Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Funny How Life Changes Us- Slice of Life


I knew this day would come; we knew this day would come. But I don't think we ever thought past it's coming. So now the day, the days are upon us. We have been official empty nesters for one month now.
Our daughters are generous, they call regularly, and sometimes they aren't asking for anything. No matter the time or events happening in our house everything hits pause when they call. They tell us all about their days. We ask them how they're getting along at school, in their new jobs, and with roommates. They share the funny stories and the aggravating ones too.
We smile when we hear our words come out of them in the ways we prayed they one day would and we cringe when they share stories of coming home late, unreasonable co-workers, bosses, professors, and friends. But we know now is the time to let these ladies decide when and how to be their advocates and find their way in life. It isn't easy, but this is what we do now, we sit back, trust our parenting, pray, and listen.

In our house, it isn't any clearer, and we have to own that. All that is around belongs to us, and there's no one here to make clean it up before I get home from work.  Our menus are more creative; the girls were picky eaters. The grocery trips are less expensive and less frequent. When I do go to the store, I find it hard not to shop they way I have for 22 years. There are some areas of the grocery store I don't even have to visit anymore, and that is taking some adjusting. Our cat, well she is missing the girls! She will not leave my side when I am home. As a matter of fact, she's laying across my arms as I type. The house is quiet with less breathing.

At times, I feel sad in this stillness, it's very hard to accept change when you have so dearly loved what was. I often find my mind drifting back to when the girls were much younger and become overwhelmed by how they have grown and how these years have changed us all. Then I am telling myself I am not old; I have not become my mother. This self-debate takes a lot of my time lately. When I think back to the days of our girls growing up, I wish my mind went to all those days when I thought I would crack if there were one more fight, one more refusal to eat, one more door slam. Then, maybe this silence wouldn't be so loud.

Then, I remember nothing lasts forever. We will grow to like this new freedom and choice. We will begin to like the quiet, we might even let a call or two go to voicemail then, they'll be back. With all their breathing, all their bickering, picky eating, and door slamming and we will wonder how much longer till school starts again!
Funny how life changes us.

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7 comments:

Carol said...

The empty nest thing is a really different time. Like you, there are things I like and things I hate about it. And I probably shouldn't confess that I cried regularly on trips to the grocery store right after my boys left…

Ms. Victor said...

It is quite a change and you have captured it well! I went from a family of 4 with two cats, to a single mother with cats and teens, to having one go off to uni, then the other. This summer one of the cats died, so now we are two. It is a change- and I miss the kids, but it is so nice to see them being adults.

Linda B said...

This: "The house is quiet with less breathing." is beautifully said, Deb. It is a big change, but now that I am well past the first part, and while I miss my son & family who live far away when they leave, It is a joy to see my grown up kids with children of their own, making good lives. And I like their friendship as adults. I do remember how hard those first times were though. I hear you!

Ramona said...

"...it's very hard to accept change when you have so dearly loved what was," a beautiful way to capture your present moments and challenge. We still drop everything when they call and our house has been empty for over a decade. It gets easier, but it takes awhile.

Terje said...

This is a big change to go through. I like how you look for the positive. You are very lucky that your daughters call and talk regularly.

Maria said...

Four years into empty nest and I continue to have that self debate. Your post touched every inch of me. I can't say it gets easier it just gets different. Hugs!

Tara Smith said...

I've been adjusting to this slowly...the best part of this phase is listening to those phone calls and loving the way the kids have grown into adults we respect and want to know. That's a good feeling, right?!