Anyone remember me? I’m BACK!


Knock-Knock. Hello … anyone still out there? I’m going to pretend I have a few of you who remember me after I went totally AWOL on you the past month. As many of you know, I scampered off to my beautiful summer lake in the gorgeous East TN.  For 13 years we have done this and it’s always exactly what I need to get away from the hustle and bustle of the school year and avoid complete burnout. (Thanks Louise for this great post.)

Here’s a little taste of what we did on our summer vacation.

Sibling love!!

Ginger’s writing desk.

A girl flying with her grandpa!!

Goodbye Summer 2012

And now we’ve been home a week and today is the first day of school. It’s a momentous year for the Calem Clan. Our youngest is off to middle school and our middle child is joining his brother in high school. In fact, they drove off to school on their own. It’s a new reality for mom.

The Natives off to 11th, 9th, and 6th grade.

I know everyone says, “time flies” so much that it’s beyond a cliché. I’d like to change it to ‘Time Apparates’. Most of you know we are huge Harry Potter fans in our house. You know how in the magical world, the kids reach an age where they can learn how to apparate, that is be in one place and then through concentration and a bit a magic, instantly show up in an entirely different place?

Well, that’s how I feel. I feel that in one second I was the mom of little kids who needed my hands-on care for food preparation, shoe-tying, nose-blowing, bubble-baths and play dates. And now, well, now I’ve apparated to a world where they don’t need me for any of that. Except for maybe that food-prep thing. They do love to be fed!

With elementary school behind us for good, gone are the class parties, field trips and ‘Good Job’ stickers on their papers. Heck, I hardly saw a single paper come home from high school last year. But there will be a lot of school sports, orchestra and theatre productions. For that, I am grateful and can’t wait to support my Eagles!

I love how they are growing up and becoming mini-adults. I’m so proud of them. But I have to wonder how my role as a parent will change in the coming few years as they prepare to transition into adulthood. I recognize how blessed we are to be a close family and how we love to have fun together. I cherish all those laughs and all those moments deep in my heart.

For those of you who have passed this milestone, any tips for me? Any words of advice on how to hang on tight and release my hold on my babies at the same time?

Finally, thanks for not forgetting about me as I went MIA. I got lured away from my blog by the lake water lapping against the shore and the sunshine warming my skin and the time to spend with my little family away from it all.  Forgive me?


About Ginger Calem

I never met a notebook I didn't want to buy. Pens speak to me. Sticky notes are dear to my heart. Some of my best friends are those clambering in my head trying to get onto the page. And when they have their stories told, and I release them to the world, I hope they'll be your friends too.

Posted on August 27, 2012, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 26 Comments.

  1. Excellent post, Ginger. Sometimes the time away is what rejuvenates us for the task. A vacation should do that. So glad you’re feeling ready to take on the world again. World lookout she’s BAAAACKK!!

  2. Coleen Patrick

    Ginger, I need that hang on tight/release advice too! My kids are starting 11th and 12th grade next week and the changes I know are coming are never far from my thoughts.
    I do know that I keep our family unit a priority–I am acutely aware that every dinner, holiday and vacation is special. 🙂
    Glad you enjoyed your vacation–I am smiling at your phenomenal photos!

  3. Love this post, and welcome back!

    The photos are stupendous! When I’m on holiday I ‘lie down’ a lot and read and chill. We do our physical activities early in the morning and late at night – and by that I mean power walks (!)

  4. Welcome back, Ginger! Looks like you had a fabulous vacation…and I’m jealous. 🙂

    If you get any good advice on the kid conundrum, let me know. I’d like to know how to do both of those things at once, too. 🙂

  5. Welcome back Ginger! My oldest will be 18 in Oct- I hardly know what to do with myself. Don;t know that I have much advice other then enjoy and they still need you- even at almost 18!

  6. Well it’s about time. Writer’s Butt Wednesday isn’t the same without your nagging, I mean, encouraging me along.

    Anyway, it looks like you had a wonderful time and you have an absolutely beautiful family. My advice is to just enjoy every moment with them, good and bad, because whatever it is, good or bad, it will pass and you don’t want to miss the next thing that comes along. Bad things are not always completely bad and good things can get better so take one minute at a time and enjoy. Children will always need their mom, even if they don’t act like it. My mom’s been gone for almost 5 years and I still need to tell her things and share stuff with her. I’ll always need my mom and so will your kids.

    And remember, it’s your children who choose your nursing home, so treat them kindly now.

    Welcome back, my friend. Now get back to work!

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

  7. Sounds like a wonderful vacation, Ginger. I’m so glad you enjoyed. and thanks for the mention.

    • You’re welcome, Louise. Your post really resonated with me and from the response, I believe it resonated with a lot of people. I think many of us were collectively burned out or on the cusp!

  8. lynettemburrows

    Ginger, so glad you had such a great time. As for advice about letting go . . . it’s not easy. In a way they are always the little boys and girl you had but you’ll also come to know them as adults which is really cool. And you will LOOOVE having grandkids some day.

  9. Welcome back, my friend! So glad to hear that you had a chance to unwind and enjoy yourself at the lake. As a “boomerang kid,” I can attest to the fact that although your children may grow up and leave you (physically) for a time, they’ll be back again. If anything, I think the relationship that I have with my parents has just gotten better over time, and I think my not-so-baby sister (just turned 20!) would agree with me.

    Good luck transitioning back into the day-to-day! 😀

  10. Looks like a blast! Glad you are back!

  11. Nice to meet you, Ginger. This is my first visit to your blog. You have a lovely family and it sounds like you enjoyed a wonderful vacation together. Sounds like you are doing things just right – enjoying every moment together. Even though they grow up so fast, you’ll be able to look back with no regrets.

    • Hi Ruth. Nice to meet you too and welcome to my little blog! Thank you for your comment. I think about regrets al the time, in that I try so hard live in such a way that I won’t have any. It’s very freeing. Hope to see you again.

  12. Looks like an ammmmmazing vacation! Woot woot. So happy to have you back baby!!!

  13. Karen McFarland

    Welcome home Ginger! May I just say what a beautiful family you have! Glad you had a wonderful time! Ah, what pearls of wisdom do I have to share with you about the kids. I’m still grieving over the fact that mine are in their early thirties girl. I would shrink them in a minute if I could. I just loved my babies! But every child is different, so really you can’t say what will happen and how to prevent the inevitable. They just grow up too fast! You do have to be on your toes. Speaking of toes, did anyone hang ten out on the lake? I thought I saw some Lake surfing! Great to have you back with us! Missed ya! 🙂

  14. Welcome home 🙂 You definitely did the right thing by spending that time with your family. I don’t have kids, but maybe I could give you some advice from someone who maintained a close relationship with her family. My tip would be to always be the safe place they can come. Be the place where if they screw up big, they know they can come to you to brainstorm a solution rather than to hear how stupid they were. They likely already know as much as maturing adults. Be the person they can count on to come whenever they need you.

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