Bridal and baby showers are all well and good. But it occurs to me that there is a glaring oversight in the shower industry: we need empty nest showers for mothers. The shower could occur on the first Mother’s Day following the youngest child’s departure from home.
There is more of a need to stock up after they leave home than when they are babies.
Here is a list of items the kids use almost constantly, and therefore I can almost never find when I need to use them (your list will vary, of course, especially if you have sons, which I don’t):
- Nail clippers.
- Pencils that don’t have orange or yellow lead. Normal pencils can never be found. Orange or yellow pencils can always be found because you can’t see what you’re writing when you use them, so they are useless.
- Pens. There is light at the end of the tunnel for this one because I have started taking the kids to UW Bookstore a few times per year. You can buy individual pens there and test them out in the store. Passing on my pen addiction to them is one of my great joys as a mother. They love picking out their own pens and now don’t borrow mine as often. Whew.
- Cloth napkins – when the kids were younger they were appropriated for all manner of uses, such as blankets for dolls.
- Measuring tape – this was usually pressed into service as a leash for stuffed animals. Currently my daughter’s pet rabbit loves to chew it if he can get near it.
- Hand trowel for gardening. When we had a sandbox these tended to get borrowed for sand play…and buried and never found again.
- Computer paper.
- Cell phone charger. In addition to constant borrowing pet rabbits love to chew these too. Argh.
- Ponytail holder and bobby pins.
- Tissues (especially travel size packets).
- Lip balm.
This list is substantial enough that one of my ongoing fantasies as a parent is the surprise appearance of an overflowing box of all of the above items someday. When my imagination is really getting carried away I envision what it would be like to walk around my house during the course of the day and find each of these items in the exact spot where I last left them. A mother can dream.