A Community for People Who's Children Have Outgrown Them

This is a blog for people who are reflecting on life after their children have flown the coop.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

They're Gone and I'm Back

The kids are now back to school and we are now true emptynesters.  Once again, it is a little strange after sharing our lives together to suddenly have a quiet house and less to do.  It is the less to do that brings me back to the blog.  I didn't stop writing out of lack of desire or a feeling like I wasn't a legitimate emptynester this summer, but with one and for a shorter period of time two kids home there wasn't as much time.  I was able to be an active part of their lives which I can't be when they are away.  I made a conscious decision to not squander this time (writing a blog is not squandering the time, but I can always do that when they are away) and be there with them. We hung out.  That meant sitting around watching TV, talking about the day's events or actually doing something together.   Much of the shared activity was low key.  We we together.

Their being home afforded opportunities for spontaneous, meaningful conversations about something significant in their lives.  I was able to be the engaged parent more easily. These were not opportunities to miss.  How did you handle that situation at work?  Is this changing your thinking about a career?  How do you feel about a situation?  Sitting around the kitchen table I could more easily judge if they were in the mood for this conversation.  It was less of a gamble about whether they would want to engage and the odds were higher that I wouldn't be shot down about wanting to talk about life.  I am not saying that these conversations can't be had when they are away, but rarely is the situation as fresh, the time as convenient, and the conversation as involved.  We simply can't know as much when they are away.  You gotta play the casino of life with the kids, double down whenever presented with the right situation.  

As I reflect back on the summer it was a mixture of emotions.  When they arrived home it was excitement of being a whole family together again.  Then we faced of the uncertainty of how would the maturing, formerly independent young adults readjust to being under their parents' roof.  Would we squabble of little stuff like crap being left all around? This is not a dorm room, you know!  When one left and other was home for the summer this was a family dynamic we never experienced, it was kind of fun to have a different only child.  Next was a brief return and back to whole family.  Then sadness, the anticipation of their leaving.  We spent the last week of the summer together on vacation.  That was the only downer, knowing that when it ends, they are off.  Here we are.  We return to our more adultcentric lives, that will be fun, too. Be prepared for more blogs.

1 comment:

  1. I can relate to your blog. I have gone through the 'home for the summer' experiences and can only smile when I reflect back. I'm now a permanent empty-nester as my children have left home and started a life of their own. I find myself waiting and waiting for them to visit so the void can be filled again with their tales of living without me. Those special moments together leave me aching for more.