What do you mean you want back in the Empty Nest?
I have written ad nauseam about how much I love my children. How they are the center of my universe. My heart and my soul … blah, blah, blah. Of course this is true. I just forgot to factor in summer vacation.
Just when I have my empty nest exactly as I like it ...They’re back!
I almost feel a little guilty even admitting this (actually, really not that guilty). Maybe because I currently have a portable clothes rack set-up in my living room. Sort of like the Kardashians —but not. Mine is on wheels so I can roll it out of the way just to make my way to the front door.
If you recall, my very clean, de-cluttered, empty-nesting apartment is 1200 square feet. Closets are at a premium. Sheer space is at a minimum. However, somehow my recently graduated, beautiful, magnificent daughter (whom, as previously mentioned, I love and adore unconditionally) touched down here with four years of “stuff” from college in Madison, WI. Stuff is putting it nicely.
My clothes are currently lying on the cement floor in a storage unit on another floor. No worries (says my daughter). My rolling rack is perfect for wheeling around to house my daughter’s priceless college threads.
My son is also on the loose this summer. I can’t explain this, but somehow throughout his entire first year in college he never learned how to do laundry … not one single load! I was away this weekend. He got back first. I came home to find that my 1200 square feet of order and beauty had been transformed into a dorm room.
I was happily greeted by men (or was it that I was I greeted by happy men?) with beer cans and dirty soccer clothes. I swear they were boys nine months ago.
Of course, I love the noise and the chaos. I love that the pillow on my couch couldn't be more true. It clearly says, “Home is where your mom is.” It makes me smile every day. It makes me miss my children when I am all alone.
Motherhood is marvelous. I just didn't expect them to come back so soon.
If I can be honest, there is something really peaceful in knowing that the scotch tape is always going to be in the same drawer. Nothing is missing or broken. And it’s always right where I Ieft it. Unless of course, I forgot where I left it. (That’s a whole other story).
And as long as we are being honest, I am not afraid to admit that there is something to this empty nest syndrome. It is neat and tidy. It is really quite shocking how quickly I have gotten used to the rhythm and routine of one. I do one load of laundry every three days. I buy six eggs (who does that?) and the milk is usually spoiled before I finish the half-gallon.
Perhaps it’s because I am still a newbie at this so-called “syndrome.” I imagine one day cereal for dinner might lose its luster. I will always count days until the holidays, when we are all together. My children know they are the center of my world. Damn — of course they do — I talk to them three times a day!
I just didn't see summer coming so quickly. I didn't see time going by so quickly.
Strange … now that I finally have a routine it’s my kids who are the ones on the move. Here, there and everywhere — always with a pile of clothes in their wake.
I am just forever grateful that we love each other so much that we can literally “smush” in together and fit in my overly decorated “dorm.”
As I am sitting here writing these words in a quiet spot in my building, my son just called me from my apartment upstairs to ask where the shaving cream was. I told him to use Skintimates … it’s the pink can in the shower.
Welcome home …
Published with permission from Stuff of Life Blog. See original post here https://stuffoflifeblog.com/2016/06/08/what-do-you-mean-you-want-back-in-the-empty-nest/
Lauren Chesley is contributor to Make It Better and LEAD Cincinnati, is writing her first book and blogging along the way about the journey of being "unapologetically you" post-50 at http://www.stuffoflifeblog.com.