A strange thing happened in my house during Christmas. I didnít expect the occurrence for another 18 years or so. What happened was a modified version of the empty nest syndrome. Modified because I still have a three year old at home, but the last of my three older children moved out, taking with her, her daughter, my granddaughter.
Several years ago, I had begun to prepare myself for this moment. My middle son was off to his freshman year at college in Alabama and my daughter was starting high school. Al and I were free to travel and not worry about the kids. Then God blessed us with Ana, so we revised our plans and decided no empty nest for us.
So the years pass, my granddaughter is born and moves in with us and the empty nest seems further away. Then we come to this past Christmas. My granddaughter and her mother have been with us for a year and a half. Sometimes things have gone smoothly. I help my daughter with baby and do most of the cooking and cleaning myself. Other times things donít go so smoothly and there is screaming, crying and threats. I conclude there are too many mothers and daughters in the house. Mostly we have survived the year and a half.
In December, Katie decides it is time for her and Andi to move out. At first, I panic (without letting her know of course). Sheís not ready, Iím not ready. Who will get her out of bed? Who will make sure she is taking her medicine and make sure she is eating properly? Who will make sure Andi is being taken care of properly?
Boy, do I think a lot of myself. I must be all-powerful to have that much control. Katie likes to remind me she is twenty years old, an adult after all. I need to remind myself of that. She is perfectly capable of waking herself up, remembering to take her medicine and eating properly. She even does a good job of taking care of Andi. After all, she had me for a mother, and I am still only a phone call away.
Therefore, I need to face the issues that really bother me and that is the baby from my younger days is gone. Sure, you may be saying, but you still have Ana. Unfortunately, Ana and I donít share the history that Katie and I share. Katie and I have been through a lifetime of things. Ana and I will have it many years from now. The conclusion I have come to is that it is hard to let go of my baby girl. The house is quieter and cleaner. There is less junk food in my refrigerator and pantry. Ana and I have more time together and I have more time for my writing. Hey, this sounds pretty good. What am I whining about? Maybe, the time has come for me to stop wallowing in self-pity and move forward. Katie still calls everyday and I baby-sit regularly. Itís not as if they are far away and I donít get to see them at all.
Life is full of changes and it is time for me to embrace this one. World get ready, here I come.
Oh my... unreal!!! No, real!!! haha... Sister, you and I are both going through basically the same thing... just a little different. We're both grabbing hold of the healing we're told to receive for our "empty nest syndrome." Aren't grandbabies precious!?! As for myself, letting go too early had to involve one of my own children, rather than one of my grandchildren. But I do sympathize as far as those grandchildren are concerned. My 21-yr-old had two very close together and I think sometimes that I ought to be able to tell her what's best when it comes to raising them... grrrrrr... BE BLESSED!