empty nest

Remember those essays your grade-school teachers assigned on the first day back at school. My Summer Vacation. I have enough material to pen a novella. Packed with chaos and drama and not much fun, my summer has thankfully come to an end.

Children should never move back home once they leave for college. Or wherever life takes them after high school. We’ve heard that time and again, and I’m hear to tell you it’s true. I am putting my children through college. Once they’ve earned their degree, my babies are on their own. That doesn’t mean I can turn them away when they come home for the summer. Particularly if they’re working summer jobs or internships.

If you’ve recently become an empty nester, prepare yourselves. Having your children home again will rock your world.

My two beloved offspring have been holding my household hostage since early May. They stored their lamps and wall art and bedding in my garage and under my dining room table. They left their shoes beside the backdoor, draped their sweaters and handbags over the backs of chairs, and spread their paperwork from school and their time sheets from work across the breakfast room table. They’ve been gone for a week, but the sour-smelling lacrosse gear still lingers in my mudroom. Pee-whew!

Absence makes the heart grow fonder . . . 

I was eager to pack them up and ship them off, but I already miss them like crazy. I miss the slamming of the back door, their friends stopping by for a game of Xbox, sitting down for dinner together. But my days are once again productive and my nights are filled with blissful, uninterrupted sleep. And I’m back to two loads of laundry and one trip to the grocery store every week.

Regardless of our children’s ages, at the end of every summer, we make adjustments to our lifestyles when they head off to school. So, to the mother of the kindergartner and those of you taking your firstborn to college, I encourage you to hang in there. Don’t succumb to your sorrow. Embrace the peace!

As I edit this post, my phone dings with texts. My daughter wants to know where she can find pita bread in the grocery store and my son is considering dropping his computer science class. They are only as far from me as there hand is from their phone. Isn’t it nice to be needed?


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