Thursday, March 15, 2007

Whatcha Gonna Do When She Says Goodbye?

Here's Coadster running away at The Adler Theater in Davenport. We were teasing her that she looked a little like Jerry Lewis in this photo. I can only assume that she was yelling, "Dean! Deeeeaaaan!" when it was taken.

The closer I get to Coadster's fifteenth birthday, the more imperative everything feels. She'll be gone in three years. THREE. YEARS. That's nothing. Especially, since she and Stinky looked like this:

just last week.

Fifteen seems to be a magical age for losing child benefits. I just found out today, that Coadster needs to get her dental sealants put on her teeth before May 15th, when my insurance stops covering it. I'll also lose my additional child tax credit for her, after this year. I have no idea why they take that away then. It's not like her upkeep will take less money, at that age. She'll actually start costing me a lot more. I'll have to shell out a few hundred dollars for driver's ed., and my insurance will probably go up higher than it would if I had hit that dumb kid with my car last weekend, when Coadster starts driving. The biggest expense, by far will be all the hair dye, blood pressure meds, and the Prozac/ liquor cocktail it's going to take to see me through her first years of driving.

Lately, I've been thinking of some things I want to do for her before she leaves me and complains to her friends about how needy I've become and starts only coming home to ask for money and to do laundry:

1. She really wants to see a musical - a real one, not something her dad is in at a local community theater. So, even though you already know my feelings about musical theater, I'm going to try to get tickets for whatever show comes to Hancher next year. Hopefully, it won't be something totally lame. The girls and I will even dress-up and eat at a fancy schmancy restaurant beforehand.

2. I'm going to try to make her fifteenth birthday party as kick-ass as possible. I thought it would be funny to do a po' person version of My Super Sweet Sixteen, where we show up at Coadster's high school parking lot in a rusted-out 1969 Ford pick-up and hand out grease stained invitations. We could go to Goodwill for cast-off bride's maid dresses and get the food catered courtesy of the dumpster behind Kentucky Fried Chicken. It would be so emotional at the end, when we roll out her shiny, sleek case of Hamm's beer, birthday gift that I picked out myself. I have a feeling this idea will be quickly vetoed by the birthday princess herself.

3. We're planning on going to Chicago this Summer to see my friend S., check-out some museums and most importantly, take in a Cubs game. I know the tickets are ridiculously expensive for a team that rarely wins, but it's something Coadster has wanted to do for years and years. In the scheme of things, ten years from now I won't remember that I charged a hundred dollars on my card, but she'll remember her first Cubs game and overpriced hotdog at Wrigley field.

4. I want to plan another bigger Summer trip in the next few years. Coadster still talks about how awesome our trip to South Dakota was, and I'd like to be able to do something at least on that scale. Ideally, I want to take the girls to Northern California and do Yosemite, San Francisco and drive up to Humboldt so I can show them where I used to live, but the money for that could be a few years away...Unless, of course, I stumble across a trust fund on my way to work someday soon.


plain jane said...

I cherished those last few years with my kids at home. It is worth it to do those special things.

Churlita said...

Plain Jane,

I think so too. I can't believe how fast it's all going.

Remiman said...

From the age of 8 to 18 baseball was my life; read Brooklyn Dodgers.
My fist live baseball game was at age 56 when my youngest son took me to a Yankees game in Toronto.

Make the most of your last three years of in home motherhood.

Les Quinn said...

Its called "empty nest syndrome"

I dont look forward to it

Les Quinn said...

Ps... Pablo cruise does have a good website eh ;)

Mr Atrocity said...

I'm welling up just reading this. Awww.

Margaret said...

that po girl's sweet 16 sounds awesome!

Rachel said...

If I had been drinking anything when I got to the part about the party plans I would have spewed it all over my monitor.
That was great.
My son is 9 and it seems that he is no longer a little boy anymore. He is getting more mature and grown up acting every day.
The conversations that we have are priceless (i posted one today).

mist1 said...

I like number two. My parents never did anything like that for me. They were just like, "Happy birthday, here's some new luggage." At least they had circled all the good apartments in the classifieds for me. That was nice.

Churlita said...


So, how was the game? Was it worth the wait?

Les Quinn,

I have a tag called "fear of an empty nest". I'm gearing up.

Oh, Pablo Cruise. They crack me up. It would be the best show choir music.

Mr Atrocity,

Yeah, yeah. I'm so schmaltzy.


I know. Too bad Coadster doesn't agree.


I read your post and loved it.


Maybe that's why I'm so weird about making things good for my girls. On my birhtday, my Aunt would buy me a broom and tell me to get to work.

Steven Novak said...

My wifes son has up and left already. (Moved to another state actually)

Make the most of the time you have.


Brando said...

I was hoping you would express your feelings about this in a song...

You might be able to get Cubbie tickets cheaply later in the season when they're mathematically eliminated from the playoffs. You know, after May 15. It is a very fun experience.

broinlaw said...

Hey Churly,
If you start feeling nostalgic about changing diapers, I've got a sweet deal for you.....


Bice said...

Grab all the moments because they don't last long. Make as many memories as you can while you can. You won't regret it.

Churlita said...


I know. It must be hard for your wife, but nice to see your kids turn into amazing adults.


Are you dogging the Cubs, a Cubs fan, or both? A friend of mine, just messaged me to tell me he may have some cheap or free tickets to select games. How awesome is that?

Bro in law,

Is it a two for one deal, or is the boy fully potty trained now?


Thanks for the advice. I'm working very hard at it.