You would have thought that, by the time the nest was completely empty, I would have been ready. After all, I had three daughters head off to college before the youngest headed out. One of the first things I discovered was that, no matter how prepared I thought I was, I wasn't really prepared at all.
And then, after four years, the last one out was the first one back. My first discovery? I had adjusted to an empty nest. My second discovery? It was not that easy to readjust to not having an empty nest.
I had just, six months ago, redecorated that room. I repainted the walls, painted the furniture and hung lovely pictures, put down a new area rug...it was lovely. It's not so lovely now. It's full of stuff. Because her storage unit is our house. Our TINY house.
When those lovely babies come back (and it's NEVER the neat ones), they come back as young adults. With habits. Habits that they developed in college. Habits such as:
- taking food and drink into their room and leaving the plates/glasses in there until they become a science project.
- using the last of the laundry detergent and not telling you so you can discover this on your own. When you need to do laundry.
- washing their clothes but leaving them in the washer so you can put them in the dryer. And fold them.
- NEVER putting anything away.
- taking the last roll of toilet paper out of your bathroom because they ran out in their bathroom so you can make the discovery when you reach into the cabinet because your roll is empty.
- bringing Frostys and fries home so that your attempts to lose weight fail.
- having friends stop by, unnannounced, to embarrass you while sitting around in your nightgown.
- leaving enough drink and/or food in a container so that they don't have to wash the dish or recycle the container but not enough for the next person to eat or drink.
- NEVER cleaning the bathroom.
- NEVER vacuuming or dusting their room.
- getting you hooked on The Voice when you should be in bed early because you teach in an elmentary school.
- borrowing your car so that they don't have to use their gas.
- turning their music up loud enough to raise the dead so they can hear it over the shower.
She's been back for seven months. Maybe, by the time she moves back out in May, I'll be used to not having an empty nest. Maybe I'll even miss having her here. Most likely, I'll be doing the dance of joy.
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