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Friday, May 13, 2011



GONE is such a lonely word. And that is where half my family is. Gone. Away. Pitching tents and tromping about in the dirt with all the other fathers and sons from our ward.

Lonely is what they left behind.

I miss them fiercely.

I used to think that I'd be just fine when my children grew up and left home. I have any number of projects I am working on at any given moment, with ideas for fifty more in my head. I read, I photograph, I play the piano, I blog, I clean, I launder, I create. I can find things to keep myself occupied.

But tonight is teaching me that "fine" just won't cut it. Being occupied isn't the same as being happy.

I am lost without my family. I love my boys dearly. This must be why our church does these things; not for women to have a break from their men for their sanity's sake, but to remind us just how much we ought to cherish having them around.

Luckily, an empty nest isn't truly empty and, unlike tonight when he's off roasting marshmallows and telling ghost stories with the little birdies, I'll have The Chief to roost with in my old age.

Last year at this time I was pregnant with Pip. Now, he's my sweet little date for the night. And we have been having a grand ol' time. We shared a dinner of Chipotle and Jamba Juice while watching a chick flick on Netflix. I cried. He grunted impatiently for the food to keep coming. Then came a lonely bath time for Pip (usually Bugga bathes with him), followed by tons and tons of cuddling to soothe my aching mommy heart. Pip also learned how to honk my nose tonight. He loves that. Me, not so much.

But I'll live.

And even smile about it.

Because that darn empty nest is staring me right in the face tonight.  Relentless.


*You know what else is staring me in the face? The pile of dirty dishes in the sink. Toodle-oo.*


Amber and The Boys said...

So, uh, lonely and empty nesty was not necessarily how I was feeling Friday. Free and careless and wonderfully happy would more describe it... :) Does that make me a bad mom?

Liz said...

Nah. That makes you a smart mom, and me, a neurotic one. :D

K said...

It'll be okay, Liz. It happens like pregnancy - a little at a time till it's time to burst. When they leave at last, there is pain, and there is grief - but in high school, they're gone so much - they start building lives of their own at that point, friends, concerns, their work experiences (the school part) - and though you try to keep in touch - and I did pretty well with that - sharing the experience is still virtual. Then gone to college for months at a time. Then years of missions - and finally, though you haven't realized that they have peeled off in the practical sense of life, they have.

But you won't have to find things to do. That's what I thought too. Explain to me then why, when I am retired from the 24/7 job of motherhood - and let me tell you that menopause actually changes the nesting thing in your brain so that a great percentage of women have no interest anymore in cooking and cleaning - (I can testify of this - you accept a state of house you'd never dream that would - because you cease to identify yourself with it) - every flipping day is TOO short. I can't get everything done - things shot, processed, preserved, things created, started, finished, words written, ancestors chased, causes served - suddenly, THE THINGS FIND YOU.

So don't worry. Sufficient to the day is the wonder thereof.