This house that once felt too small for this busy family - is suddenly seeming much..much too large. The rooms that were once overfilled with the sound of laughter and life - are quiet. The nest is now officially empty.
I've known this time was coming. I've known it since the day my first was born. They forewarned me. This time will pass much..much too fast. From babies to children..to defying questioning adolescents and now - to responsible and independant adults - that they've each become.
Congratulations - I keep telling myself - I've survived it all. I've arrived.
While in the midst of the muddle - it didn't seem like it ever would. But end - it did. Like all good things..and bad. Life happens. Children grow and go. And here I am - today - scratching my head and wondering how and when and - yes iff...if it really did. But - I do know. No question or doubt about it. It happened. It did.
Was there some sort of grand destination? Should there be some sort of grand celebration?
Strangely - I'm feeling neither the bitter nor the sweetness of it all. I'm feeling neither empty or full...neither lost nor found.
Here I am. At a new beginning. Again.
Only - this time it's different. I begin again - now - with time and experience and accumulated wisdom. I now know that there is nowhere to be..nowhere to go...other than right where it is I am. I know that change happens. Whether we plan for it..or not. I know - what I've heard so many times before - that they come thru us..that they are not ours to own.
I smile. When I think back...when I remember. How I did it - I have no clue. But that - I did. And that - I'll do this too.
And so - as I begin to sort and clean thru those things they chose to leave behind - those little things that they couldn't quite bear to part with..but couldn't quite take along for the ride - I find myself not quite wistful..not quite nostalgic.
It wasn't what I would have predicted..or planned...or expected. It was bumpy and roundabout and cicruitous - in more ways than one. And yet..and altho I will always question - it was good enough. It was who we were..who we are..and who we'll become.
And yes. I've arrived.