In a blink of an eye, the laughter of young children gives way to the deeper voices saying their goodbyes as one by one, they all leave to pursue their new lives and adventures.
No more summertime lemonade stands to earn spending money for candy. No more gaps in their smiles from lost baby teeth. No more 9pm bedtimes or eating on plastic dishware. No more high-pitched giggling or wide-eyed looks of a new bicycle.
Many of my friends are moving into that next stage in life – the empty nest!We still have a couple of years left with our youngest who will attend a local college for now. The sleepovers give way to hangin’ out and soon, his childhood friends will be gone. Holidays will be the time for these kids to get together and exchange stories of what they have learned.
I suppose we will be facing the same question one day soon – What will you do with the vacated bedrooms?
It will be hard to think about this question as we won’t be in need of so much house soon. This must have been what my parents felt when I left their home many years ago. Childhood memories always rush back when I visit my mother these days (Dad passed away in 2005). They were smart many years ago. Rather than purchasing a home that would accommodate the three boys growing up, they adjusted to the limited space by adding a room in the garage (commonplace these days). They knew that one day, we would all move out and their modest house would be just right. In other words, they were in it for the long haul.
My generation, unfortunately, did not think the same way. We moved to bigger homes to accommodate more growth (and junk). As the kids turned into teenagers, we knew they were home only by the reduced food supply and odiferousness wafting the hallways when their bedroom doors were slightly ajar.
As young adults, they come home to eat and sleep but spend time away with friends or part-time jobs. I suppose this is training the parents for that inevitable day when they will be gone and silence gives way to…
A new type of giggling and wide-eyed looks!
Now, before your imagination takes hold of you (shame on you)…
The couple is reunited into a new relationship without kids and depending upon their relationship, laughter occurs from a sense of newfound freedom until the grandkids come along at which point, the wide-eyed looks will adore these new babies. The difference is, they will be spoiled by the grandparents and given back until a need for the next baby-fix comes along.
Yes, the nest is getting roomier with the absence of the once-growing children but it will easily give way to the occasional sounds of new giggling in the near future.
In the meantime, I am going to enjoy the nest just a bit longer until the next season occurs.