How Bighorn Sheep make me miss the kids…

Bighorn sheep

Bighorn sheep

One of the best parts of having grown-up children:  they go forth in the world and have adventures!

I love vicariously participating in the adventures of our two kids.

Chris casting a line

Chris casting a line

Recently our Chris hiked in southern California.  He viewed Bighorn Sheep. He fished in a mountain pond.  He enjoyed hours with his very best friend from childhood here in the Upper Peninsula.

Chris catches a little fish!

Chris catches a little fish!

When I looked at the photos, I sighed.  It almost felt like Mama hiked as well.  I swear I hid behind a cactus and experienced the desert landscape, the smell of roast duck over the campfire, the taste of that good beer.  (Ha!  I don’t even drink beer.  See what happens when you get lost in a daydream?)

Ryan and Christopher

Ryan and Christopher

Our daughter has also given me many good armchair adventures over the years.  After I pined over the photos of Bighorn Sheep and our son, I searched for pictures of exciting times experienced by our daughter.

Volunteering at organic farm in Belgium

Volunteering at organic farm in Belgium

As much as I love every precious hour spent with these two kids–I adore that they’re out in the world having adventures.

Painting at a quinta in Portugal

Painting at a quinta in Portugal

I remember when they both left the Upper Peninsula, headed downstate for college.

I barely shed a tear.  I was SO EXCITED to see what delights they might experience.  My heart beat so fast to think of them blooming in the world, making their own paths.

Hanging out in Venice...

Hanging out in Venice…

Sometimes, now, I think, “What WAS I thinking?”  Why did I want them to go off on adventures?  Why didn’t I want them to stay here in our little woods, next to Mama and Papa Bear for the rest of their lives?

Sometimes, now, a little tear escapes, missing the little bears.

Both of them surfing in southern California

Both of them surfing in southern California

Yet, mostly, I’m still thrilled for their adventures, their loves, their kitty cats, their work in the world.

Fortunately, I get to see both of them within the next two months! Daughter and I shall visit my parents in Florida in a couple of weeks, to help celebrate my mom’s 81st birthday. Then, at Christmas, Barry and I, along with Chris and his wife, shall all convene in Georgia to toast the holiday at Barry’s parent’s house.

Sounds like a couple of adventures with all of us, doesn’t it?

When will you see your grownup children–or parents–again?  Must you travel off on an adventure to see them?  Or will they arrive with hugs on your very own doorstep?

About Kathy

I live in the middle of the woods in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Next to Lake Superior's cold shores. I love to blog.
This entry was posted in October 2013 and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

51 Responses to How Bighorn Sheep make me miss the kids…

  1. Elisa says:

    Kathy? I didn’t comment because, well, in my head–at least, the birds still do not seem to be getting the fledging thing down. I can be one to see an event as a direct correct route and mistakes as disasters and wastes of time, particularly if the bird doesn’t generalize well nor seem to learn. I’m a work in progress, I guess 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      I think we’re all works in progress, Elisa, and many fledglings these days seem to want to stay in the home nest for a long time. Wishing the best for you and your fledglings.

  2. Oh, I so identify with this, Kathy! I always said, I’ll know I did my job as a mother well, if I raise children that don’t need me…that know how to get by, and find their own satisfaction in life, and make themselves happy…but then I get missing them, and I wish (tiny wish, deep in my heart) that they were not so darn self reliant. Thanks!

    • Kathy says:

      Cindy, it’s a conundrum, isn’t it? We start out wanting one thing and then wanting another. Wanting them to have their own satisfactions, and then wanting them closer. Guess this is the bane of parenthood these days!

  3. sybil says:

    Ahhh Kathy. I am happy that you have done such a good job and your kids are thriving in the world. It is not the same for all of us. Some of our kids struggle and find the world a dark, sad place. Our hearts ache for them as we watch their sad, F.B. status updates … as they choose to hang in there just one more day …

  4. Susan D says:

    Near and dear to my heart, my friend. Thanks for expressing “it” so well.

    • Kathy says:

      Why, thank you Susan Dee. We’ve both talked about our fledglings so much. We wish them well and want them to be independent; yet we also wish them closer. Now, to live with that paradox…

  5. Kathy, you can be so proud of your kiddos. Both have done quite well in this world. And how nice to be able to look forward to the renunions with all the loved ones. My two children are not far away. My parents departed back in the 80’s. My Mom was in her 40’s when I was born so my kids did not have much time to know my parents or my in-laws. You and your children are fortuante to have parents and grandparents to visit. Life is good for you. 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      You are very lucky that your children are not far away from you, Yvonne. It must be very hard when your parents and in-laws pass away…I am not looking forward to that at all. Luckily, as you say, we can all still get together and continue to make memories. Thank you…

  6. P.j. grath says:

    One of the things I love about blogging is having so many vicarious adventures. We had kids and grandkids visit this summer and fall; my mother and one sister and my son come very soon; and we’ve been invited for holidays, but that could depend heavily on weather.

    • Kathy says:

      Pamela, that is so true about blogging giving us the opportunity to have so many vicarious experiences. Glad to hear you’ve been able to experience family so much this year. May the weather cooperate…we know just what you mean on that front.

  7. Heather says:

    It’s funny, because I love going on adventures that my parents go on without us kids! But, I still miss them, and kind of wish I could go, too. I love hearing all about the lives they’re living without me, but wish I could share in it more. We’ll be heading down for Christmas, but I would welcome family visitors up here any time before or after 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      Yes, Heather, you’ve exactly described it! Love experiencing the lives of our dear ones vicariously, but wish we could be closer. Bet YOUR family truly enjoys living YOUR life vicariously through your blog. You share so much, in such a good way.

  8. john says:

    The one thing you have to admit, they certainly are your and Barry’s children. You had knowledge, dreams and the gumption to act upon them. So do they. You instilled the same values in them that your parents instilled in you. So wherever they go, what ever they do, they will be respectful of diversity, they will be assets to whatever community they happen to be in and there will always be a bond of love that holds all of you together.

    Wouldn’t it be delightful if one day they both ended up on the same coast and you and Barry could retire some where between them? Maybe Kiah will find she wants to open a business in San Francisco and Chris will be in San Diego. You and Barry could retire to Big Sur and be only several hours drive from either one of them. Then they would be coming to you to share your adventures. You know, the Studebaker would fit right in to Big Sur.

    • Kathy says:

      John, I had to grin reading your comment. Do you REALLY think I could pry Barry away from Lake Superior? Now, I think that Big Sur plan could be the coolest, but I suspect me and the hubby would no longer be living together…even IF I drove the Studebaker and tried to lure him there!

      • john says:

        Kathy, instead of driving to Houghton, you could drive North to Carmel. You have some tea and scones then go through all the artist’s galleries. After spending an hour on Carmel Beach taking in the sun you drive over the hill to Monterey. You toss a coin to decide if you’ll dine on Cannery Row or Fisherman’s Wharf. While you were in Carmel, Barry was out fishing for tuna. He had the fight of his life pulling in the biggest fish he ever caught.

        While you were waiting for Barry you gave Kiah a call just to chat and found out that she was on the other side of the bay in Santa Cruz produce shopping. 45 minutes later the three of you are chatting it up listening to fish stories from Barry at the Italian restaurant at the end of Fisherman’s Wharf.

        After dinner you go to the charter boats dock to pick-up the tuna that has been processed and packed for you. The two of you need help carrying all back to the Studebaker gratefully acknowledging all this wouldn’t have fit in a car. As the sun starts moving towards the horizon you and Barry are enjoying the ride along Highway 1 back to Big Sur. Now all you have to do is figure out a way to tell Barry about the triptych you bought in one of the galleries that will have to be hung at the studs because of the size.

        • Kathy says:

          I love your story, John! That’s the greatest, ever. My you do get creative in the middle of the night! You did forget about one important thing, though. What about ice fishing???

          • john says:

            You under estimate Barry’s creativity. He thought of something new. It uses pontoons and is the size of a barge. It has rows of holes with manhole type covers. It meets the fishermen at the dock. They have little carts that they role their equipment on. They select a hole and set up their tent over it. A tug boat then takes the barge out to an area where they have located a school of fish and they drop anchor. They are doing it now all over the California coast and Barry is just reeling in the money. (Pun intended)

            After he put enough money away to pay for all your grandchildren’s education you two open the Vintage Attraction, a wine store in Big Sur. To replace all the trips to sporting events you two spend that time driving to vineyards from Santa Barbara to Napa for wine tastings to buy stock for your store. He has dune buggies at all the major beaches on the coast delivering blanket side service of wine in biodegradable containers. (And of course you are doing the accounting for all the stores and writing a book about massage services across the central California coast. You need to do A LOT of research)

  9. Kathy – The adventure photographs of Kiah and Chris are wonderful! We’re fortunate that our son only lives 10 miles away as the crow flies. Once we relocate, Len and I have a bet that he’ll follow within two years 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      Laurie, I didn’t realize your son lives so close. How lucky you are! And luckier still that he might follow you toward your new home. Yep, you are a lucky duck!

  10. Lori D says:

    Shh, don’t tell anyone, but my two favorite blogs are you and my buddy Terri from Minnesota. When you two talk of your grown children, although it brings a tear to my eye, I get to experience it with you. Because, that’s where I would’ve been at this time in my life (if things had gone differently). Terri just spoke of her kids similar to yours in her recent post. Anyway, as you know, I just visited my parents last month. I’m having my first Thanksgiving in Florida (in 25 years) with my family. My mom talked them into it. So, you keep living through your kids adventures and I’ll live through you. In the mean time, if you ever take a side trip a little north of Ft Myers, let me know. Would love to meet you in person. Have fun on your adventures with family.

    • Kathy says:

      Awww, Lori, that is so sweet. I am glad that Terri and I can share some of our grown-kid experiences with you. So glad to hear that you will be having Thanksgiving with your family. (You gotta love those moms for talking folks into things…) Would love to meet you some day! My challenge, as you know, is that I don’t really have an available vehicle. We are really looking forward to our time in your adopted state… It’s darn COLD up here already!

  11. Carol says:

    I so relate to vicariously enjoying the kids’ adventures far far away. They will travel here for Christmas, but I look forward to traveling to wherever they are in the future.


    • Kathy says:

      Aren’t we lucky to live vicariously through their adventures, Carol? Glad to hear that they will be home for Christmas, and that some day you’ll be traveling whither-they-may-be!

  12. Loved the adventures of your children.
    Unfortunatrly or fortunately (depends on internet beliefs) I know about my two adventures without photos…no posting on Facebook and somehow these two brilliant persons have forgotten how to attach photos to an email…yea verily, I think they lost my email address.:)

    • Kathy says:

      Linda, glad you enjoyed what I shared here. Guess what? My two don’t post Facebook photos, either. Luckily, they are good at attaching email photos. Hoping your kids verily remember your email address soon! You might have to do some extra-double-duty hinting. I sometimes have to insist. 🙂

  13. Dawn says:

    I think that possibly maybe all 3 of my siblings will be here for Thanksgiving! They haven’t been here all at the same time for 5 years! Though nothing is set for sure yet I am hoping!

    • Kathy says:

      All of three of you guys together for Thanksgiving? Why, that is something to truly anticipate, Dawn. Hope it happens! My fingers are crossed for you.

  14. Lovely post, and I recognise in the freedom and celebration you’ve gifted them so generously those same qualities in my own upbringing. I traveled, explored and had plenty of adventures, mostly in Africa. Now my Dad’s having new adventures, living in Bali with his new love (my parents separated over 20 years ago, and are still very good friends) – and I haven’t yet visited him there – so that has to be my next adventure:-) Enjoy your weekend….Love and hugs, Harula xxxxx

    • Kathy says:

      Harula, you are fortunate indeed to have experienced so many adventures. Have you written of your adventures in Africa on your blog? I should go check. Now how many people in the world can write that their dad is having new adventures such as living in Bali with a new love? My heart leaped while reading that sentence. Can’t wait to hear how your next adventure there goes!!

  15. Janet says:

    Although our children go off to experience life in their own way, we miss them and can’t help being proud of them. My son has been in Australia since July 3 (attending school, partying, sightseeing). We get postcards from him saying, “I have so many stories to tell you.” He’ll be home on Halloween. I’m looking forward to those stories and photos. I mentioned to him before he left to keep a journal. I hope he did.

    • Kathy says:

      Janet, I’ll bet you can’t wait! Halloween is next week! Oh, I do hope he kept a journal. Otherwise, you’ll have to try to get every little detail out of him. I know some kids do better relating all those details than others. My kids have been known to sigh where their mama is over-requesting detail after detail. Happy week!

  16. Connie T says:

    They sound like that have had some great adventures.

  17. Karma says:

    Oh you’ve touched a heartstring this morning, dear Kathy! I won’t go on about it in this space, but know that once again you’ve somehow magically found your way into my psyche.

    • Kathy says:

      So glad to know that there’s magic afoot between many of us when we write blogs. When a heartstring needs tugging, someone will write and tug it! Hugs to you and your fledglings…

  18. Your kids are beautiful, Kathy. You know now that you mention it, I have live vicariously through my kids, especially during my daughter’s junior year abroad in Edinburgh. In fact I keep the weather marked wherever my kids go, so I can be “with them” there.

  19. Tammy says:

    Lovely thoughts Kathy. Right now as my eldest is a jr in high school, I carry a lump in my throat on most days. My kids are such an important piece of my life and I love spending time with them so much that I cannot fathom them leaving. Still, I know that when it does occur, I’ll be ready and blessed.

    • Kathy says:

      Tammy, I am remembering that lump in a mama’s throat. Our kids are so dear to us–and then they fly away–and we must become blessed in their flying (and perhaps even vicariously fly along beside them…)

  20. Stacy says:

    You are a good Mama Bear, Kathy. Isn’t this what mothers want for their children – both to keep them close and to watch them soar? Such a paradox, motherhood is! ❤

    • Kathy says:

      It’s such a paradox, Stacy. I am beginning to think that everything is a paradox, darn it! Our minds want answers, but life refuses to be boxed in, even by something like motherhood.

  21. lisaspiral says:

    How delightful! I started having vicarious adventures with Karina long before she grew up. It’s nice now to have her adult perspective, the details are more detailed and the photography has improved. I’m so glad you’ve got plans to connect in person though. There’s nothing like sharing a cuppa and catching up.

    • Kathy says:

      Glad to hear you’ve had these vicarious experiences, too, Lisa. The adult perspective brings an entirely new twist to it! (And am counting the days to see my loved ones in person…)

  22. I can’t imagine my kids living so far away! Daughter has her husband and son to take care of on the other side of town – in my father’s house on which we now hold the mortgage. We can technically see her whenever we like. Son still lives with us and I sometimes wish he would go off and have adventures, but if he did, I’d worry a lot about him. 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      Withershins, you are lucky to have your children nearby. I smiled at your word “technically” as it sounds like perhaps you don’t see her as often as you might like? Some of my other friends have said that. As for worrying–oh yes–that goes with the adventure territory. That can be very challenging, let me tell you!

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