My friends and I are in the almost “empty nest” stage of life. Our children are either in their final years of high school or have recently graduated and are moving on with their own lives.
And if I had to guess, I’d say the majority of us have not been handling this new stage of life very well.
One of my girlfriends summed it up perfectly when she said, “It’s like mourning a piece of your life you won’t ever get back. Having all the kids under one roof and being together 24/7 — those days are gone and no matter how hard you wish it were different, you just won’t ever get them back.”
Unless, of course, a worldwide pandemic hits!
When the world first went on lockdown, like everyone else, we went from a quiet, clean house of just three — my husband and I and our 17-year-old son ... who basically had one foot out the door already, to a family five.
The gang was back together!
Our 20-year-old daughter, in the middle of sophomore year of college, was sent home and our 23-year-old, who had been living in Nashville, returned home, too, since everything was now officially closed. Our 17-year-old came back from spring break and after that, had absolutely nowhere to go — school, football, and Sonic were all off limits.
And just like that, I got what I had wished for!
Sort of ...
My almost empty nest that was clutter free and consisted of jazz music by the fire in the evenings, as I read my book and loved on my dog, now consisted of three surly young adults, eating Doritos on my newly purchased velour sofa, sucking up my WiFi and moaning about all the ways their lives were now ruined, as they stayed up all night watching reruns of “Grey’s Anatomy” together.
When the young adults came running home so did the laundry, the dishes and the chaos.
My pillows were no longer fluffed, my floors were no longer spotless, my special chocolates were no longer in my pretty box waiting for me when I got home and my dog ... my dog went from a pampered pooch to officially traumatized and living under my bed.
My girlfriends and I, who only 6 months ago had been crying about how much we missed our babies, well, today, after 2 months of quarantine, are ready to send our babies packing!
There are many lessons to be learned from the coronavirus, but for us almost “empty nesters,” I think it was God’s way of telling us to be careful what we wished for.
Our babies could actually come back to stay!
Telling Tales is written by Wilson County moms Angel Kane and Becky Andrews. This column is Angel’s.