Wow! It’s been quiet in my house this week. Too quiet, in fact. All three kids are away at camps so my husband and I have the house to ourselves. We were pretty excited about it – for about a day.
Why is it that when your kids are finally old enough to go away for a week without much hassle, you don’t really want them to any more?
I’m getting a glimpse of the empty nest, and I don’t like it very much. I only have two years left with my oldest, and only seven before the youngest one leaves. Such a short time to complete this awesome task of preparing our young people to pursue their calling in the world.
It seemed like an eternity way back in the days of sleep-deprivation, diapers, and toys strewn about the house. But, suddenly, it seems all too soon.
I took the kids shopping a few weeks ago to find gifts for their young cousins, and as we wandered through the toy aisle at Wal-Mart, I remarked sadly that there was nothing there that interested them any more. You see, I love good kids’ toys, and teach about their educational value to young moms, so for me, it was not only letting go of their childhood, but setting aside a part of me that is very passionate about the value of “childish things”. Video games and sci-fi just don’t hold the same appeal for me!
And yes, I cried during Toy Story 3. My teen son has a battered and worn bear that has been with him since birth, and I imagine it will go off to college with him, if only in a box in the closet.
Of course, there have been signs that they were growing up – my kids’ homework is too hard for me, mountains of food disappear very quickly, and the aroma of young men has replaced that of dirty diapers.
But still, they are my “babies”. When did they get so independent?
I spent their early years pouring into their lives, reading together, going on field trips, and homeschooling them, and I’ve tried to let go gradually.
In the past year or so, I began to work more on building my own business and finding new places to focus my energies. My plan has been that as the kids need less daily time from me, the business will grow and take more of my time and efforts. I love what I am doing, I’m excited about the personal and professional growth I’m experiencing, and the kids are enjoying watching their mom develop in ways they’ve never seen before. So, all around, it’s been a good thing.
And, by the time the kids really are all gone, the business will have grown enough to fill the void left by their absence.