Empty Nest – Am I the only one?
I wonder what the Mama bird feels like after her babies fly away and leave the nest. Is it a sense of accomplishment that she has fed them and nurtured them so that they are able to fly away? My girls “flew” a long time ago. They are both happily married, with young children of their own, and doing well. You’d think I’d have adjusted to the “Empty Nest” by now – right? NOT!
I always have this ache in my heart when I think about them living so far away. Is it because it “snuck up on me”? – is that a word, snuck? When your a young mother, you are so busy taking care of them and running them around all over the place and trying to keep a family going (financially and otherwise), you don’t have time to think about it – that having them right next to you is not going to last forever. And if you do think about it, it’s probably sometimes like “I can’t wait until Jane can drive” or “I can’t wait until Jack is potty trained.”
So, is it because it snuck up on me, or is it because I didn’t want to think about it and so I put it in the ‘closet’ part of my brain, where I stow old memories too difficult to remember, and closed the door so I wouldn’t have to think about it? It could be either or both, I don’t know. Either way, I didn’t see it coming, so it hit me in the heart like a sucker punch.
Why am I writing about this? Because I hope I’m not the only one who feels this way, years after the house was remodeled and the bedrooms combined into a larger Master Bedroom and a guest room. It still feels very wrong that my kids sleep in the “guest room” when they come home to visit. And that ‘closet’ – it seems to grow bigger because there are so many times I have to put the ache in there and close the door.
Did you see it coming? Did it sneak up on you? How do you handle it, someone out there has gotten through this better than I did, I’m sure. I hope your reading and will give me a little lesson on how you did it.