Life calms down when your children are grown, right? WRONG!
You simply change gears. Instead of worrying about school bus schedules, it is who needs to borrow a car or due to unforeseen disaster, needs money. These newly grown adults travel everywhere at the drop of a hat and arrive home in a whirlwind. No one comes home alone. There is a friend or wife or pal that always arrives in time for dinner and stays to watch movies or engage in target practice in the yard. They still play games and shop together. They argue loudly and defend one another.
These children all have professions now. Conversation is lively. They tease each other and laugh. They turn vegan or date vegetarians, surprise you with theater tickets and cry on your shoulder. They make and break their own appointments and keep track of their own bills. They call at odd hours or worry you by forgetting to call. They bring new puppies to visit and lose important things at your house. They toast to each others success and share their disappointments. They still give us kisses and hugs.
They remain bonded. They are brothers. Though they no longer share the same space they are home to one another. Home changes as the family circle grows. My son’s new puppy is frolicking around the living room chomping on shoes. I wonder what the new grandchild will think of all this when it arrives in December.
According to the kids our family is unusual. If so it is in the very best way. We are close knit and enjoy being that way. Is it chaotic and unpredictable? Absolutely. And I wouldn’t change a thing.
I was depressed at the thought of an empty nest. I remember my own mom saying “Don’t worry. They need to go, but it won’t be for long and they won’t go too far. They will return.” They did. They do. My mom also predicted: “They will each give you grey hair. They will choose different times and different ways but they will each share equal responsibility for your silver.” She was right again. I now sport grey and every one of my offspring made a contribution. Color in my hair and color to my life.
As I age I am ever more appreciative of sharing in my children’s lives. I am so proud of them as individual adults and am deeply grateful that they keep room for their parents in their hearts. My family is my soul, my reason for being. It did not cease to exist when the kids grew up. It stretched, changed shape and gained design. It is still evolving. I am excited to see what adventures yet lie in store. I welcome the chaos with open arms.