Saturday, January 26, 2013

They're really gone, and that's okay

This month I finally put to rest the notion that my children live here.

I did it by turning their rooms into guest rooms.

In other words, I acknowledged that they don't live here by making it easier for them to visit.

There is now a bed in each of the bedrooms, for the first time since they packed up their stuff, including their furniture, loaded up a van, and moved out. In fact, when my son did this, he helped himself to the extra bed because his friend Matt was sleeping on a floor and had no money to buy a bed. Never got that back, but whatever.

The empty nest is a trope these days. Google it, and you find dozens of crafts-y sites; I guess once the kids are gone there's room for glue guns? Cougar jokes abound, because apparently all the men have moved on to the trophy wives, leaving the mothers the choices of scrapbooking, or cradle robbing. Apparently doing what I did--building my business now that I'm not cleaning up after them any more--isn't part of the meme.

A few of my friends abandoned the nest to the kids, and got adorable apartments in the city; there are guest rooms, but the kids are not encouraged to think of coming "home" since it isn't anymore.

Mind you, I wasn't one of those mothers who dreaded my kids moving out. Indeed, I pretty much counted down the days, and had maybe five minutes of adjustment.

But still I kept the rooms transitional, by which I mean messy and empty, just in case one of them needed to haul all that stuff back in, as kids are wont to do in this economy. But then I found a convertible futon bed that makes an adorable couch, and my sister-in-law gave us a beautiful handmade quilt that works perfectly in one room. My daughter bought a nicer bed for her place, so we hauled her convertible bed which turns into a couch into the other room (I'm sitting on it now as I write this.)

And I cleaned, and fixed the window coverings, and packed away the odds and ends of their childhoods. I hauled everything out of the attic, loaded things like CDs into boxes and warned them to come and get the stuff or it was going to the library, or the dump.

The last step is cleaning out my daughter's closet, which is full mostly of all her skating test and competition dresses. I need the space, and she's moved on, and at last I find a place where I'm a little choked up over the transition.

But it's going to be really nice having my own closet.

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