As they fly the nest…
It turns out that the empty nest…what a lot of parents dread, isn’t half that bad. Sure I dreaded it at first. Its looming shadow is what motivated me to start this blog less than a year ago. During the first few weeks after the departure of our youngest daughter, I would find myself wandering into her bedroom to survey her shelves and desk, where so many mementoes have accumulated over the last sixteen years. But my moping didn’t last long.
The reality of having three daughters slip away one by one, sometimes temporarily, probably eased me into the state of being alone with my husband after all these years of child raising. I had enjoyed those years immensely and still consider them some of the best in my life.
But within no time, carpools, curfews and high school sporting events have now been replaced by romantic mid-week dinner, impromptu out of town weekends and stolen movie matinees.
We were now living as we did BC (before children), when spontaneity ruled and responsibilities were less, though thank heavens not completely.
Gone were the days of dancing most of the night away at Studio 54 and somehow managing to make it to work the next day or throwing parties with no beginning or end. These days, sleep is definitely a more coveted commodity. But we’re still out there shaking it up together and with great friends.
Now more time spent with each other has made reminded me why I married him in the first place, 34 years ago. He challenges me every day to excel by trying new things. And even after all these years, he manages to light up the room I’m in, merely by showing up.
Do I miss my children? Absolutely!
Talking to them on the phone, with occasional texts thrown in, has been my mainstay for keeping them close. Though I think distance has even improved our relationships, especially in regard to my youngest daughter, who is now happily ensconced in boarding school in Southern California.
These days, she texts saying how much she loves and misses me. What the what…? This can’t possibly be the same snarky teenager that we dropped off at school this past September.
Despite all these happy changes in our lives, I can understand why the thought of children leaving the nest is daunting. Is part of the need to have them around is an underlying desire to keep them little, wishing to live vicariously through their adventures or are we merely wistful about our own youth? Probably, a little bit of all of the above…
Change is exciting though! Bring it on… But girls; “Please don’t forget to phone home and be sure to come home often. We miss you!”