The Truth about the Empty Nest

I have had many jobs, my favorite was being a mom.

Being a mom was my life’s work – and I did it well. My kids are happy, successful and independent, and for that I am more than grateful.

I was barely 21 when I gave birth to our baby boy – on that day, a mother was born.

Soon we were delighted to welcome a beautiful daughter – rounding out our family of four.

My twenties were spent changing diapers and tucking in toddlers with good night kisses, reading books about mischievous bears and lions in rubber boots again and again…. and again.

I never thought about those days coming to an end. I didn’t want to think about it.

We were a tight little tribe, tossing ice water over the shower curtain onto our unsuspecting victim, delighting in their squeals.  Renting Blockbuster movies on Saturday nights and attending church every Sunday morning.

Our traditions were born as our life evolved, from Easter Egg hunts, homemade halloween costumes, treasured Christmas mornings and the annual ewww’s and ahhh’s of backyard explosions – blowing up stuff every Fourth of July.

Parenting was something we enjoyed, considering we were just kids pretending to be adults, playing house with live, breathing babies.

I think a part of me grew up with them, perhaps while we were playing with bugs in the sandbox or planning Barbie and Ken’s daily weddings.

That is my past.  Now – we are well into the always evolving chapter of life called,

“The Empty Nest”.

Surprising all my friends – I have handled our empty nest fairly well.  The hardest part was them moving so far away.

My life is full, we have this continuous project we call our home.  I cherish my friendships now more than ever.

And my amazing husband has been catapulted back to his celebrity status.

We are enjoying each moment of everyday, doing whatever our hearts desire….

until a holiday.

 

The truth?

The truth is that 99% of the time I am happy as a lark, watering my flowers, feeding the birds, loving my dogs, taking pride in knocking out my long list of projects.

But then comes a holiday.  The most recent being Easter.  The joyous occasion of Easter just seemed sad, lonesome and empty.

Hiding Easter eggs from our dogs somehow lost its luster as they devoured them as fast as they found them.  They snarl and growl at the sight of those fancy bonnets.

After all these years as an empty nester, you would think I would have gained “Rock Star” status by now.

The truth is – it can be a challenge.   Letting go of those once important family traditions can be a struggle.

I will always miss the wild family times, the days when I felt truly needed.

It seems in the blink of an eye the gentle lullabies that filled our home became the thundering beat of AC/DC and Guns and Roses – and I loved it, every bit of it.

As I write this, sitting out on our deck, something catches my eye.

Looking up I see about forty pelicans flying in silent formation, low, right over our house.

We don’t see many Pelicans in Missouri – so to catch the sight of them as they migrate was just the blessing I needed to lift my fog from Easter.

I am learning that with our children living so far away, we may find ourselves alone during various holidays.

This is a big challenge.  But one we will get through.

It makes me appreciate the times we spend together that much more.

My husband and I need to start some “Empty Nest” traditions for each holiday.  Some activities to help fill the void.

I’m going to put on some AC/DC and start making a list of those things right now.

I am thankful for my resilience –

***
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4 Comments

  1. Katie @pixiedustandwhiskey.com

    Teresa, this post is so beautiful. It brought tears to my eyes. Being in the midst of changing diapers and lullabies, I love this. Especially this part, “It seems in the blink of an eye the gentle lullabies that filled our home became the thundering beat of AC/DC and Guns and Roses – and I loved it, every bit of it.” So beautiful and an endearing reminder to cherish our times together. ❤️

    • teresa.peters@live.com

      Thank you Katie – You know as I wrote this I was hoping young parents would read it and somehow prepare, if that is even possible. Maybe just be aware that having the joy of our kids at home will one day be done. When it happens – it can be a severe blow to the heart if they move far from home. Which in todays world happens a lot.
      Thank you for reading, sharing and commenting.

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