I woke up to the sound of bird songs punctuating the silence from the woods outside our open window .
As I got up and started to move about the house I found visual reminders that three of our four children drove or flew in and then back out this weekend—a discarded shoebox on a kitchen stool, a half-empty carton of soy milk, an unmade bed waiting for a change of sheets.
Transitions are the hard part in life—waiting at a bedside while someone wastes away to cancer; adjusting to a move; settling into a now largely empty and relatively quiet home.
Maybe it will feel different in a few years, or if one or more of our children decide to move back to our home town.
Our children are building their own lives and we are happy and feel rewarded by that. It is what every parent hopes for. And at 54 I don’t have the same energy that I needed for parenting when I was in my 20s, 30s and 40s. But our children’s growing independence, by necessity, brings a diminished role in their lives for me. Sometimes I feel like the holiday and crisis parent.
I think I had always imagined, or was hoping for . . . more.