So most people who know me at all, know that my two youngest children, my precious daughters, BOTH got married last year. Yes, I am still reeling from the thought that they are both married young women (my youngest, especially!) but this rather abrupt (less than a month between each wedding) exiting of my children from the household has left me in what many people like to call “The Empty Nest.”
I don’t like that phrase really because I am a glass-half-full kind of person (usually). Before, during and after the weddings, many people would ask “So are you ready for the empty nest?”
How do you properly answer that? Honestly, I was pretty ready by that second wedding. My parents had came to visit, we had a former foreign exchange student staying with us for the wedding, and my house was in chaos. I was ready for some emptying out. I wanted the wedding stuff gone and I wanted a little peace and quiet.
So now, ten months later, I sit in a different house, that is VERY VERY quiet, and I think about this nest.
Before there were ever babies, there was me and my husband. Before that, we had our own lives but we married VERY young so they were short little lives before we made our life together. We had dreams, we had goals. And some of those did not include children. Some of those were just about us.
I wanted to be a writer. I wanted to edit books. We both loved to travel, go camping, sit by the water… And we did that some with the kids but it was expensive and difficult, at times, to get the kids all together, loaded up and of course, not grumpy about where we were going.
After we got married, my husband’s grandmother taught me to cook and I wanted to be a good cook. But in the busy life of raising kids, it was easier, quicker and less expensive to cook prepackaged food. I did write though, but mostly term papers, some short stories that no one had ever seen. Until lately.
This nest really isn’t empty. There IS freedom to try new foods, new adventures, new places, with only just each other to consider. The girls live close and come over to spend time with us. The new grand baby is a great joy. But this time, is special. Like raising kids is special, but not so frustrating. Like being newlyweds is special, but not so awkward. Not to say that this time isn’t sometimes frustrating and awkward but there are moments of great discovery and great comfort. Every time in life is special, I guess, but I am really liking the things that go along with this one.
In this time, there is time for us. Time to explore, time to understand each other. Time for him to read my writing, experience my new gourmet dishes, some good some bad! Here in this phase of life, there is freedom to push through and spend that extra hour talking. Stay up until 2 a.m. and know that the tiredness in the morning will be worth it because we learned something new about each other, drew a little closer.
Yeah this empty nest isn’t empty at all, because everyday, my heart becomes more full, more grounded, more complete.