Dispatches from the Empty Nest

This is the place where we’re singing, halfheartedly, an endless chorus of “I’ve always looked forward to this time in my life,” or “Look, I hardly ever have to unload the dishwasher any more!”  And we keep insisting, “I miss ’em but I’m so proud that they are ready to launch into the world as competent adults.”

But my brain protests too much.  Cause my heart’s not buying it.

Yesterday I burst into tears over the wide-openness of my days and weekends and life, the horrific freedom of it all.

Today I watched my husband begin to paint over the horrible Pepto-Bismol pink paint in my daughter’s former room, so that I can have it as an office for my new career-woman self.  Mind you, this is a pink that I wince over, a pink that should be illegal.  And as I took my last look at it, I sobbed, “A little girl picked this out.  My little girl. And she is MARRIED!”  And I had to photograph the timeline she marked off on the walls, to help her (lo these many years ago) through AP U.S. History… before it was gone forever, as it feels that she is (though she’s a 12-minute drive away).

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And when I was in the very process of applying under-eye concealer (a necessity on my good days), I realized that my husband’s random-shuffle iPod offering was the very song that we sang at my other daughter’s baptism, while we walked around the sanctuary with the minister 20 years ago, showing her off and lifting up our future attempts at raising her well into God’s hands.  And the concealer washed on down to the corners of my mouth in a stream of tears.

I am feeling so much over something I knew was coming, more or less welcomed, and compartmentalized in my brain as a good and appropriate thing.

Grief comes in waves they say; that’s what this is, isn’t it?

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~ by Cary on August 30, 2009.

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