Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Empty nest and changing focus

butterfiles

We have an empty house again, and I am better from my ailments and there is no reason not to get on with my writing. That’s fine. I like writing!

On the other hand, there is the faint uneasiness that follows a family get together…

…you get used to an empty nest, where the (conscious) parent role diminishes, and you kid yourself you’re a free, standalone adult, and then when the chicks come home again for a fleeting visit, and you are in parent role again, and then they suddenly leave, you are left wondering how the chicks view you…as a parent.

And it is rather scary.

(stained glass above by father, Dave, photo by son, Isaac.)

5 comments:

Marilyn said...

You could always ask them? I don't need to ask, my daughter thinks I'm ultra-bossy and that I'll never be able to shed my 'mother' costume! Maybe she's right.... ah well, at least she's never afraid to say and that can't be a bad thing... I hope!

Sue Hepworth said...

I know that at least one of them thinks I am blunt, and also a blurter, but I guess I was worrying about rather darker things.

Ruth said...

I thought I was alone in thinking these things. Did you think you were alone in wondering how you are/were viewed as a parent? I don't have a completely empty nest. There is still a 20-year old "egg" in it. ;) My 29 year old son, Jantje, who has been out of the nest for 8-9 years, tells me his girlfriend (well now they're engaged) thinks I'm "unique." What does that mean? It could be good or bad. Yes, I want her to like me, in the sense I want to be supportive in their relationship, unlike my parents were with my marriage, but it has always been more important to me to be respected...that is where I get myself into trouble. I wonder "Is it worth it to care what they think?" I am not really going to change the fact that I like to feed the wild birds (supposedly that makes me an old person), or that I like clean floors, almost to the point of being able to eat off of them. I have become me, with all my quirks, for valid reasons. It has taken WORK to get to be this boring! My son is due home for a visit this weekend (THE SUPERBOWL) with his girlfriend, who I both like and dislike at times, but I am beginning to love her apart from my son and their relationship. That's a good thing i think. I will enjoy their 2-3 day visit, but it is good for all of us to live apart...the honeymoon is over after those 3 days usually. We all have strong personalities. But, isn't the fact that our children return to our nest, periodically, really what says it all? The ultimate compliment to us.

Sue Hepworth said...

Your comment, Ruth - "But isn't the fact that our children return to our nest, periodically, really what says it all?" is the ultimate comfort.

Marilyn said...

Ah well, yes, my chick does return to the nest quite often, so I'll take it as a good sign. As long as there's unconditional parental love I just think you can't go wrong. Sadly, I know some people who never received it and subsequently don't know how to give it. Not all of them but definitely some.