My Billy Slog, the new kid on the block

For the past 18 years, I have been on my life’s most wonderful journey.

Parenthood.

It is truly a miraculous thing to experience the growth of a human from infancy to young adulthood. Looking at my 5′ 9″ tall daughter today, it’s hard to even imagine her as the tiny, helpless infant she once was. And although she comes and goes pretty much as she pleases now, it’s still hard to get used to not checking on her when she goes into another room alone. I mean, gee, what if she sticks a bobby pin into the electrical outlet or falls and hits her head?

Meet Punky!

Me and my Punky

Anyway, parenthood has been an honor, a gift with which I have been entrusted. There are many friends who share this journey with me. It seems that my husband and I have accumulated a mass of new friends by way of our child. We met new friends from parent’s day out, elementary school, and then her middle and high school days. We haven’t even dropped her off at college, and already I have new friends by way of the university parent list-serve.

Old friends and new friends, and all of us in the same boat…or nest, as it is.

Right now, we are all going through the pre-flight jitters together as our children are preparing to leave the nest and scatter to all corners of the map. I can tell you first hand that this is when we need each other. This is when I’m glad I talked to, and became friends with that other mother or father when our kids were toddlers. This is when I’m glad that I went to the social for the 8th grade parents. We are a safety net of support for each other now, as our hands-on parenting days come to an end. If one of us falls while looking over the edge of the empty nest, there will be someone to catch us.

When faced with life’s huge moments, good or bad, I write.I have been in love with words since I was a toddler and my parents would read to me at night. I was an early reader and as soon as I could write, I was hooked.  In first grade I actually won an award for my creative writing.

Imagine two large teeth drawn on a poster board. One had a bow on top, both had big smiles. One held a purse. One had freckles, and the other one didn’t. The text read:

Don’t let your teeth get freckles!

Yeap. That was it. My first writing award.

I love to write. It is my therapy. It is how I best communicate.

As I count down the days until our only child leaves home for college, I am in touch with my safety net of friends, and we are all leaning on each other. We laugh together at our mixed emotions, and how we are trying to be strong for our kids and enjoy the excitement. We communicate more and more, giving each other updates on the latest dorm purchases, plans, emotions, concerns.

These are exciting days. Emotional days. There’s a change a comin’ and I can almost feel it in the air. (Nah, that was just a hot flash.) But really, folks, I feel a deep need to share. So, please see the email below. It was sent to a handful of friends for feedback:

From: Crew, Libby
Sent: Wednesday, August 03, 2011 4:33 PM
Subject: names

 I’m thinking of beginning a blog about the trials and tribulations of mid-life and having an only child leave for college….I want it to be positive and uplifting and humorous, but  truthful. 

 Since you are a friend who “gets me” I need your advice on a name for my blog.

Here are my  ideas so far. I have highlighted my favorites :

 Filling the Empty Nest      (Cliché?)

The Half Full Nest   (Full of what? Bird poop? Or would this leave the reader to think that half of my kids were still home?)

Inside the Empty Nest    (Does it sound like it involves a speculum?)

Chocolate, Wine and Naps: Curing Empty Nest Syndrome

Ms. Mental Pause and Her Empty Nest 

My Life is OVER! (Just joking.)

Mental Pause and the Empty Nest : True stories from midlife and other crazy places (Too long and silly?)

Cloudy, with a Chance of Change  (Too long? Too deep? Too silly? Too much like that movie but without the meatballs?)

Hormonal Ping Pong: One Woman’s Quest to Avoid Prison

WHAT are you going to do?: The story of my head NOT falling off when my only child moved out. 

Adventures in the Empty Nest  (A guide to sex over 50 when the kids are gone and you can make lots of noise. Just joking.)

Revelations from an Empty Nest (Here’s a revelation…MOM’s gone crazy!)

Lost and Found: Reinventing life while embracing the empty nest

A Dog, Some Paint and a Pen: How I’m filling my empty nest  

My Life is Still Over (Just joking)

Padded Cell: The diary of a nervous breakdown

The Sunny Blog Spot: Where everything is candy coated although my life sucks

Empty Nest + Menopause= Timing Fail

Dog Baby: How you can fill your empty nest with pets. And pet poop….(Okay…I’m at a loss…running out of ideas. Can you tell?)

What do you think? Any comments? Maybe something could be combined?

Love to all,

Libby

So, here it is.

My first blog post.

I ruminated over the name for a couple of days. I am a blogger idiot. So please excuse this ongoing project as I find my way.

I’m going to blog for you now. (Sort of like, I’m going to tap dance for you now!)

Disclaimer: I’m not in this to self promote, to talk about the miraculous things I’ve done to change the world, to get on my soap box and judge anyone, to seek popularity (I honestly didn’t know there were stat’s!) to write the perfect stories, to do anything other than selfishly self medicate (Just like Valium, but without the grogginess!) and in return, hopefully I can help support my friends out there who are also peeking over the edge of an almost empty nest.

Some of us can see the ocean from our perch. Some of us see mountains ahead. Some see aging parents in the distance. Some of us see balding heads, nose hairs, thick waists. But I like to think that whatever is ahead, beyond this stage of parenting, is all good even though this mid-life stuff is overwhelming. We just have to hold hands and get through this transition stage, and enjoy each day.

Once a parent, always a parent. It’s just time to hop out of the nest and take a look around at the new view.

Keep a song in your heart, and a dream in your pocket!

– Libby Lu

P.S. Get it….Billy Slog…Silly Blog….I LOVE words!!!

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18 thoughts on “My Billy Slog, the new kid on the block

  1. Aunt Libby – I enjoyed every word and thought I’d be your first official post… 🙂 I’ll be following as you all go through this transition – and I’ll probably be tearing up over here in Knoxville right along with you all! Love to you all! Teri

  2. Libby-Lu, you are just too… wonderful, witty, wise, wordy, and wacky for words! Love you having a blog. It’ll be a must-read for sure! My nest is half-empty (or maybe is it half-full?) with Steph out and Shannon in (Heidi Klum-esk for sure!) and I will be walking the empty nest path before I know it. And if anyone can make the walk on that path a terrific journey, it is you dear heart! So, get your hiking boots on, stretch a bit and start walking… I’ll meet up with you soon!

    • Lawwwwwi!!!! You really need to be blogging*, dear friend! I love your writing and your friendship rocks my world. I was paying attention when our Stephie Bear flew the coop, and I’m here for you when our Baby Shannon is ready to fly. In the meantime, I’m enjoying these days with life just as it should be!

      *NOT clogging.

  3. Ooh Libby….words just cannot describe how much I ENJOY reading anything you write! This is wonderful that you have decided to start a blog. This will keep me 1 step closer to everything that you all have going on & how you are doing! I Just LOVE You so much and am so proud of you! Thank you for sharing everything (well almost everything – I will let you keep Larry as your husband – HA) with me including your wonderful words! Love You Bunches…

    Laura

  4. Libby Lu,
    LOVE this! You’re so gifted, and have a FABulous way with words! Looking forward to giving you and your sweet girl a BIG hug soon!
    Love you,
    Ellen the Empty-Headed, Empty-Nester 😉

  5. hi Libby! I am torn between The View is Great and My Life is Over! haha How about The View is Great but I Need Binoculars
    I love your wit and insight! Keep it going! I am hoping to fill the nest with humor and positivity and yes, maybe some dog poop. 🙂
    Kathy

  6. Wonderful blog! Followed your link from Parent-Talk. I’m the mom of an only daughter now going into her second year at Trinity and I was in your shoes last year waiting to drop her off at school and have my nervous breakdown. It never happened. Now I’m waiting (not so) patiently to take her back to school so I can enjoy the empty nest again. I’ve loved having her home for the summer, but I had forgotten that her mess follows her wherever she goes and that 19 yr olds never sleep. At least not at night. Skype can help you feel not so far away and you can even “meet” her new friends. Good luck to you and yours in the next couple of weeks. I look forward to your new posts.
    Oh, and by the way…My mom has an antique shop in a small town in Texas called Libby Lou.

    • I think we have chatted before.
      I hope we meet soon. My grandmother used to call me Libby Lu. Some of my friends call me this as a nick name, so I’m going with it!Thank you for your support!

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