It seems like it wasn't all that long ago that I was volunteering up at the elementary school, packing my kids' school lunches, helping with math homework, and car pooling kids to dance, basketball, birthday parties and sleepovers. Wasn't it yesterday that I was shopping for prom dresses with my daughter and listening to her latest boy crisis? And how the heck is it that my son is suddenly six feet tall?
My daughter's birthday was yesterday, and as I sat across from her at the restaurant we went to for lunch, I was stunned by her maturity. She graduates from college next spring and is heavy into many of her major classes. Listening to her talk about what she's learning had me nearly speechless. She's so smart, poised, and level-headed. So smart, charming, and enthusiastic. Did I say smart?
Then there's my son. Taking his ACT tests. Driving safely through the worst winter of ice and snow I remember in decades. Gone all the time. Talking to girls, even. Sheesh. Over twenty years of mothering and suddenly I'm facing an empty nest.
Used to be people talked about the adjustment of being empty nesters and I'd think, "Bring it on, baby!" But as the Friday and Saturday nights get more and more quiet in the Brenna house, I've started worrying for the first time about that inevitable empty nest.
We'll have a trial run this summer when my daughter goes all the way to Sydney Australia for a working internship. Wah! My baby's all grown up and going to Australia! A year and a half from now my son will be off to college. What am I going to do when both my kids are gone?
Oh, there's a part of me that's definitely looking forward to some extra time to get to all those household chores that have taken the back burner for years, to spend more time with my girlfriends, to write more, but is all that going to be enough?
So tell me, if you're an empty-nester, what was your saving grace? If you're in my boat, are you looking forward to some quiet time, or does it scare the begeebees out of you? If your kids are little, remind me again of how nice a quiet house and a full night's sleep will be! And if you don't have kids, what's your favorite thing about the peace and quiet?
Happy hump day, folks!