Empty Nest Syndrome: Bite Me, Amadeus

Mother and Child Mamacita says: I have empty nest syndrome and I am not dealing with it very well.

I would never wish my children back; they’re grown up and very happy. I’m proud of everything they do and are.

I will also say, to the horror of many mommies out there, that I do not need my children to “complete” me in any way. I was complete before they showed up and I’m complete now.

I will, however, admit that my children made my home and my life a lot more interesting. Remember, too, that “interesting” doesn’t always mean “happy.” “May you live in interesting times” is an old curse.

The time lived with my children was certainly interesting. Sometimes the good kind, sometimes the other kind. I wouldn’t bring it back, even when I’m lost in nostalgia and wishing I could. My children are healthy and happy and doing what they like to do and planning adventures and being themselves. Which was my goal for them from the day I first laid eyes on them, but I forgot one thing.

nestThey would be doing all these things without me. You know, just as I do things without my mom.

There are joyous things involved now – don’t think there aren’t. My daughter and my son will forever be my children, but now they are even more. MORE. They can be friends with me now as it wasn’t appropriate for them to be when they were children or teens. You parents who think your kids need a 35-year-old bestie are sadly mistaken. Back off.

But when your kids are grown up, things change. They might no longer need you to Sara and Andysuction their noses any more, but sometimes they call and meet you for lunch. Or just call and tell you how their day has gone. Sometimes they call to make sure you’re doing ok. That one will make you feel old, but that wasn’t their intent. Sometimes they give you presents that aren’t boogers or peanut butter-covered hands. They are courteous to waiters and kind to each other. They have good relationships with co-workers and are respected at their places of employment. They HAVE places of employment. You find out that all those lectures about manners and respect and patience, etc, are being put to good use. Sometimes you find out that your children are a lot nicer than you are.

Why am I feeling all nostalgic and retrospective? I think it’s because the house is so damn quiet I can hear my thoughts echoing like creepy movie sound effects, and quietness always sets my teeth on edge and makes me weird.

Weirder than usual, even.

I’ve got music playing but it’s not turned up to eleven.

To sum up: The house is creepy quiet and I’m feeling all touchy-feely retrospective and I miss having little children and the lack of noise is making me twitchy and I’m about ready to set off some firecrackers just to wake the place up.

Come on over. Bring the kids. Bring your cat – it can play with mine. That alone should be good for some interesting Tweets.

P.S. Did I mention that the peace and quiet in this house are driving me out of my mind? I am not a lover of peace and quiet.

folded towels, kids' laundryP.P.S.  I love it when they come home for a long visit.  I love doing their laundry. I never minded laundry; I loved handling their jeans and shirts and even their underwear.  I love it now, too. I love folding their sheets and thinking of them sleeping on clean, good-smelling linens.  I love folding their clean towels.   I love cooking for them.  I love it that they love it when I cook for them.  I love the opposite of peace and quiet that is my life when my children are here.  And when they leave to go to their respective homes that are no longer THIS home, it’s even quieter than it was before they arrived.

I hate peace and quiet.

Where’s that volume control. . . .


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