The Empty Nest verses THE EMPTY NEST (and what's the next step for the mama bird?)
So I have talked about this before here. Written about my empty nest, my home being empty of offspring. And the writing was real and true and I felt the feelings of "empty nestdom." And I feel that I had begun the transition to "older parent with adult children" with ease and grace despite a slight ache deep in my belly along with a sense of space and privacy that I had not had since......well, twenty-five years ago.
But there is a shift. Because this dynamic I have with my kids, it is happening within a new place; a whole new level of empty nest as my kids move into homes and apartments and life choices that truly mean that they have moved from my home fully. Now, boxes overflowing with memories are no longer stored in my home but instead packed along with their clothes and books and bedding. All three of my children are jumping into this next stage of their lives where they are moving into a permanence away from me.
Sure I am still a mother to my kids and am, in fact, quite busy with that still. I am apartment hunting and dress shopping and proofing college transfer applications and obtaining insurance and internet access and flights back east. I am still supporting choices and working through struggles and listening and laughing with each of my kids, separately and when we are all together.
And I am learning from them, too. As I always have, but now not through the lessons I learned each day as I mothered my children deep from my heart to help them grow to be just what they are, but in a more external way. As one adult to another. A mutual nurturing of heart and soul. And body. An exchange of knowledge about food and health and workouts. And about commitments and passions and focus. And about compromise. And privacy. And balance.
And this shift, both their leaving of my home fully and the leaving of their childhood fully, it creates a shift in me. One that I know is there, but that I am not yet fully clothed in. A future that holds great moments.
When I am ready.
But for now I am happy sitting in this place of little expectation and not much of a plan. It feels really, really good to be here. This space that I am in. It is a very calm place to be. A neutral place of letting things unfold. Because I have no desire to do anything. Not really. Not right now. For right now. And that is what makes this space that I am in at this moment pretty fantastic.
I call it my in-between place.
Mother, Wife, Friend, Sister, Daughter, Dancer, Rower, Runner, Dog and Cat lover.