The Home Page

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


Please leave your thoughts...I love when you do that!

As a child I was the youngest and the one who could often be found looking for a private spot to call my own.  My parents allowed this strange behavior without question and my sister and brother didn't think it normal, but also put up with my moving my personal things into a closet or the back room of our house.  The 'room' was meant for storage and did contain some stuff my parents kept there, but it was easy enough to clear out part of it to claim as my room.  Since my sister and I always shared a room, my privacy was important.  I was a loner in every sense of the word.  I liked playing with my babies alone or reading alone or making up stories alone.  I had friends, but none living very close by after  age 8.  Prior to that, I did have a friend next door at two different houses, two different friends.  Then I still craved my alone space, but to share with them mostly, without my sister or her stuff interfering.  She, of course, thought I was the one interfering and she wasn't wrong, I loved being around her and her friends, but I wasn't really wanted there.  Being  5 years younger than she, we had little in common.  Those 5 years are nothing now and we have a great deal in common.

I don't know how, but my mother understood my need for my own space and not only allowed me to move into any closet I chose or any other place I found, she even helped me find blankets or pillows or whatever else I thought I needed and she respected my needs.  I am still in need of alone time and space and she still respects that need.

When I had children of my own, I thought I would know to raise them.  I thought I would be a good mom because I had a good mom and I would just KNOW.  Well, some things I did just seem to know, but other things, as they grew and challenged me, I had to talk over with my mom or my sister or my friends and then decide what course to take.  Looking back now, I remember that most times my mom would tell me, using similar words the same thing over and over.  She would tell me that I was raising independent children that would be able to live on their own and in order to get there, I would have to allow them to learn from their mistakes. I could not always 'fix' things for them.  As difficult as that is for a control freak like me, I did try to do that, sometimes.  I knew it was good advice and I knew that I needed to learn how to butt out of  situations into which their own decisions had landed them.  They had to learn the consequences of their decisions.  Very hard for this mom to do, but most of the time, I did that.

They are in their 40's now and responsible, independent parents.  They are better parents than they had, for sure.  I watch them raising my grandchildren with such a good combination of love and discipline that I am sure they have been studying every parenting book on the market.  Yet, I know that they actually developed these skills on their own.  They learned from me, their spouses, their friends and each other.  Each generation gets better at parenting because they repeat the good and avoid the bad things their parents may have done.  I am sure I made a million mistakes parenting my kids, but I did something right because they are not only amazing people and professionals, they are amazing parents to my grandbabies.

I am now the grown and aging daughter of a woman who didn't have the perfect marriage for many years, but the last 10 years of my father's life she knew real love from a man who adored her.  He was jealous of every man who even spoke to her and he believed every man wanted his wife.  She didn't enjoy his jealousy, but she did enjoy that he loved her that much.  She knew that he found her so desirable that surely, every other living man must also want her and she did enjoy that.  She is now and always has been, a mother with a keen eye on what's going on in the world and one hand on her children.  She still follows the news and worries about things that seem catastrophic or insane, but her first interest is her 3 children and their families.  She is still one of my biggest blessings.

Having her near me at this time is her life and mine is a remarkable gift.  She has enhanced my life every day since moving here 2 years ago.  I no longer worry about how she is doing because I know how she is doing.  I talk with her almost everyday and I see her whenever I want to see her.  I love having time with her to just hang out.  I just like being with her.  She is fun and funny.  She is beautiful and tries to keep herself active so she won't be any trouble for me.  She asks NOTHING of me, but needs me to intuit her needs.  I try and I worry that I will miss something, but she reassures me that she needs nothing that I haven't already done.

I am now hoping that one day, each of my kids and their kids will come to see me and help me with everyday things when I need help.  I hope that one day they will just like being with me and stop to visit for just that reason.  I hope I never am too needy or too much bother for them.  I hope that I can always take care of myself and always be independent of my independent family.  It's okay if they (the kids) need me every now and then!  I kinda like being needed, a little bit.

The circle of life is a miraculous thing...child, parent, grandparent and child again. The second childhood is where we find ourselves hoping that the children we raised are there for our needs and more importantly to receive all that love we are carrying around.



  1. What a beautiful reflection, Jo! I'm glad you're enjoying looking forward and back at the same time, and it's good to hear you finally found your perfect "alone space" in which to do it (I always did the same thing as a little girl!). It sounds like you are very loved!

  2. life has taken a wonderful turn in the last 5 or so years. I am very content and very blessed. Thanks you for reading and sharing your thoughts. I am a very loved, what a great sentence to be able to type.

  3. Claudia...Thank you for stopping by and commenting, I am very touched by all the blessings I have been handed in this life. My family has given me so much and I am so grateful.

  4. I love this! You have such a lovely view of life down to every detail. I hope you never stop this writing you are doing! Its wonderful!!

  5., thank you so much. Wish you had signed so I would know who you are! That is a wonderful compliment and I humbly accept it and send virtual hugs (((((((((hugs))))))))).

  6. I LOVED this post - thanks, Jo! I was an only child and I think that taught me a lot. Now I live on my own, I don't have any problem with relying on myself.
    But I loved your comment about parents repeating the good and trying to avoid the bad things their own parents did. That really rang a big bell with me!

  7. Excellent....crying. Thank you very much. Very strange that the next blog that I am working on after the one I post today has a similar theme (being the "fixer"). I also identify with the parent issue (I have become the parent and vice versa) and although sometimes I get frustrated, I am ok with it. I am getting alot more time with them than my brother and I am appreciative of that fact.

    Chele :)

  8. Paula...I'm glad you liked it. It's our goal, I think, to learn from all experiences and become better than we were. I appreciate your thoughts and your time, Paula.

  9. Chele...You know I love that you read my stuff and I love that your comment. I'm sorry I made you cry, but you are so right in the middle of your family, that I see the effect. You are the blessed one, you have all this time with them. They are blessed to have such an incredible daughter.

  10. Love this one!! I think the need for "alone time" might be, to some extent, in our genes. I still search it out every now and then.
    Your comment about Mike and I thinking you were "not normal" because you moved all your stuff into the closet is just you being kind. I remember it as us teasing you unmercifully. Thankfully, we have all grown out of that. I think.
    Anyway, loved the post. It might be my favorite so far. Or maybe my second favorite.

    Love from your favorite sister.

  11. Pat...Thanks Sis. What was your favorite? I try to remember you and Mike being a little more loving than my real memories provide. It's the fiction writer that lives in me which allows me to do this. (*giggling*)
    I am really quite pleased to say in adulthood there seems to be mutual respect, love and for the most part, good natured teasing now! Love you and thanks for sharing your thoughts. AND you are totally my favorite sister.

  12. "Listening" might be my favorite. Or my second favorite. Not sure yet.

  13. Pat...okay. I remember now that you commented that you loved that one.

  14. I liked this statement Jo:
    They learned from me, their spouses, their friends and each other. Each generation gets better at parenting because they repeat the good and avoid the bad things their parents may have done.

    I believe you have grasped the key to civilization here. If only each generation would pay more attention to those who have gone before and actually learned from the successes and failures!
    Yes, 'the circle of life is a miraculous thing'.

  15. Mike...Thanks for your input and of course, for stopping by. I am not sure about the key to civilization, but I do think it is the key to our kids raising even better humans than they themselves have become.
    Some lessons, I guess, have to be learned by each generation.

  16. This is beautiful, your mother sounds like a special lady. And I'm like you in this regard, Jo, I really need a lot of time to myself.

  17. It's refreshing to hear of loving, close-knit families like yours in todays world of broken homes and sadness.

  18. Langley...Thx so much and she is indeed special.

    Steven...We have several broken homes in our family and I might write of those one day, but not today. The family I grew up with was not duplicated by any of their children. We have all divorced and one of my children has also divorced.
    I know where you are from your writing and I so sympathize ... truly. It is my hope you can gain some hope from my writings.
    There is lightness ahead, if you look for it and walk towards it.

  19. Great article. Congrats on raising children who became good adults!


  20. Thank u Joyce...appreciate your time and your comment. They are good people.

  21. As ever, wonderful job! Both as a writer and a parent!

  22. Thank you Leigh...I so appreciate your support! And your comments. :)

  23. Well, this was just wonderful! You are so incredibly blessed to have your mom near you, and I'm sure that she feels fortunate, as well.

    There's something truly wonderful about generations being there for each other and my hope for my senior years is much the same as yours. Let's hope we both get our way. :O)

  24. Bethie...Thanks for taking time out of this busy week (cough) of fun. I am a lucky duck for sure. She is so easy, so healthy and such fun. I do worry that my kids are all always be too busy for doing the things I enjoy doing with my mom, but maybe one day they will slow down, too.
    I hope your kids always find time for your company now and forever! :)


I really want to know that YOU were here...please drop me a note or just say Hi ~ I do love a comment and it keeps me motivated!

You write and I will answer. Eventually. Show the love!