Bittersweet

Avatar for elc11
Community Leader
Registered: 06-16-1998
Bittersweet
6
Fri, 10-19-2012 - 1:46pm

My dd was here for about 22 hours...boy did that fly by. It was so great to see her but also made me so sad when she left. When I go long periods without seeing her and hugging her I kind of forget how much I miss her "in person". Then seeing her again, it brings it all back up. I feel like I mostly know what's going on in her life, she shares pretty freely when we talk on the phone and occasionally Skype but of course its not the same.

It might be even a little more bittersweet because we had such a rocky relationship when she was a teen. She never said really awful things to me but she gave me a lot of attitude, and would just do stuff (passive agressive?) that drove me crazy. I don't even think it was planned to upset me, she seemed so self-absorbed then that her parents' feelings might not have even been on her radar. (I guess I'll have to ask her about that sometime!) As her behavior got worse my stress level rose to the point that when she moved out it was a big relief for me (which also produced some guilt). So now to have a close relationship is especially heart warming. 

I know that some of you see your kids regularly and some, like me, see them infrequently. Does anyone else have these bittersweet feelings when you see your kids?

Avatar for shirley_v
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-29-2000
In reply to: elc11
Fri, 10-19-2012 - 7:53pm

Not quite the same circumstances with me but lately I haven't hardly seen or spent much time with Christine.  Sometimes it feels like she very well could be living in another city, for all I see of her.  And we've been talking about getting together for a lunch since my birthday in March (it was supposed to be her gift to me).  I don't care who pays, I just would like us to make that date and get together to sit across the table and talk about things...whatever she wants to share with me.  I don't care to talk with her on the phone.  I always prefer a face to face and preferably a one-on-one.  Phone conversations are okay but maybe with her I like to gauge her body language and facial expression?  However, it's nice too when she actually comes to dinner with her siblings on Sunday, but that hasn't been happening much lately. 

It's been a long time since my kids have moved on to their independent lives and it's not like my kids share a great deal of what they do or for that matter what they feel (unless there is a crisis of sorts).  Christine and I had a somewhat rocky relationship for a long time (loooong story) - but our relationship improved once she matured - maybe too once I dealt with some of my own issues that contributed to our not always satisfying relationship? 

I am perhaps in a sense closest to my eldest, Michael.  And I enjoy our once weekly Skype talks we have since he moved to Berlin.  We share a good amount of interests.  In a way, I wish though he'd find a girlfriend to share a lot of interests with!  Sigh. 

And it is nice that my three kids who live here do come to dinner fairly frequently (Mostly Patrick and Eric).  But like I said, there's only so much of their lives I seem to hear about... maybe I don't ask the right questions? lol.

How nice that you have a much closer relationship to your dd now Elspeth.  But I can understand how you would so much enjoy spending time with her if she lived in the same city.  Have you tried Skype?

Shirley

Avatar for elc11
Community Leader
Registered: 06-16-1998
In reply to: elc11
Fri, 10-19-2012 - 9:42pm

I occasionally Skype with both of my kids, but not often. Dd seems to have trouble connecting with it sometimes.  We have also used G-chat which is similar, just through Google. I guess its just easier to talk on the phone....often my kids will call me when they are in transit, usually walking. That can be difficult for me because of street noise in the background or the reception goes bad when they enter the subway etc. My ds has very poor cell phone reception in his apartment, he often has to go outside or on the roof! so that's probably why he calls when he's walking somewhere.

Avatar for deenow17
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-12-2004
In reply to: elc11
Fri, 10-19-2012 - 10:01pm
Bittersweet is a good way to describe the feelings. I miss them when I say goodbye but can live day to day without then around. I am close to each of my kids but have a very different relationship with each one. I have to say that I have adapted to James leaving so far from home better than I thought I would as we are the 2 that talk the most together. He is also most like me. I'm sad when he leaves but also a little relieved as he can be emotionally demanding. He is very tough on himself & is always ensuring that he is living his life in a positive & productive way. It is hard to live up to his expectations when he is around daily. I miss Sandy but we don't talk much unless she is stuck in traffic. She doesn't like to talk on the phone & most of the time when we are together, we are just happy to be in the same place reading not needing to talk. However, she will spill her thoughts/feelings if she is upset or happy. Then there is Andrew, he rarely gave me attitude & I think he may have raised his voice to me 5 times in his life but in spite of these positives his teen years were terrible. I have asked him why he did the things he did during his teens & he says that he regrets it all but that it was just something he had to learn himself about life by doing things the hard way. He, like Sandy, doesn't like to talk on the phone or say much in person but we will have conversations by texting for a couple of hrs at a time. I think I miss him the most as he was at home until he was 25 & so it's only been a yr since he left. The other 2 left at 19. Then came back when they were 25 for a yr. We are a weird family. We like to be arround each other but we are all loners & quiet so there isn't a lot of conversation happening unless we are playing games or catching up after a few wks of not talking with each other. It's normal for everyone to be reading or on the computer when we are together. This is where Syd fits in as she likes to do the same thing but poor Luke needs to be entertained as his family are so social. I do feel for him when we are all together & so normally suggest playing a game. Dee
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-22-2009
In reply to: elc11
Tue, 10-23-2012 - 11:05pm

   I enjoy seeing my DDS but also really enjoy the empty nest.  Even though they all live in the area we do not see each other that often.  It runs in streaks,  we have the Feb-March streak (my birthday and two DDs birthdays).  The May-July streak (Mother's Day, Father's Day,  DD3 and DH's birthday) and the end of year holiday streak.  Aside from family events I see DD3 probably the most followed by DD2 and then DD1. 

  While we were living in the hotel one Sunday we invited the girls out for dinner and surprisingly they were all free. DH and I talked about making it a  monthly thing for those months  when we do not have an event to get us together.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-24-1997
In reply to: elc11
Wed, 10-24-2012 - 10:11pm

Elspeth, I remember those days!  After reading everybody's replies, I don't feel so bad.  With dd who lives near me, I usually call her at work but it's rare since we're both busy working & weekends are busy with chores/errands.  Our son is 4 hrs. away in Boston so I only see him when he comes down to visit on weekends (once every few months).  Recently he flew to S.F. to visit friends for a long weekend & he drives to Maine on weekends, so unless he is seeing friends in NYC, he doesn't think visiting family qualifies as much as visiting friends.  Unfortunately, I haven't had time to visit him in Boston either.  Will have more time next yr.  Our major issue with kids visits is they don't want to see their father as much as me, so obviously my husband gets upset if I visit them without him.

Kathy

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-13-2010
In reply to: elc11
Tue, 11-20-2012 - 4:46pm

  I could have written your post.  My DD28 lives 1500 miles away and, although I visited her in August, I've barely heard from her since.  She was a horrible teen and, like you, I shed no tears when she left for college.  Her 3 younger sisters agreed that our house was much less stressful once she left.  We get along fine now although she and DD27 both favor their father.  DD28 is now a manager at a hotel and doing well, but is much like her father...not very communicative or open.  My DD27 lives 5 hours away and I only see her 2-3 times a year, but, she will most likely be moving to her boyfriend's state...1500 miles on the opposite coast of my DD28.  I guess I don't feel extremely close with either of them at this point.  Their father decided to break up our family 5 years ago and I feel like he got "custody" of our older 2 (who were both actually graduated or in college at the time) and my younger 2 lived with me.  It's been difficult to say the least and I feel as though I'm the parent who is always "left out".  Anyway, we always have a great time when I go visit THEM, but when they come home and have to split time between their father and me, I always feel like I get the short end of the stick.  

Bittersweet...definitely.