Friday, October 9, 2015

One day there will be no more kids in our house, and I have a hard time being excited about that

This year we sent one kid off to live on a college campus (Chloe), while another moved back in after spending three years living on a college campus (Elissa).

I was so happy that Elissa came back because, honestly, I missed having her around. But now I miss having Chloe around, and it makes me realize that eventually there will be no trades. They'll just all leave the nest one by one, and nobody will return to take their place.

It's a mixed blessing, I guess. Some days you come home to a messy house full of chaos and noise and you think you can't wait until they all grow up and live somewhere else.

Other days you come home and they're all out with their friends or at school or something, and you realize how oppressively quiet it is. It doesn't seem right.

And so I can't decide whether I'm looking forward to the day they all leave, dreading that day, or whether it's a little bit of both.

For two decades, there have been kids in our house. If all goes according to plan, that will continue to be the case for another decade more.

Beyond that there's...well, I can't quite envision what's there. It will just be us. Just Terry and me. And while I love the thought of being with just her, I realize the cost will be having to readjust to a home where no one is asking me for a few dollars out of my wallet, or to borrow the car, or for me to sign a permission slip she misplaced and she needs for a field trip tomorrow.

And that just seems so lonely.

The college experience affords parents a foretaste of what's to come in their lives, and thus it gives you chunks of time to adjust to the inevitable.

It's just that, for all the hassles and frustrations that come with living with six other people, it's really all I know at this point. And so I guess what I'm afraid of is the unknown.

Still, the fact is, it's going to happen whether I'm ready for it or not. So I might as well be ready for it. And I might as well enjoy what I have now, knowing there will still be days when I just can't bring myself to clean up one more mess in the kitchen that one of my offspring created.

I also know that some day, I'll do anything for one more of those messes to clean up.

As we've said before, c'est la vie, my friends, c'est la vie.

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