Today is one of those life transitions.
The Hoyt nuclear family now counts an MD in its ranks. In the next week or ten days, (they haven’t booked the truck, yet) Dr. and the young Mrs. Hoyt will be making their way out of state for his residency program.
Younger son’s graduation is in limbo due to the fact no one informed him of the bureaucratic things he needed to do for graduation, and he’s kind of isolated due to his unique double-degree path. He just didn’t know that there was paperwork to fill months ago. (And his counselor apparently is useless or thinks he’s psychic.) Wish him luck as he tries to speed up the paperwork so he can have a diploma in hand soon.
Meanwhile — because I can’t do anything about the bureaucracy and younger son won’t let me beat people up (no one lets me have ANY fun) — this task is done, and it’s time to get back to OUR life.
Even though a summer of moves lies ahead of us, as we help older son and younger son move, and as we engage in the Great Office Swap of 2020. (Now husband is working from home for the foreseeable future, we need to change where my office is, where his office is, and where the household office and paperwork center is. I know, it sounds loony, but you’ll have to trust me that it’s needed. It is in fact a way to re-center our marriage on our relationship, rather than the relationship with the boys. … Okay, fine, it’s a grandiose way of saying “We want to be on the same floor during the day and the same floor on our time off.” Also I have great hopes of getting Dan to unpack the boxes he’s carried for the last three moves, and making his office look less like a warehouse. I’ll probably fail in this, but maybe at least he can hide the “graveyard of computer parts” in what will be a bigger closet.)
Anyway, when this is all done, round July or August, we will move into what will be justifiably “a new normal.” Which won’t mean a diminished life, as what they’re trying to sell to us with the “new normal” carp, but a step into a new phase.
When and where I grew up, by the time the kids were married and moved away — usually not very far because, let’s face it, the entire country is not very far — it was time for the parents to be OLD (even though objectively they were most of them younger than us, given how long the boys have lingered in education, and how late we had them, through no fault of our own.) They were retired, or had achieved everything they wanted to in their careers, and it was time to … slow down. To live a slow and limited life as they waited for grand kids.
We do hope to — hint to both boys — have biological grandkids someday (we already have adopted ones — and before anyone complains at the distinction, these are our grandkids by fans I adopted as my kids even though they have other parents. It’s kind of like a reverse cuckoo’s nest thing. — And yes, we do love them, but we’d like our biological kids to have kids, also.) this new phase of life is in many ways not a diminishment but a reorienting and reblossoming.
I.e. I noticed years ago when I was first published that most of the women who became big in the field did so when they were done pushing the kids out of the house (earlier for some than for others.)
I can tell you that doing mothering right, including supporting them through the upheavals of professional training WITHOUT infantilizing them takes a lot of mental space, even when it doesn’t take physical time. Or maybe that’s just be and being somewhat (Ah! The person who just smirked in the back row might just get a shoe to the noggin) neurotic.
Well, it’s time to concentrate on the career now.
I’m not going to stop caring for the boys. But it’s time for older son (and very beloved DIL) to go off, have their own adventures and learn their own ways. Younger son will be moving to basement apartment, at least while he waits the resolution of academic limbo, and perhaps for a few years, if he can find a job nearby, because that will speed up paying off student loans and frankly give us someone on hand if we need SOMETHING. And in fact this house is just two much house for two people, so until we move, we’ll be fine if he stays in apartment. BUT the apartment is completely separate with its own entrance. We’ve been known to go out to the driveway to see if DIL and older son are home.
We do plan some joint ventures with younger son who is a born organizer/adminsitrator, including AT LONG LAST activating Ink Stain Publishing (And yes, that means Kate Paulk’s books come back on line. At least if she’s not too fed up with us. We’ll also publish what she calls The Prussian book (space opera, I’m editing now) and we’ll do our best to get her to write sequels to all of them.) Younger son will also be setting my indie books in paper, and he’ll be doing other stuff. You’ll see. Part of our plan is to get it started, so he can continue it even after he has a job, because some things I’m really bad at, but he isn’t.
But MOSTLY Dan and I are going to do the things that were put on hold 28 years ago, when someone put a helpless being in our arms (by stealth!) and we realized with a cold feeling that we were responsible for him for the next 18 years of his life, and he would die without us. Turns out he and his brother reoriented our lives to be “parents,” instead of Dan and Sarah. And yeah, we went a little longer than 18 years, because we were giving them a reach up, so they might achieve higher than we ever did. And who knows, maybe Marshall will actually manage his life-long goal of “getting us the heck out of this rock.” And if not, maybe he’ll get us a little further on. Maybe he can contribute something on humanity’s way to the stars.
Now because 28 (almost 29) years ago Dan and I were, ourselves, young idiots of 28, we’re not the same people, and some of our goals have changed. Sort of. Kind of.
He’ll probably get back to his music, but — coff — he’ll probably never be a rockstar. Or not the way he wanted to be in 1991. As for me…. Well, the only thing I ever wanted to do is tell stories. That has been weird and spotty, partly due to the publishing establishment, partly due to family, partly due to health and other concerns and running just ahead of the hungry financial wolf for way too long, and getting in my own way by worrying about politics.
Now, all of those aren’t going to stop — duh — but there is indie now, which changes a lot of things, the kids are more or less on their own (well, younger son will be, hopefully within months AT MOST depending on how fast we can get the university office to realize he didn’t drop the ball, THEY did), the health is — for now — under control and G-d willing and according to family history, I should be okay and mentally allert enough to write stories for thirty years or so, and finances will recover soon. Politics will still interrupt, but that’s life. It’s possible that they’ve become too silly for even me and I’ll learn to put them in the back brain, or like Robert Heinlein during WWII only read news on the weekend.
Hopefully there will be time for a lot more writing, a lot more stories. Because that’s what I was made to do. And I intend to do more of it.
We’re moving, you could say, into the autumn of life. And that’s the time that shines the brightest gold. Right?
And now, I’m going to go over some copyedits, put up some Jane Austen “fanfic” and finish the next book. In the plans is also a space opera Dan and I have been writing. (It’s the world’s pulpiest thing ever.)
Maybe I’ll even find time for some hobbies on the weekends. At least after the moves and after moving more rock. Or not. But I’m going to try.
Go have fun. The Hoyt family is taking a day of rest. Which means writing and doing math and well, for the younger part of the family, packing like mad people.