Even though our empty nest is rarely empty, I didn’t really appreciate just what an empty nest means until the last two weeks when we’ve had toddler grandsons with us. Don’t get me wrong, I love having these little guys around and I cherish the moments with them. However, like the pains of labor, I’d forgotten what it’s like to be responsible for a little human 24/7. I’d forgotten about having to plan workout time and juggling naps. I had slowly slipped into a life where my responsibilities all centered around me and my schedule was my own to create.
With my grandsons here, my morning walk with my dogs has to wait until another adult is available to stay with the little guys, working at my computer for several uninterrupted hours just doesn’t happen, and a trip to the recycle center and the grocery store can only be accomplished during certain midday, non-nap hours.
I’m not complaining; like I said, I love having them here. I’m just appreciating my new normal routine and this new life stage that eased in so quietly I didn’t really understand what it meant and how pleasant it has become. With our large family, the active parenting years of our lives took up a big portion (three decades) of our adulthood. Now, our youngest is almost out of her teen years and we are into a new stage. A new stage I didn’t really appreciate until temporarily stepping back into the old one.
Here’s to appreciating empty nests…and grandchildren (and children) who visit frequently.