Friday, March 20, 2009

Empty Nests

It dawned on me today that my nest is empty forever more. My babies are 28 and 33, but this is “empty nest” thing is just now hitting me.

I was reading all about one of my
favorite bloggers' recent vacation, and looking at her photos from that trip. Her descriptions of the trip take me back to our vacations when the kids were small, right down to the 30 mile traffic jam. The only difference is that she can tell the story much better than I could have.

I was a housewife for 19 of the years I was with them and their father. I never once felt I was wasting my time or letting life pass me by. When the baby hit 12 and didn’t seem to need me as much, then I felt kind of lost, but otherwise I knew I was where I should be.

I worried a lot. I was so sure I was screwing them up for life – sure they would wind up in therapy for their entire adult lives. I was never sure whether I was being too strict or not strict enough. I couldn’t decide when to let go a little. I worried that they would be embarrassed when they couldn’t wear the designer jeans, yet I knew the only way they would be able to is if I went to work.

I remember the sleepless nights when they were teething. Now, I can sleep as long as I want. I also remember the nights when they first started driving on their own…those nights were sleepless too until 10:00pm arrived. Soon, one of them will be teaching her own to drive.

I think about the colds that scared me, the stuffy noses, the braces, the broken bones and the swimming lessons. I miss them. Yeah they live up the road and I can see them, but I miss having them little, at home.

If I could do it again, I would worry less and laugh more. I would have bought that trampoline a couple of years earlier. I would have splurged and bought the designer jeans… at least one pair a year. I would look the other way when they grabbed cookies out of the cookie jar right before dinner.

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