Here we go! The vision of what life should be for me included kids laughing (mostly), dinner altogether, cooking, activities, driving carpool, going to dance recitals, band concerts, reading and rereading papers and of course those weekly spelling words (those actually made me nuts). This vision was my (our) reality for the last 18 years.
So, the next question is not only a question but a chapter; a chapter that has some blank pages with questions that only I can answer.
What am I going to do to fill my nights and my dinner table? I hear the quiet becomes the new normal and when the kids come home for breaks it throws everything off. For a person who loves the crazy, the silence gives me an enormous amount of anxiety. Are my husband and I going to have a bowl of cereal for dinner and watch Wheel of Fortune? (just so you know, this is my biggest nightmare and not because I don’t enjoy a good word puzzle) Am I going to cook anymore? How do you even cook for two?
Don’t get me wrong, I am fortunate to have a loving husband (who by the way, thinks I might be a little crazy for worrying, but I keep telling him it’s my job). I have an amazing career and the best coworkers around, so I am thankful for that and friends and hobbies up the wazoo (is that even a word).
I am going to miss this phase in our lives. I am going to miss having three full bedrooms and knowing that they were always there. Daily family dinners and I love you’s every morning before school (a lot of these mornings were also filled with other things, that I shouldn’t mention, because it is not how I want to remember their perfect childhood HA!) Guess what, I am not naive, I know this is exactly what every parent wants or should want for their children, but I can’t help but be a little bit nervous and sad.
I am ready to get this party started and in this next phase to find the joy in how I (we) want our nights and weekends to be. So next chapter is up to me (and my husband) and our nest–however, empty it might be–is going to be FULL of US!
by Jodi Rankin