Saturday, September 4, 2010

The kids are all gone

Joe left for his senior year at Bates yesterday.

He was the last one out the door.

Pardon me for being melodramatic. He was the last one out the door for the summer.

With Katie having left for Brandeis two weeks ago, it's really empty nest time for me.

I know, they'll be back soon. Plus I'll be with Katie for four days starting Wednesday when we meet in New York. I'll see Ben there. And Joe will return for his October break. Still, I miss them.

I've been alone in the house before, but this feels like a different kind of alone. I felt it as soon as Joe left. For more than 20 years, my days have been arranged in some way around children. Now they won't be. At some point I'll appreciate the freedom, I'm sure. But for a while I'm going to have to struggle through an adjustment period.

The pluses are obvious, starting with less mess all over the place. This morning I read on the living room couch in the sun, the dog beside me. Then I stretched out and took a quick nap. So? It was hard to do that before; piles of laundry often claimed all the space. Also, there is no longer an obstacle course around the couch. The hockey equipment, which jutted out from under the piano, was gone, as were the stray sneakers, and sometimes even discarded socks, that I kept reminding people to pick up.

I'm planning some big de-clutter projects, which I already started to work on, a bit at a time. I went for a longer bike ride and a longer walk with more so-called running built in. Last night I saw "Eat, Pray, Love" with two friends named Deb. We went out after for a snack and a drink.

Since I hardly drink at all, I got a little tipsy. Neighborhood Deb (Sharp) walked me to the door and called later to see if I had safely made it up to bed.

I might feel alone, but I'm not.


Nelle said...

I remember when my son rented his own little cottage on the beach. He had saved and wanted to surf all winter in a wet suit. Considering his medical history I was so nervous and was experiencing the empty nest also. Fortunately I had a part time job to distract me. I began going to afternoon matinee's which were much cheaper. I adjusted quickly and actually enjoyed cleaning and the house staying clean! I know it will be a few weeks before you get through this adjustment period but for me I did a lot of thinking and got to know myself a bit better. Curious, what did you think of the movie? Haven't seen it but read the book.

Carl said...

In an odd sort of way, ending treatment is kind of an empty-nest experience too, isn't it?

Claire and I are right where you are. It's been years since our 2 kids finished high school, but son Benjamin has been around for a while even after finishing college. Now, he's about to embark on a long-planned cross-country journey that could lead to his settling someplace else.

Niece, Elizabeth, is still with us for her senior year of high school, but this year will go by like a flash.

"Empty nest" - provocative phrase. Can be full in many other ways, as well...

Thanks for your marvelous blog.