Daily Archives: September 12, 2010


Empty nesting 5

Not a fan.  Since Shannon was born,  in 1984, I’ve never lived with less than 2 people.  We added Alex in ’86, Samantha in ’89 and our household was at 5.  Discarded Rob in ’90 which brought us back to 4 and it stayed that way until Rob and I married again in 2003.  Shannon moved out in 2005.   I was sad to see her go, I was worried about her living alone in an apartment.  She moved only 4 & 1/2 miles away and besides seeing her a lot, we had a date at her apartment every Wednesday.  I decided it was okay for her to be out,  she was still close and I was very proud of her self-sufficiency.

We went back up to 5 again in 2006 when Angie moved in.  The day Angie turned 18 she left her parent’s home.  Things just weren’t good for her there.  A few months later she found herself with no place to live.  Angie moved in here and we were back up to 5 again.  Alex moved out 2 years later.  By then I knew what to expect when a child moves out.  Add that to the fact that he moved into the same apartment complex as Shannon, in the same building and on the same floor, I was excited for him.  I hated to see him go but I know that kids do have to leave and I felt great that they would have each other.  It’s an amazing, total feel good thing to see your  children being self-sufficient.   It shows you that either a.) you’ve done a good job or b.) you’ve done a poor enough job that your children were desperate and had to find their own means :o)

Alex moved out in March.  That May Samantha graduated and the following August she went away to school which was 3 hours away.  Again a reason to be proud and very do-able.  That’s when we got Skype.  We Skyped once.  Mostly we were on the phone or texted a lot. Three hours away meant we’d go up to Duluth some weekends, she’d come home some weekends and she was always here for holidays, school breaks and in the summer.

In February of 2009 Angie moved out.  Between February and May Samantha was home some weekends and gone some weekends.  When there were just two of us (myself & Rob), it wasn’t always noticeable because I was working 2 jobs and didn’t spend much time here myself. In May Samantha came home for the summer.  August came and Samantha went back to school and Rob’s friend Joe moved in.  I’d only met Joe once before so I was a little apprehensive but he was asked by his wife to leave their home.   Of course we’ll take him in.   It was about that time that I left my 2nd job.

This past April Joe moved out and Samantha moved back home in May.  Samantha’s now in Germany and there will be no coming home on weekends or holidays.  There’s also no phoning or texting, we Skype a lot now.  So here we are, just the 2 of us and 2 cats (each daughter left us one) and I have a lot of time on my hands.  Lots and lots of time.

Back to my original “not a fan”, I’m beginning to rethink that as I try to pinpoint exactally where it would be that I’d freeze time to prevent this from happening.  Would it be the time when the kids were really little and I locked myself in the bathroom to have a few minutes of peace?  No.  How about when they were old enough to not need a babysitter and I ran away from home and stayed at the public library until it closed.  No.  Would it have been when I was trying to work 3 jobs and raise 3 kids and didn’t have time to even think straight?  No.  I think about all the wonderful moments and reasons to be proud of each and every one  of them that have happened since they did move out.  If  I’d done a time freeze, those things wouldn’t have happened.

If Shannon hadn’t moved out we wouldn’t have had room for Angie.  Angie and I got to know each other a great deal and I love her.  If Shannon and Alex hadn’t moved out we wouldn’t have had room for Joe.  I adore Joe, I’d recommend him as a room mate to anyone.  We would never have gotten to know each other and I’d have always referred to him as “Rob’s friend”.   I now get to refer to him as “my friend”.   If I’d frozen time somewhere Shannon and Kevin would never have gotten married.  Kevin is an amazing son-in-law, we’re very proud to be related to him.   It’s becoming apparent that the more we lose, the more we gain.  Let go and you get more.

I have to contradict my “not a fan” statement.  I love it!  The extra time thing?  Eh, maybe I’ll get another job, it would help w/the trip to see  Samantha next April.  Maybe next year when Samantha’s back at UMD I’ll think about taking some classes, never did finish my degree.  Who knows?  Lot’s of options out there and lots of time to think about them :o)