on this journey and made mistakes along the way… this blog is my way of sharing that journey, my mistakes and in turn, hoping to find some answers for us all.