empty nest

My kids are at the seaside with their dad for much of June and I have been on my own at home. They have never been away from me for this long, but it’s not so bad. They are having a wonderful time and we talk every day. I had one rough day (day 3 of their absence) but after that I decided enough was enough! I might as well make the most of this precious alone time, and since that day I have been doing all the things I usually don’t have time to do and I am doing them all without rushing and only very rarely deciding anything too far in advance.

It is so unusual for me that the loose, free feeling of living this way is almost inebriating. Which is fairly laughable if you know what these activities are that give me such a buzz. I go running whenever I want, somewhat ecstatic about the lack of any sense of guilt for leaving my cell phone at home in case the school needs to contact me because of a fever or, worse, an injury. I have lost count of the number of books I’ve read since the boys left. I go to the pool whenever I want. I don’t cook when I don’t feel like it, but when I do, I make myself the most delectable, tastiest dishes that would send my boys into fits of gagging and near sobs. I have been sewing pretty things on my sewing machine just for the fun of it and not because someone urgently needs a costume or a cape or because they chewed a hole through their sleeve. I have been taking pictures again, and I have been to Venice and to Lake Garda. I have been – get ready for it – relaxing. Lately that is not something I have been very good at, or even considered as a viable option.

I remember when Eight was born and almost immediately there came that crushing realization that we were no longer the masters of our lives. Suddenly a tiny little person was dictating when we could sleep or eat or go out, or, more accurately, when we could not do any of those things. You sort of get used to it after that and barely question how it came to be that your life consisted almost entirely of 1) child rearing and 2) work, and that is if you count 3) food preparation and 4) housework as part of child rearing.

Not that I am complaining! I will be happy to have them back with me when they return, but this little sneak peak of what my life could be like one day when they are all grown up and the fact that I am a mother is no longer what primarily dictates what I do all day, but instead becomes just another thing I am, well, let’s just say that it is very refreshing indeed.


About Jennifer

I'm a freelance translator and American expat. I live in Northern Italy with my two young sons.
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3 Responses to empty nest

  1. Hilary says:

    Refreshing indeed…and maybe just a tiny bit scary!!!! I am of corse speaking for myself! I am a couple of years behind still as my youngest is 2, but I’ve been imagining what life will be like as they grow up and need me less.

  2. Gil says:

    ” I have been – get ready for it – relaxing.” Glad to hear that you have managed to relax!

  3. Aunt Patti says:

    LOVED this post! It sounds like you have a great balance between your extended quiet time and looking forward to having your kids back home. Enjoy!

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