Thursday, September 06, 2007

And away they go...

above: dear son

above: dear daughter

Comments on my empty nest...

Ahhh yes, and away they go.... It is September again and if you have kids, you know what that means. They are off to school and books and all kinds of adventures with their friends. Change is in the air. On alternating pre-fall days the air is sometimes over-warm and sometimes crisp, leaves are changing slightly. This year all these famliar things bring a wistfulness for me. You see my kiddos are both off to college now. My youngest just left this week for a very large universtiy close by and my oldest is off to his cozy little campus way up in the UP (the Upper Peninsula of Michigan).

Can we say Empty Nest? :)
And what do I think about that? I get asked this at least 4 or 5 times a day now. How do I feel now that my kids are gone? Hmmmm, good question! Like the weather in MN right now, I can't quite make up my mind. I miss them immensley from the social aspect. I love to tease them, talk to them, gripe at them, compare notes with them on life. I miss telling the time by what my daughter is doing and where she is going. I miss her mess-in-every room evidence that she is an active teen with a busy social schedule and a wonderful boyfriend. I miss my son's wry comments. And his winking ever-present statement "I love you Mom."

But other than that, how do I feel? Yes tears do sneek up on me now and then. But really that happened much more to me a few weeks ago than it is right now. Maybe it was the dreading of the empty nest that made it worse then. And after all, this seasonal parting is not really new to me for my senior-in-college son who will be home again at Thanksgiving. Am I missing them yet? Well, I have to admit the plus side of things in the evaluation. I am not spending as much on gasoline as I was running around. And I am getting the house cleaned and it is staying clean for once in about 20 years. (Odd feeling but nice!) Plus my daughter is only an hour away. We have already chatted a few times and text messaged a few more. (I am learning 'hella new skillz' as she would jokingly say!!) ;)

And really maybe that is the whole point here. While they are off learning the "hella new skillz" that they need for their futures and careers, I am learning to face new challenges too (like text messaging and cooking for two!) It isn't that they are gone geographically that is my real issue. If there is a wistful feeling now, it is more about me than about them. It is time for me to turn my attention away from child rearing and toward some of my other goals. I have such a to do list and so many hobbies and so many wonderful friends and good causes I believe in. Now it it time to turn to those other joys in my life. Like sweet hubby, and hobbies, and so on. Sometimes my motivation will be like our pre-fall weather: hot one day and then cool the next. But either way I will keep moving.

Moving? Oh yeah. Right now I am off to make a donation to the flood relief here in Minnesota. A collection is being taken locally of toiletries and cleaning supplies. That is something I can do. My kids are not the only ones in this world who need help. And then I am off to scrapbook today. We have a wedding to get ready for. (My son next summer) So invitations have to be made, thank you notes created, envelopes stamped. Hubby is reffing tonight so I even hope to get some time in on a dorm bed quilt for the dear daughter. I have been making this quilt and setting it aside now for 2 years. Time to get it DONE! Cause you know, mom, it would be great if it could match the other dorm stuff. :)

It's nice to be needed, even if they have flown the nest. :) My "to do" list and my "want to try this" list will definitely keep me busy for a long while.. So the answer to the empty nest question is Sure, I miss them. But it's all good in the long run. (wiping tear away with a smile). Life. It's what we spent over 22 years preparing them for, right?

1 comment:

Sandi said...

When my first of 4 left home, I went into major "meltdown" In spite of working outside the home for most of my life, I really valued "being Mom" & somehow thought that "that" would end. It has gone on hiatus on a couple of occasions--as in "so & so is just like a Mother to me"--but so & so never lasted, & 17 years past that first leaving, I'm realizing that being a "Mom" never ends!! Enjoy the time for the 2 of you that never seems to happen with kids & reclaim real estate-- one daughter was married for several years before her room was the "guest room" instead of "my" room!! We now have a home with 2 guest rooms, a den & a "craft" room--now if only I could get them to take all the stuff they had to "save" home to their own homes I'd have it made! Enjoy--Sandi