Before: In 2007 my husband and I are new empty nesters.
We live in an empty nest, a hollow house devoid of children. Once we were capacious with four bedrooms, now we are lousy with them. But are my husband and I lonely? No, not really. Our schedules are more varied and that’s fun. We eat out on a whim. We can cancel an entire Saturday if we want to—read, watch films, hide away. But it’s truly amazing when the house fills up again with warm, human bodies who lug laundry in with them, run the shower constantly, and scatter various exotic foods and drinks around the kitchen. I mean at some level don’t we all miss that?
After: Now we are seasoned Empty Nesters
We have downsized from the four-bedroom house and moved to a townhouse in California. The HOA hires a gardener, but I should have brought more gardening tools for my back patio—and about once a week I ask myself, why did you give that away? But overall downsizing is good. When you have fewer things, they take on more meaning. Like life itself, things are more precious when we prize them and avoid squandering.
We boomers are aging, our children are aging—and yet we eternally have these strong bonds and life experiences that weld us together. They remain, regardless of the change consuming us; and yes, we must adjust to change, embrace it and move on. Below are the things we treasure most.
EVERLASTING GIFTS FROM MY CHILDREN
1. First words, smiles, and offerings–a dandelion, a heart made from clay, a card filled with words of love and the greeting I LOVE YOU MAMA, handmade ornaments which will be kept forever, a self-portrait, a fund-raising presentation, a parade of stuffed animals, a series of original songs–words of love.
2. Stellar report cards, high school honors and awards, college degrees, grad school scholarships. Falling in love with amazing people.
3. A phone call when I needed it. Knowing I belong. A shared photo of a trip, a graduate project, a grandchild, a published article, a published book, an original song with an amazing guitar riff. Phone calls!!
4. And most importantly–and all three of them possess these traits–persons full of kindness, eager to help others, possessing tolerance, joyful when you experience music, art, dance, literature.
Thus, the house, this nest, is NEVER empty, because is glows with the memories of us all being together. It carries within it the beating heart of love that makes a family. And when it does fill up with your physical presence, the walls sing and the windows let in more than the usual amount of light.
Thanks for your everlasting gifts! Mom
Thanks to John for the photos.
Susie Darrow wrote: I immediately bought your book through Amazon and have read about 1/2 of it so far. It is wonderful. I found some character trait or emotion that I could identify with in each story.Thanks.