To my readers --
Beginning today, I am taking a brief break from blogging. I’ll be silent for about ten days. But I’ll be thinking a lot about what I want to say when I return to my blog – because my nest will no longer be empty.
What does this mean for me? It means that my son Adam is returning home, for good, from the University of Arizona. He will attend a local junior college where he hopefully will (if he listens to his parents) play football and consider where he would like to continue his education after that. My daughter Katie will be graduating from Boston University on May 20 (just in case you haven’t heard yet), and she will also return home to begin her search for a grown-up job. She actually has a few interviews lined up so… sooner than later, she’ll be ready to move up to Los Angeles to an apartment to begin her adult life.
Do you get where I’m going with this?
I am actually really, truly looking forward to it. I mean it. It will be fun for us to all be home again. We haven’t spent much time as a family of four over the past few years, and I know we’ll laugh a lot. And probably yell a little bit. Or a lot.
But I’ve gotten used to the empty nest. It’s nice here. Quiet, clean, peaceful -- but that’s going to change. And so will I, change. I will adapt to a new yet very familiar reality of having people around all the time, making dinners and doing way more laundry (that part I don’t mind). I’ll grow used to the sound of ESPN and really loud music, constant text dings, the refrigerator opening and closing a lot. I’ll roll my eyes when Katie and Adam bicker with each other. They’ll roll their eyes when Peter and I bicker, too. There’ll be the late nights and waiting for the front door light to get turned off, signaling that they are home safe and sound. And the friends will be back -- which will be wonderful, really wonderful.
I will, once again, be a stay-at-home mom. But this time it will be different, because my kids are no longer children. And I will respect that, all the while holding myself back from babying them and indulging them, disciplining and correcting and smothering them. They can take care of themselves now -- and so can I.
I can take care of myself, continue to be myself. I will try very hard to not forget what this feels like -- this quiet Wednesday evening, my nest all mine (well, and Peter’s too). Because eventually they will both be gone again, and I don’t want to chase myself down to catch up with where I am at this moment.
I’ll be back. I hope you’ll be there to listen. Because I will surely have lots to tell you.
Sharon Greenthal emptyhousefullmind.com
Photo Credit: Steph McAuslan.
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