I’m approaching my first full year as an official empty nester and by official, I mean no children coming home for school breaks or summers. My kids are gone, well they’re both still on my cell phone plan and the youngest is still on our health and car insurance so maybe not gone, gone. Perhaps the better description would be they’ve left the nest but are still enjoying a few freebies.
What has been the most surprising about this past year is how almost seamlessly the time that has been freed up for not being in the parenting trenches gets absorbed in other ways. I always thought once my kids were full-fledged adults, I would have gobs of time on my hands. Not so. I actually feel like I’m busier now.
That said, I’ve found that my brain does seem to have more space to ponder the mundane. For instance, why are cats so smart? I’m wildly in love with my dogs but compared to our cat they’re remedial in all forms of intelligence.
To watch my cat rule our home is to be humbled thus provoking one of my latest deep thoughts that my cat is not only smarter than me but knows it. Hence the vibe that I’m constantly being judged and found inadequate beyond repair.
Somedays I feel like I’m going through sorority recruitment and my cat is the mean girl at the door of the sorority house giving me the once over and finishing it up with a fierce side eye of dissatisfaction layered over a sigh of contempt.
It can be brutal and makes me cleave to my two dogs for emotional support. It’s like we’re the trio of dumb dumbs in the house.
Another thought flitting through my head recently might be construed as rather shocking and I don’t think mothers are supposed to admit this but I’m not exactly mourning my children’s school days.
For example, I now actually enjoy the month of May. Back in the day May was hellish.
There were a ridiculous number of end of the year school projects from puppet themed book reports to dioramas – aka the homework of the devil. Whoever thought up the diorama as a school assignment needs to live out eternity gluing popsicle sticks to shoeboxes.
There were also a bazillion school assemblies in a hot, humid, foot funk infused cafeteria and a lot of forced fun activities from field day to “wilderness adventures.”
To quote my son from 17 years ago after a sports day in 101-degree heat where two kids fainted and a fight broke out over ice cubes, “Why do they hate us so much that they can’t just let us go home.”
I’ve also been pondering why my house isn’t staying clean. I assumed once my children left so would the chores. But no, I’m still in a scrubbing and vacuuming frenzy. The culprits, of course, are our pets.
Yesterday I was furiously sweeping, my cat walked by me and fur bombed, as in a fur explosion of significant magnitude rain down a vast quantity of Russian Blue cat hair on the just cleaned kitchen floor. Mid fur bomb the cat turned his head, meowed, swished his tail a couple of times and then slowly swagger walked away.
It was as if he was letting me know that the kids may be gone but he’s still here to mess with my mind and the house.
🤯 I’ve got something to mess with you mind – a mystery. A dance mom mystery. Yeah baby, that’s right my new book Killer Dance Mom is available for presale!!! 🎉 It’s my first Snarky mystery and I’m hoping you’ll love it. Here’s the link to order https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0C4FZTK5B
Wynn Butler is a newbie dance mom and honestly, she hasn’t exactly been receiving rave reviews for her skills. Blinging out costumes and being your child’s glam team are not exactly her strong suits. But at her daughter’s first national competition Wynn is ready to prove herself.
What she hadn’t planned for is being forced to share a hotel room with her least favorite person in the whole world – Jacardia Monroe, a mom who’s had two tours of duty at a spray tan detox clinic.
As Wynn attempts to survive the roommate from hell and cheer on her daughter, she stumbles onto a murder. Stuffed in a dance bag backstage is Kingston Reeves, a renowned competition judge. Sitting right next to that dance bag is Jacardia.
When both women became “persons of interest” in the case, Wynn decides it’s time to do some serious snooping to see who at the competition had a motive to kill the dance judge. Rallying her best friends to help her, Wynn discovers a wide swath of suspects from the Instagram/influencer mom who brings a professional camera crew to follow her at competitions, to a crazed former ballerina turned combative dance mom and then there’s the glitter gang . . . a cadre of mothers who are addicted to rhinestoning costumes and perhaps even murder.
As Wynn gets closer to finding out who the killer is she might be one step-ball-change away from death.