Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Empty Nest Newbie

I entered into the empty nest with the highest of hopes and guilty anticipation of new found freedom.  My daily Mom duties would subside.  The days would be full of creative bliss and cupcakes, and all that other happy crap. Yeah.... That was how it was going to be!  All sweet icing and sunshine.
Somehow I have ended up head first tangled in the briars and thorns of emotions, financial strife, heated arguments, and a stress level that hums at non-stop high frequencies.  Go ahead and try to be creative in that!  My studio still remains clogged with the clutter of moving out.  And with Kev in Bangladesh we get to spend the one hour we are both awake in different time zones arguing about who is more off center in the change.  Awesome. (By the by- Dads feel the emptiness far worse than the Moms!)
Most parents say they are sad in the empty nest- a longing for youthful cheer to be all cherub-like at the dinner table again.  Whatever.  Our house was full of free spirits with very big ideas and a tendency for wanderlust.  So when college move-in day came around I thought there might be a chance to stand still for awhile.  A chance to settle.  A chance to live in the moments that previously were filled with the chaos of parenthood and putting out fires.  I am still waiting. 
Funny thing is, we raised a child to be a free spirit, to embrace the world, to travel, and never settle for ordinary.  So why are we so distraught with the result?  Is it the old adage that we find annoying in others what we don't recognize in ourselves?  Looking at everything that has turned my empty nest upside down in the first trial run, I see me at a younger age.  I was never content to be still, I needed more, craved more of this world: to be where life hummed and buzzed.  I married a man who shared this view and together we have been roaming the world seeking new experiences.  Our daughter came with us and learned by example.  Now she is ready to fly.  Sort of.  Maybe not so much- more like she has her training wings on.  And I am in my nest, hiding my head, trying not to micro-manage her life.
So for now I will be still.  I will shed my preconceived ideas of what my empty nest SHOULD be like.  Nothing has ever been normal, routine, or "as expected" with the family I have created and that is what has brought me the most joy over all the full nest years.

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