Monday, September 19, 2005

From: Meg


The rock 'n' roll raucousness now is stilled;
with Vivaldi the halls of the house are filled.
Where gerbils and hamsters once reigned supreme,
there's time to think, and plan, and dream:
The kids are gone.

Two-a.m. feedings have long since fled,
and two-a.m. entrances nothing to dread.
From close of day to dawn's rose-red,
We sleep the sleep of the grateful dead:
The kids are gone.

The bathroom is free, our showers are short,
we no longer hasten from sport to sport,
the mountains of laundry are molehills at last,
and supper in shifts is a thing of the past:
The kids are gone.

There's time for our hobbies, we read at our leisure,
we walk and we talk to each other for pleasure.
But once in awhile, a brief, sorrowful sigh,
or a tear quickly wiped from a treasonous eye,
reveals our awareness: Our life's task is done.
The kids are gone.

(c) 2005 by Meg Lark

We've been "empty-nesters" for about 12 years, now. Restful. Oh, initially, I had butterflies - would they be ok? had we prepared them adequately? would they ever come to visit? etc.

Well, they are OK. They've had their "moments," and "seasons" but they are OK. Yes, for the most part, we had prepared them adequately - and they used their bad times to learn. They come to visit, but, of course, not frequently enough for us. On the "up" side - there are grandchildren, and the kids have formed their own, strong nuclear families. They are supporting their families. They are planning for the future, and are resigned to the fact we will not always be here, on earth.

The ol' curmudgeon and I have "our" life - and we are enjoying it. We are in the twilight of our lives and it is even warmer and more satisfying than the earlier parts were.

Yet, even now, the kids need us - for advice, companionship, as a "sounding wall," or to vent to. And our life's tasks are not yet done. Grandchildren come to visit - and we fall back into correcting table manners, break up squabbles, remind them about and supervise them in cleaning up the family room when they are ready to leave, teach them to cook, make webpages with them, talk about school - it all comes back!

God bless all who are empty-nesters. It's hard, but it's a "normal" part of life.

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