EMPTY NESTER . . .I'm counting the days until Thanksgiving!
All through the summer, it seems, I've done nothing but attend graduation parties .. .high-school seniors leaving to go to college. My own daughter joins Santa Clara University this weekend. The excitement is high, but the reality is also bittersweet. Why? Because, come Monday, I'm left with an empty house.
For starters, I'm pouring my emotions on the page so that I don't have to slobber all over her chest when it's time to say goodbye. . .The first time I ever became a motherI waited for the thunderclap from the heavens aboveThe ground to tremble and shakeTo herald the arrival of my darling little cherub. . .But no, it was very disappointingA big let-down, if truth be told.I’d been admonished all my growing years“Wait till you become a mother,You’ll know how it feels”My mom had twisted that knife every time I rebelled. . .I waited for the outpouring of love,The blessedness of grace to embrace me as I gazed down at theTwisting, writhing red-faced seven-pounderWho was screaming his lungs out like a bansheeThe way his toes twisted reminded me of any ugly frog’s webbed feetIs this what the craze is all about, I wondered?Is everybody in the world daft?The never-ending suckling at my breastThe endless rounds of clean-up; foul-smelling waste and diaper changesThe care and the nurture; the years of giving up your life; your wants and needs,There’s no babbling joy in this, I pondered.And yet, now, as my last one prepares to leave homeand I trade my busy, harried world of mom to two for that of an empty nesterI realize how true it is. . .As someone once said, “To have a child is to forever have your heart go walking outside your body.”I feel scattered, I’m coming undoneI say to my daughter now, even though she can’t comprehend itYour life is starting for real; I have begun the long letting-go,A chapter has ended, and another has begun.