Just two short years ago my husband and I were talking about being empty nesters. Our oldest son had his own apartment, second son bought a home, oldest daughter living in an apartment with other college friends and our youngest daughter was graduating from high school and would be heading off to college in a few months.
Some dear friends teased about me needing a new pair of running shoes for at home as my husband chases me around a house with no children. Others talked about how lonely our home would be when our youngest moved out and left for college. We knew we would miss our kids but we loved to watch our oldest three succeed and would be excited for our youngest to head out on her own.
Life took a bit of a twist and turn back then. Just two short months after graduation our youngest gave birth to our first grandchild. She and her son have lived with us while she has attended college. Driving 35 miles one way three days a week.
A year ago our oldest son moved in to save money for a down payment for his own home. He just couldn’t save while paying rent at the same time. Now at the end of this month he will move into his own home. We are excited for him and excited to help him get settled.
Last weekend our oldest daughter moved back home until July 15, 2011. She will work at our family business until her summer classes begin and she moves into her new apartment with her sister and nephew.
Today our daughters signed a one year lease for their own apartment in St. Cloud. They will live together for our oldest daughter’s last year of college and our youngest’s third year along with her son. They move in July 15, 2011. What will happen after this next year who knows?
I knew the day would come eventually but now my quiver is full and will soon be empty. These days the washing machine is going almost constantly and the refrigerator door is always open with someone checking out its contents. I will have to pare down my grocery shopping for six to two and somehow adjust to doing laundry for only two. The fact that my dishwasher isn’t working properly won’t seem like such a big deal when it is just the two of us.
The silence will be deafening at times I’m sure but I doubt I will be lacking for things to fill my time. My greatest fear is that we will not rush home from work like these past two years to see what our grandson has been up to each day and instead become workaholics.
I know that this summer we will be taking advantage of what time we have with our grandson, daughters, and son while they are at home. We even bought our fishing license and fixed the boat lift so we can get the boat on the lake sooner than later. The Fourth of July used to be soon enough in the most recent years.
I will be biting my tongue more in the days to come, wanting the days to be remembered for the good times and not the petty arguments that develop over small things that really won’t matter five years from now or even next week. I want it to be an encouraging send off for each of them. For them to know we are proud of each one of them and eager to for them to feel the success for all their hard work.
I think I am ready to let them fly……