Thursday, August 26, 2010

Food for Thought Thursdays: And Then There Were Two

Janet here: After 13 years straight of parenting teenagers fulltime and nearly 26 years of being (mostly) first in our children's lives, Peter and I have officially moved to back-seat status. S, the last child, has left the nest for college and the middle son, G, left yesterday on a jet plane for the next life adventure on the West Coast.

It's a strange feeling, this empty nest. On the one hand, Peter and I are more than ready. One teenager would be exhausting; having multiples for years on end has left us feeling at times as if we were on the 14th round in a boxing match. There were certainly days when I wondered how I would make it until they actually left.

But now the house is empty and of course it is a lot quieter than I imagined it would be. When I walked into G's room to strip his bed, it looked and felt different than S's room, which is still filled with S's essence in a way that G's is not. S's room is a movie on pause; G's room belongs to a show that is over, its main character gone forever.

It is the way it is supposed to be, of course. I wanted to raise strong-hearted and strong-minded children who would feel the world is their oyster. I didn't want to be a parent who stood in the way or who made her children feel as if they couldn't leave. I know, too, that they will be back and that, of course, we will have more family adventures and times together. But the path of the orbit has shifted; where we were once the sun, now we are the moon, still providing light of course but without the same strength.

I know in coming days, I will begin to feel happier about this new change. I am excited to see what it means for Peter and me individually and as a couple. If nothing else, I am no longer going to have to worry about whether a new dish will be well-received; the last fussy eater just left the building and our palate just expanded immeasurably.

Most of all, I am excited to see where our children will go next. This time of their lives is so open with opportunity; it is the decade of complete possibility in so many ways. I can't wait to see where the ride takes them — and us.

1 comment:

  1. Our nest emptied after #3 left a few years ago, and oh, my, is it ever WONDERFUL! Of course, the first few days/weeks after each one leaves is always a little hard, but I can tell you that there really is nothing like having the nest to yourselves!!! It feels anything but empty. We're having a blast. And we love how great it is when we all get together now. I honestly believe that this is the best time of our lives right now. Congratulations on putting in the hard work to raise those great kids. Now just sit back and enjoy it.