What I Didn’t Expect From Being an “Empty Nester”
The surprise news that changed my life
It’s quiet around here. Too quiet
I’m used to the stomping on the stairs as my grandbug reaches the top of the staircase and yells, “Oma!!”
If you would’ve told me 3 years ago that I would miss the noise of two granddaughters I would have laughed at the audacity.
You see I’m a true introvert. And as one, I cherish my alone time. There’s nothing I like more than to hover down in the cozy corner of my screened-in porch and listen to the wind in the trees.
My mom may have thought me a lazy child, but I truly loved nothing more but to lie in the warmth of the sun and think.
It was (it is) what gives me my energy.
As an adult, I’ve learned to be outgoing with others but it takes a lot out of me. I need downtime to refuel and I covet my quiet time alone.
All this to say that although I have always favoured time with myself over time with others, my grandbugs are the exception to the rule
Our daughter surprised us with the news that she was pregnant back in 2015 — she would have a little girl in November 2016 at age 21. As a young couple, we knew that they would need to go on welfare in order to afford a place to live. Instead, we began to look for a new home that offered an in-law suite for the young family to live so that they could save money to buy their own home. I was thinking one or two years max.
What I didn’t bargain for was a quick marriage, a turbulent year, then a separation less than two years later. The last thing I wanted for my grandchild was for her to be raised in a broken home.
I honestly thought that after I raised my two children to the ripe old age of 18, they would both fly the coop and I would enjoy the peace and quiet of being an “empty nester”.
I didn't think that both young adults would still be living under our roof, plus two new little people.
But as I lament the quiet days of my husband and I padding around an empty home I’ve come to the realization that this quiet is not nearly as enjoyable as I thought it would be.
You see, my two granddaughters are away for the week to spend time with their father on summer vacation.
So now I have no one to play with
No one to ask me to draw a picture of her, then draw a picture of me beside her, and then make sure we’re holding hands.
No one to count to 10 (1,2,3,8, 10) while I hide under the kitchen table waiting to be found.
No one to call for the deer to wake up as we bike along the country roads.
No one to hold my hand as we walk down to the water’s edge.
No one to read Dr. Seuss with and laugh at the funny pictures.
No one to chase, to blow bubbles with, to hunt for mushrooms in our yard.
My 2.5-year-old granddaughter has given more joy than I can ever imagine. That she lives in my home, that I can see her every day, that she will likely be here until she’s 18 is not what I had envisioned for my life.
But it is truly a blessing that I thank God for every day.