My kids are all gone. And Empty Nest Syndrome does exist.
My eldest has been “gone” for 2 years. He was the last one to go. I cried. Several times, when he left.
My middle son bought a house about 3 years ago and moved out. I was fine. I was proud of him. Then two and a half years ago, our youngest son moved out with his girlfriend. I was fine. He had eased me into his moving out by staying at her place three or four nights a week prior to moving in with her permanently.
But when the last one left, I didn’t do as well as I thought I would.
I used to joke about having the freedom to make as much noise as I want on Sunday mornings. I threatened to walk around naked after a shower (not really but it was fun watching the boys faces when I said it). I told them their father and I would be able to have sex in every room now (also fun watching them turn white, then green). But since its actually happened. It’s not so much fun..
When we come home after being out, the house is so quiet. It was usually quiet on a Saturday night when we got home from an outing. The boys never got home before us, but they always came home. But now, it’s different. I know there would be nobody stumbling drunkenly to the bathroom after a big night out. There would be no need to keep the volume down on the TV in the morning. There is no need for Zac to tell me to keep my voice down because I will wake the boys up. There is no need to tell the dog not to bark excitedly when we get his food out of the cupboard. There is nobody here to disturb.
Our house is empty now.
Yes, we have a great guest bedroom now. But until the time someone wants to come and stay it will remain an unused room. I suppose it’s nice to have an extra room to store the ironing board and the washing baskets that used to be overflowing with boys clothing. Its good to have somewhere to put those things that always seem to clutter up a corner of a room because you don’t have anywhere else to keep them.
And it’s not like I have that umbilical thing going on. I’m happy they are strong, independent young men. They have great jobs, beautiful girlfriends whom I adore. They have good friends and active social lives. They are men that I am proud of. That I raised. I always knew that one day they would move out and make lives for themselves… in my head I knew this. My heart has been a different matter. I wasn’t prepared for the tug. It clearly has not caught up with my head. I’m not sure if it ever really will.
But I will be OK. I look to my hubby for a hug every now and then. He understands. He admitted that he struggled with it too. I’m glad I’m not alone. We just have to pull together on this one. We know that we will always see the boys. They have close ties to us and each other. We do family dinners each fortnight and get them all together to catch up on news. And of course there will be birthdays and holidays and Christmas.
My house is empty now. But my heart will always be full.