There are no more children in my house, unless you count the dog, who is 21 in dog years anyway, or my husband, who has the maturity of a middle schooler, but is actually old enough for Medicare. I feel weird about this. Really weird.
I’m proud of my children, don’t get me wrong, but I’m also proud of my own accomplishment(s). I managed to get two children through the perils of public school with no arrests and no pregnancies. To my knowledge, no pregnancy scares, either. No small tasks, either of those, in 2022. At no point did child protective services open an investigation into my parenting practices.
I could brag about my kids here and given the least prompting I would. But instead, I want to make a few un-humble random notations about my parenting.
I’ve been a parent of a human since 2001. In all that time, despite all the temptation, I have never tried to return either of my offspring to the manufacturer despite some rather obvious design flaws like insatiable appetites. (Well, I might have, but I realized pretty early on that the manufacturer was my husband and I, so what good would that have done?)
Since 2001, I have lost no less than 7,500 hours of sleep on their behalves. As I write this, high school graduation starts in a few hours. I plan on beginning the make up sleep this weekend. You should be able to talk to me again some time in 2025.
Now that they aren’t babies, I can probably think about losing the baby weight. Because I’m that kind of giving parent, I’ve also pre-gained the baby weight for my grandchildren.
In August, my husband and I will have to learn how to be empty-nesters. I expect we will spend upwards of thirty or forty seconds mourning all that extra room in the house. The first month will probably be spent wandering around collecting all the spoons that have mysteriously disappeared over the years underneath couch cushions and in the bottom of laundry baskets. We have two sets of flatware in the drawer; there should be twenty-six spoons. When the dishwasher is newly cleaned and emptied there are eight.
I will also have to start thinking of myself as “Lori” again. For nearly half my life, I’ve been known as some variation of “Mom”. I don’t have my own name, I only have a role in someone else’s life. I’m going to have to remember my identity as an individual. I’m not just Mommy or Mom. I’m Jacob’s Mom, Marin’s Mom. And, if they’re too far away to count anymore, I’m Lincoln’s dogmom.
He needs me, right?
 Not that they couldn’t have, just that they didn’t.
 They really are fabulous children. I mean, adults. Former children. Offspring. Good looking, talented, and above-average in all respects, except maybe athleticism.
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Lori B. Duff is an award-winning author who practices law on the side. Her latest book, “If You Did What I Asked in the First Place” was awarded the Gold Medal for humor in the Foreword INDIES awards in 2019. You can follow her on Twitter at @LoriBDuff and on Facebook. For more blogs written by Lori, click here. For more information about Lori in general, click here. If you want Lori to do your writing for you, click here. If you want Lori to help you market your book, click here.