I find myself in an unfamiliar and somewhat precarious situation. Amelia is away finishing up her sophomore year and Jack is touring Germany for another 14 days with his class, soon to be living with a lovely family in Hamm. Amelia was home this weekend for Easter and now she is back at school, and her bed has been stripped and her room cleaned. My nest is once again empty. Or is it just a new nest? An evolving nest who’s look and feel will be determined as the life Chip and I had as parents now return us to the couple we once were.
According to Psychology Today, “Empty nest syndrome is a feeling of loneliness or sadness that occurs among parents after children grow up and leave home.” I do not feel lonely or sad, just off and odd like something is missing. No school lunches to make, no wakeup call, no request for 7am pancakes and truly on the bright side, no massive loads of laundry! The article goes on further to say, “Parents gain the greatest psychological benefit from the transition to an empty nest when they have developed and maintain good relations with their children.” Well how lucky am I?
Jack has been gone just five days and I am in a group chat with two other moms who have kids on this German trip. I think we bounce back and forth from being sad and missing them to being so happy for them based on the texts and pictures we so intermittingly receive throughout the day and night. Amelia is looking at summer housing and jobs in Rochester and most likely will not be home at all. Is this a glimpse into what it will be like when they truly move on and begin to build their own lives? Perhaps my nest is changing in preparation for that time.
I see my mother, in her “new nest”. Drive by visits from her children and grandchildren who stop by on the fly for her famous popcorn, a chat on the back porch or in response to a call to one of them to help her with her phone, especially to update the Pittsburgh Steelers app! Is she lonely or sad? I bet not. I would guess that the quiet times are good for the projects she wants to do around her house, or for the quick runs to the Coop for the sale items of the week. I think she likes her new nest. I am happy for her.
Recently, time is something I seem to have a great deal of. I do not do well with time on my hands. It makes me crazy. I think even Izzy is tired of following me around this house as I clean, purge and organize. I remember the feeling of nesting when I was pregnant. I prepared the baby’s room, washed all the clothes, hoarded diapers in all sizes and pre-cooked dinners frozen until I needed them if I was short on time to cook. Short. On Time. Hmmm…
So my little birds, fly to do the things you need to do and want to do in your lives. Make good decisions and your own nests will begin to form. This new nest is here and will always be here but as a nest, not a net.
I love you guys.