The Empty Nest

I’m pretty sure that a random trip to the bookstore yielded a book acquisition that  just might have been a divine incidence, perhaps fate, a mere coincidence or my aching heart jumping up and screaming “Hey, that’s me!” when I read the title.  I’m not sure which force was at work that brought me patiently to the sale table (I had already scanned several fiction tables) where the book awaited being lynched like a mouse by a famished hawk but there it was and I lurched and latched myself to it, especially since it was a less than $5 bargain.  Actually, the initial title, “The Empty Nest” was followed by a lenghty subtitle, “31 Parents Tell the Truth About Relationships, Love, and Freedom After the Kids Fly the Coop.”   Since the literal empty nest is upon us in two and a half weeks I was drawn to this book like a bee to honey, like the moth to a porchlight, like peanut butter to jelly…well, you get the picture.

This season of life brings intense waves of joy I can’t begin to describe and yet not far beneath each joyful wave is the scratchy sand stirred up in the tide’s undertow stinging my ankles all the way up to my tender heart that makes me cry at unexpected, odd moments in the daily round.  Thankfully, the empty nest “syndrome” has been a process that initially began when the eldest son left to go to college (less than 20 miles away!) seven years ago and has slowly been one momentous stream of “letting go” little by little, child by child.  Well, the process is coming to its definitive end when the nest will truly be empty after the last wedding of the three precious children we (Papi and I) have gladly devoted our hearts, physical stamina, time, talent, and limited treasures to for the past 26 years. 

We happily and proudly watched our eldest son marry his beloved less than two weeks ago and in a few more we will feel the same way watching our middle son marry his love.  All this comes on the heels of our youngest child’s, our daughter’s, wedding a year and half ago.  Imagine…all three offspring married within a two year span!  I am as truly happy to see these babies fulfill a mother’s deepest wish that they find happiness with a loving partner someday as I am sad that those days have passed us by like a gust of wind and I strain through the dusts of time to see them cradled in my arms.  I know, “Get over it!  Let them go!”  I know, I know, and I will but let me ride these waves a little longer before I get myself together and accept the season called “The Empty Nest.”  Excuse me, please, while I grab a tissue and open my new book.  I’ll let you know how it all ends… 

I can’t believe my firstborn son will be married in two weeks!!!  I had a great time visiting with Jason and his beautiful fiancee’ Vickie this week on their vacation to SC.  The time ended with a trip to Cypress Gardens where we took a boat ride through the black swamp.  We had a great time, even if they (that would be Pedro and Jason) did try to scare me by going off the boat “trail” to look for alligators!  Thankfully, we didn’t see a single one!  And we didn’t get lost either!  I guess they taught me a lesson about taking risks but I wonder what they would have done if we’d met an alligator!  One of my favorite pictures was the mandala bridge…or so I named it because the reflection in the water made a circle.  Now starts the countdown to TWO sons’ weddings (secondborn son, Corey, marries beautiful Sarah in 40 days!) and the bridges they will cross into their futures that I pray will be bright and full of love and adventure.