When I was a child I thought as a child. Remember the ďwhen I grow up dreams?Ē When I grow up Iím going to be a nurse, a teacher, and a mommie.
When I grow up and become Something my life will be finished. I didnít see anything to life after the becoming something. Becoming Something was the most important thing, I thought.
I saw life as a continual quest for the BIG Something; not as the journey it actually is.
Iím in my fifth decade now and have been on several journeys: childhood, teen age years, college, marriage, pregnancies and those wonderful years when my babies were children.
Iím embarking on a new and different journey now; one I never imagined for myself. Iím entering the empty nest years.
Iíve been fortunate to have two constant companions on my many journeys: my husband, Dale, of thirty years, and God.
God, is by far, the more constant and durable companion, but Dale runs a close second.
Iím finding the empty nest isnít as frightening as I imagined it would be. My children, both in their early twenties, are nearby. One is still at home while looking for a job; the other works and lives in a nearby town and comes home every weekend or whenever trouble strikes, whichever comes first.
I enjoy the role of wise counselor rather than the Mother role I lived earlier in my childrenís lives. Being a counselor is much easier and less tiring than being a mother. My children, donít see the difference in how I talk or act, but I feel it.
Iím letting go more each day; letting them make and learn from their mistakes. Iím pushing more and shielding less.
I am enjoying these new people my children are becoming.
Iím looking forward to re-connecting with Dale after the busy years of full time jobs, PTA, after school clubs, etc.
We drifted during the heavy parenting years.
I donít plan to sit in a rocker in front of the television during these empty nest years.
Iíve re-joined Girl Scouts, one of my passions. Iím the oldest leader in my service unit, but Iím also one of the most active.
I tell the girls in my troop that I know they will have fun in Scouts because I have fun. ďIf the leader has fun,Ē I say, ĒThe girls in the troop will also have fun.Ē
I tell the other leaders that I intend to be an active leader ďas long as Iím having fun; when it becomes work and/or no longer fun, then Iíll resign.Ē
Iím looking forward to writing all day long - writing for the sheer joy of writing. I want to recapture the excitement of telling stories in print. Iíll have the time now to tell all the stories living in my brain.
Though my nest is almost empty I havenít packed away my mothering skills. All the children on the block know Iím a patsy for candy and Christmas wrapping paper sales. They know, too, that they can leave their problems in my hands and that I wonít tell their parents unless the problem involves their health or safety.
The elderly neighbors know that I will check on them daily, visiting a few minutes at a time to brighten their day. They have no idea how much those brief visits brighten my own day.
I also mother my Shih Tzu puppy, Gremlin. Judging by the way I have spoiled that dog, Gremlin is either my last child or first grandchild. . . . I havenít decided which he is.
Of course I have ordered grandchildren, but Iíve been told that I have no say in when they will appear.
We have a small pop-up camper that has made many trips through the southern states. We plan to trade it in on a larger, solid wall travel trailer, one with a bathroom as opposed to a porta potty. There are many sates we havenít visited and many fish that wait for us to catch.
So wish me Bon Voyage! Iím off on the empty nest journey, followed by the grandchildren years, retirement and, eventually assisted living care with God.
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