So, I've gotten through the last few weeks, with, if I do say so myself, flying colors. No hysterics, no screaming and yelling and hair pulling, no throwing things, and most importantly, no stress overeating. There were only two or three (or four) instances of pill popping. And now, my daughter is happily ensconced in Sydney and we are back to having our empty nest, well, empty.
Let me explain what it's like for those of you with children still inhabiting your abodes.
It's like it was when you were newlyweds, except you have that entire shared child raising history together. And that's just the emotional side of it. The practical side is even better. You can do your laundry once a week instead of three times a day, the house stays neat and pretty much dust free for weeks at a time, the second bathroom never needs to be cleaned because no one is using it, you only have to change the sheets on one bed and best of all, you don't spend your nights listening for the sound of police sirens and the garage door opening and closing.
Don't get me wrong. I love my kids, and I do miss them. I sometimes find the house is way too quiet for my taste. There are days that I put off going home after work just for that reason. The fact that the time has gone so damn fast doesn't help either. I remember school mornings and afternoons and the echoes of music and laughter from rooms once hidden behind closed doors, which now stand wide open and empty. But that's all part of it. And instead of getting melancholy and depressed about it, I see it as a celebration of a job well done. And hopefully, once launched, my two baby birds will fly away and find their own permanent places to call home, as self-sufficient adults, happy to visit here and then leave again. And we'll be happy to have them, wave them off again and shut the door behind them.