Really shouldn’t have the Empty Nest Syndrome, especially when you realize that my daughter is 40 years old and we have all been moving in and out of each other’s lives and residences since she first left for university way back in ’91! That was really hard because she and I had been through some very tough times before we met my current husband. I was a single mother for years, didn’t have any money, was homeless a couple of times – sort of but for the grace of good friends, and yada, yada, yada.
So we have gone back and forth with her moving back to live with us at various times, after school, between jobs, before school and such. And we have moved into her house between overseas assignments, during rotational shifts, and yada, yada, yada. While it is not easy for two grown women who are both very strong minded to live together in a space that can get smaller every day, we make it work and I personally love to have her close. I try hard not to be so much “mom” these days but more “friend” and she tries also equally hard or maybe even harder to not be so much “daughter” but also more “friend”. And I would like to think that we are best friends and I think she agrees. Gets a bit crowded in the kitchen when everybody is home and trying to fix their own dinner but we make it work.
Now she has a rotational job where she works 28 days on and then has 28 days off. Since we are living in England and the choices were rather meager for her to retain a place in Houston plus she needed someone to care for her cat, she comes and stays with us during her 28 days off. I get a 28 day wonderful break from cleaning cat boxes, she gets to see her cat and also gets to spend some time living in another country. But then the 28 days comes to an end and off she goes back to her job and her 28 days working and I am left bereft and feeling quite sad that my daughter has left the homestead yet again and I have an “empty nest”. Odd that it’s never gotten easier, even knowing I will see her again in 28 days. Odd that every time she leaves, I feel a wrench and a tug on my heart strings and have to slam the door shut as she pulls away so she won’t see me crying. Odd that it has never gotten any easier to send her out into the big, bad, wide world and hope that all goes well for her this time and nothing bad happens to her.
I really thought it would get easier as time went by. When it became apparent several years ago that we were “yo-yo” parents as well as her being a “yo-yo” daughter, I thought the elastic would weaken and maybe even break but it never has. I hate it just as much now as I did that first weekend when we dropped her off at school. So once again, empty nest for a month. Better find stuff to do to keep me busy.