Skip to main content

Empty-Nest Anticipation and Other Musings of the Middle-Aged

Not too many years ago, our family seemed large: teenagers everywhere, someone always coming or going, and a menagerie of animals that needed attention. 

Later this week, three kids are headed back to college, and we'll have only one child left at home.  I knew this would be a change, but it's going to be quieter than I expected.  This has not been a good summer for our pets.  In June, Oreos, our cat, died suddenly one night in her sleep.  Earlier this month, as I have already posted, our basset hound Lucy got sick and didn't make it.  And just this morning, I am sad to report that even Superman, the guinea pig, succumbed. He lived a good long guinea pig life--6 years or so, I think. 

I'm beginning to realize how much noise comes with having a houseful of people and animals.  I'm reminded of the children's book, Too Much Noise.  Except I find myself expecting the doggie door to flap open, and Lucy to come running, whenever I am in the backyard.  I expect to hear the soft patter of Crystal's feet, as she walks across the carpet.  I expect to hear the cute chirps and giggles of Superman when I walk into the room.  Fortunately, I still hear the happy, contented sounds of the hens, and though Reepicheep the rat is quiet, he makes his presence known as a permanent fixture on the shoulder of youngest daughter.  (As a side note, I'm so impressed with what a great pet a rat makes!)

I've always envisioned myself handling an empty nest fairly well.  I love my children and I delight in watching them mature into responsible adults. That joy for their successes exceeds the selfish desire to keep them as children.  I think the last time I was bored I was about 7 years old.  I don't anticipate running out of things to do.  I'm not generally energized by crowds of people, but rather enjoy quiet times.  And yet, I'm thinking this fall might seem a bit too quiet.  If this fall is quiet, just how quiet will the future be, when even the youngest is out on her own? 

Like Peter in  Too Much Noise, I suppose I could get a donkey, etc., but that would just mask the real question:  What am I going to be, when my children are all grown up?  :-)

Comments

  1. Wow...you've lost too many pets this summer! I'm so sorry!

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Conversations are so much nicer when more than one person does the talking. :-) Please leave a comment and let me know your thoughts; I'd love to hear from you!

Popular posts from this blog

Ten Things of Thankful: Last Two Weeks

  Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone National Park, as viewed from an overlook I apologize for not commenting on your blog posts this past week; John and I took a vacation to Yellowstone National Park, leaving behind our computers and, to a large extent, cell phone service. We escaped the outside world and just spent time in nature. Though we have friends near Yellowstone (who we love to visit) we made this trip just about us, so please forgive us if we were nearby and didn't stop by. The crowds were minimal (though we did mask up whenever we passed someone on the trails) and we spent our days hiking, taking photos, and watching geysers erupt. Today, we are back home and back to work, and, in the case of my computer, back to old shenanigans like not letting me import my photos. (I was able to add the above photo by using blogger on my phone, but that isn't my preferred method.) I want to write about Yellowstone and have photos I want to share, but will leave that for another

Ten Things of Thankful: December is Here!

  A small snowflake ornament made of clear melted beads hangs on a Christmas tree The rhythm of time passing should not surprise me--after all, that is our experience here on earth--and yet I find myself constantly amazed at how another week/month/year has come and gone. In a blink of an eye, we are now in December and the Christmas season. I love Christmas!  1. I'm thankful for decorations. The tree is up, lights are hung, nativities adorn the house. Stockings are hung in anticipation of little ones visiting. Someone asked me this week what my tree looks like. I'm a sentimental tree decorator. I didn't even realize until not that long ago that some people have themes for their trees that are anything other than "a hodge-podge of ornaments made and collected over the years, each with a history that brings memories flooding back." At this point in my life, I have more ornaments than tree space, so not every ornament goes up each year. I always find room for the sma

Ten Things of Thankful: Even in Times of Uncertainty

  A railroad switch point on the tracks at the Golden Spike National Historic Park There is a lot I don't know. I don't know who will lead the United States for the next four years (at the time I'm composing this post, that hasn't been determined yet.) I don't know when covid cases will stop rising in my state and start decreasing. I don't know how challenging situations will turn out. There is much uncertainty in life. Living in limbo-land is hard. It's emotionally exhausting. It can be immobilizing. My body seems to think chocolate is the answer, but I know that isn't a long-term solution. What do I need in times like these? I need to REMEMBER . 1. R esilience. People are resilient. I am resilient. I'm thankful for resilience. 2. " E ach Life That Touches Ours for Good." So many people, both those I know in "real life," and those I have only met virtually, have taught me, encouraged me, and been examples to me. I'm thankful