Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Greiman on Hormones and Weddings

Men are boring. Okay, maybe they're not necessarily boring, but think about it--their lives are so static compared to women's. No menstrual cycles, no pregnancies, no labor pains, no menopause.

I, on the other hand, feel like I'm on a hormonal roller coaster. It makes me crazy. I just settle into a semi-normal state and voila, some internal chemical zaps me out of my wits. I mean, motherhood, for instance. It seems as if I just became a mother--was just kind of settling into the role--my favorite role, in fact. Got all three kids potty trained and then, zing! Suddenly I'm a mother-in-law.

That's right, my toddler got married last week-end. And yes, his bride is wonderful and beautiful and bright as a firefly, but he's my little boy!! I'm still trying to figure out how to cope with sending him off to kindergarten and suddenly he's got a wife! And through this all, my husband is as calm as Sunday and spouting nonsense like, "Well, they have to grow up," and, "Aren't they a cute couple?" Meanwhile my maniacal hormones are swinging me around by hair shouting, "No, they don't have to grow up, damn it! I can't live without them."

So how does one cope? Especially after pouring heart and soul into one's children. How do we function after they're gone? How do we act normal?

Okay, that was maybe a little more honesty than anyone wanted. Sorry. I think I'll blame it on estrogen.


Betina Krahn said...

Lois, m'dear, I hear you. My heart hurts for you today.

I've "given away" two sons and both times were a combination of enjoyable and wrenching. As a full-blown "empty nester" I can only advise you to concentrate on the positives: the extra time, the quiet house, the chance to do things you've never done before.

Marriage is the ultimate declaration of independence in our society. Some of your jobs with regard to the married one (instructor, manager, guide, setter of limits) are over. Now you get to concentrate on the more fun stuff, forge a new role that includes more of "friend, advisor, example, and cheering section."

You ever stop being a mother, you never stop worrying and you never, ever stop loving. But from now on, you learn to listen more and speak less. You learn to ask questions that help them find the answers for themselves-- assuming they ask in the first place. And when you see them making mistakes, you wisely refrain from pointing them out. Here's where you have to help them most by making them stand on their own two feet. That has to be the hardest thing-- watching them make decisions you think aren't the best and respecting their right to do so.

And there are lots of great things to look forward to. . . like being a grandma. . .

Betina Krahn said...

Adorable photos-- and what a beautiful couple they make! You must be so proud!

Melissa said...

Oh, Lois. My son is only six. I had a hard enough time when he started kindergarten last year. I can't even imagine high school let alone marriage. Hugs!

Helen Brenna said...

My daughter's a senior in high school this years. We're going on college tours. I'm going to start to cry!

Betina Krahn said...

My practice on all such milestone occasions: cry if you have to, but then celebrate like mad.

Throw a party, drink some champagne, give a surprise dinner for the kid's friends, plant a commemorative tree, write a poem, blow-up family photos and have them framed for the walls, make memory books or boxes for the kids. . . make them feel special and much, much loved.

Life is too short not to celebrate whenever possible. I keep a bottle of champagne in my fridge at all times!

anne frasier said...

eat your young.

it solves many problems.

lois greiman said...

I love you guys!! And I really feel I have now had all possible good advise--from 'eat your young' to 'drink champagne.' :) Thanks much. And yeah, they're so beautiful it makes you want to cry--or maybe that's just me. :) So...my advise to moms who have kids at home...hug them lots...then put rocks on their heads and store them in a dark place where it's cool and they won't grow so fast.

Thanks for understanding my sloppy mood.

Kathleen Eagle said...

Just wait till you give away a daughter, m'dear.

lois greiman said...

I'm not giving Tara away. Sorry. She has to stay with me forever. She asked if we're going to show horses together when we're old. As if we'll be the same age at some point. Funny girl. But a nice thought. So far we've decided to take up painting, stadium jumping, and foreign travel in our dottage. I should have had ten more kids.

Helen Brenna said...

Eat your young! LOL!

Anne where were you when my kids were small enough TO eat?

anne frasier said...

well, i'm glad people weren't horribly offended by my comment. i was just listening to a song last night called eat your young, so it was in my head. :)

maybe on a slow day i'll post the mp3 link here and everybody can enjoy it. :D