Hi! Winnie Griggs, unabashed sentimentalist here. I’ve been feeling a bit wistful the last few days since the last of my four children moved away from home last week. Yet another ‘opportunity’ to adjust to the ever-shifting dynamics of family life.
I have four children, all close together in years if not temperament. My oldest is 27, my middle child is 25 and my ‘babies’, twins, are 23. Yes, at one time I drove a van with four car seats in the back. In fact, for most of the past 23 years the family ‘car’ has been a van, either full size or mini.
My first brush with empty nest syndrome was when the twins went off to college four and a half years ago. For the first time in over two decades we did not have children in the house on a regular basis. I wallowed about for a bit. Then I noticed something. Though they were all scattered - the oldest had headed north, the middle one west and the twins south - they were all within three hours of home. So, lo and behold, most weekends would find at least one of them back home for a visit (translate that to: do laundry and get home cooked meals). And of course there were the long school holidays and summer breaks where we were all back together again. So my hubby and I adjusted to this interim stage of quasi-empty nesterdom. It was sort of the best of both worlds. Time to ourselves when we wanted it but the sure knowledge that we’d see one or more of them in the near future.
Then last spring the three youngest finished up with college. (Middle child took six years instead of four - long story). The twins immediately found jobs in other parts of the state and moved on. Middle child, on the other hand, found a local job but needed time to save some income and find ‘just the right place’ to move to. Which was fine by me. More than fine. “Mother’ is one of my favorites of the many roles I fill.
But then it happened. Middle child found a house and moved in last week. Now hubby and I are rambling around in this big two story home that not too long ago seemed to be bursting at the seams but now seems a bit too quiet. We’ll adjust, of course. And rediscover each other in the process. Which, come to think of it, is a very nice silver lining ...