Here I stand, a year after I began this blog to “come to terms with my empty nest.” Here I stand, a year after moving both boys out within a week of each other, and looking at the empty space they left behind.
A year since my sadness was confounded by helplessness when my girl moved back home with her broken heart, her little black cat and all of her belongings. She was in and out for a few months before finally landing on her feet, and in her own space once again.
In all that time, I think I have learned some things. I’ve learned, first and foremost, that the empty nest can fill up again quickly. I’ve learned that once they have lived out in the big world, they aren’t your little ones any more, even when they do come back. They’ll sometimes let you cook for them, but in reality, they have different tastes, different techniques and different spices on hand. Sometimes they can outcook you with their eyes closed!
I’ve learned that if you did a reasonably good job of raising them, they won’t keep coming to you for help, but they will still send you little texts to tell you about the details of their lives. You’ll want to find a way to print them out and save them, because those little messages replace the good night hugs that you shared for so many years.
Last year when our boys moved out, Paul and I were still the keepers of the music. See,our boys write and play music with a group of friends. The guitars, keyboards, amps, microphones and drum set stayed in our basement when the musicians moved out. Like me, the band equipment stayed in a state of suspended animation, waiting for the boys to come home and the music to begin again.
Tim came home from college back in May, and there has been music here pretty often this summer. Its been great to have the kids around and to hear them in the creative process.
But Paul and I recently told the boys that after almost 13 years of providing practice space, we are ready for them to move the equipment out. We are ready to clean up and refurnish our basement. We look forward to quiet dinners by the wood stove once we get our space back. We want the room to spread out and to relax. The boys were very understanding, and promised to take everything with them when they leave again.
This morning Tim told me that “it looks good” for him to move his drum set to Matt’s new apartment. Everything should be out within a week.
The sound you hear is my last little apron string snapping.
Do you think they’ll still come home once in a while, even if the music isn’t here?