I was going to write about "minimums" this month as a follow-up to my "provocative" blog last month about "2 seasons per year", but had a last minute change of heart.
I just finished a great NY Market, my new collections look awesome this season, and reorders are up over last year. So many options to choose for a bridal related topic, but I'm just not feeling "bridal" today. I will say that it is nice to occasionally hear that someone reads my blogs and enjoys it, but truth be told... I write them for ME because I love to write. Even more importantly - when I write about my life, it either makes me feel good to be thankful for all that life has given me - or it makes me feel better when something is bothering me to just "get it out". Today is the latter. With all of the above mentioned "positives" in the bridal world, plus I am feeling much better health-wise than I have over the past several months, you may ask "Why so glum?"
I just got back home from helping my youngest son Michael (and his fiancé Kelsey who has been living with us for the past 3 months) move into their first apartment - and out of our house. As Carol said today, “it's the first time in over 37 years that there hasn't been any Grass Boys living with us”, and I'm having a little tougher time of it than I expected. We're both used to being alone - anyone who knows a road rep knows that a prerequisite for the job (and for their spouse) is to be comfortable being by oneself, so it’s not that. It's more that "1418 Cooper Circle" has always been a place where parents and sons lived under one roof, and that is no longer the case. It is now a house which is way too big for only 2 people, but which we hope we can stay in for a long time mostly because...it is where we built our lives.
Michael is the 4th son to move out, so it's not like I have no experience with this. But the last 3 times a son moved out, Michael was still there; and so this time just didn't seem quite the same as it did today. Plus he is our "baby"... if a 24 year old can be referred to as such, and it just seems like he has always been here. I send my blog to about 300 stores, post it on my website and on Facebook, and email a link to it to about 100 "friends and family" (including my sons) so he IS going to read this. So let me leave no doubt... it was absolutely time for him to "go". He has turned into a fine young man, is engaged to be married, has a great job, and is on his way to a solid career - which is really the "place" where we tried to get all of our sons to. I can proudly say that he makes "4 for 4". If something happens to both of us tomorrow, we can comfortably say that all 4 of my sons "will be fine". He found a great condo on his own, handled the whole transaction himself (with maybe a little advice from his Dad), but this was the right move at the right time for he and Kelsey. I guess it just happened so quickly, and the last few days of packing did get a little emotional. Thursday night we had one of our man-to-man talks (I hope its not the last one), and I shared with him the story of the day I moved out when I was about 19. It was the turning point in my life, and something I HAD to do. But I "admitted" that on the last night living with my parents, as I was finishing up my packing, I cried my eyes out. I remember it vividly, and I'm not really sure why I was crying, but I shared this with him and it might have been the first time I have told ANYONE this story ever! I told him that this was going to be the turning point is his life too, and we cried a little together, and then he finished packing.
I think Carol will be fine and I suppose I will be fine too at some point soon. Realistically... as I mentioned in an earlier post – “we are VERY fortunate”! Even with this move all 4 of our boys live less than 25 miles away from us, and Michael, Andrew, and Justin are probably 10 minutes apart from each other; and Dan lives less than 5 minutes from our house. They all have their own lives now, and that is as it should be. We still live close enough that we can all be together for holidays and birthdays and Sunday Barbecue Pool Parties - and for that we are truly blessed. Its just going to be a little hard at the end of our next family get-together, which will probably be mid May for Justin's birthday. Our "parties" always end with the same goodbye ritual, which includes PopPop and Nan carrying grandchildren out to the car seats and buckling them in, and everyone kissing and hugging everyone goodbye (with 13 of us it ends up being a lot of hugs and kisses). For what seems like forever, at the end of this "ritual" - Carol and I always go back in the house to clean up (truth be told she does most of the cleaning up) - and settle in for the evening... and Mikey always came back into the house with us. From now on, he and Kelsey are going to be saying goodbye and heading to their cars just like the rest of my boys… to go "home". It will now be H and C heading back into the house from the driveway by ourselves. Luckily Skipper and Chloe will still be there, wagging their tails and begging for treats, as if nothing has changed... but it has. I will still have a great life and much to be thankful for after they all leave to head home... but it just won't be quite the same.