I took this picture a few months ago when I was sitting by the pool. It reminds me of calmer times. Mountain Laurels blooming. Butterflies flitting by. Oh, the days of spring.
Now I am knee deep into summer. Long hot days. Short crisp tempers. Dreadful anticipation of fall and all the changes that will take place in our house.
Avs will be returning to Texas Tech as a sophomore. She loves Texas Tech, but as a mom, it is five and a half hours away from home. So far. She will be starting curriculum for an art degree. Very exciting for her. She is an amazing artist.
Ash will be leaving for her freshman year at Texas State. It is much closer to home - only an hour and a half away. She will be taking basic classes as she prepares for a degree in Physical Therapy. I suspect she will come home a lot since her boyfriend has not graduated yet.
So, I will be an empty nester. I already hate those words. Empty. Nothing where there used to be something. Nest. Our home - full of all the things you experience with teenagers - joy, anger, laughter, tears, mood swings, activity, etc.
It will be so empty. Yes, I still have my husband, Q. After 24 years, I know we will adjust. I am just not sure how we will adjust.
How do you adjust to an empty house?
Some things will be easy. The washer will always be available when I need to wash clothes. There won't be dirty dishes piled up from some snack or meal that was prepared. There won't be stuff like hairbands, books, candy wrappers, shoes lying around in the living room. The guest bathroom will be clean.
Other things will be hard. I won't actually get to see their faces in the morning. I will have to text them to be in touch, since calling is not cool. I won't be able to meet them for lunch when they are having a bad day.
I am a solitary person, so I know that I will manage. I know it will be good for Q and me. Now we can do things that the kids did not want to do. We can take a trip without getting every one's input. We can eat cereal for dinner. We can stay up late watching TV or reading without having to go to our bedroom, so the kids can have the living room.
A new reality. Quiet. Empty. Hopeful?