Saturday, July 4, 2015

Red, White, and Feeling Blue

Just when you think you might finally be over the worst of the empty nest blues, a holiday tradition falls apart and you're left feeling kind of lost and bewildered. I really have no business complaining because our youngest was just home for a week, which overlapped with a visit from my mom (and short but fun visits with my family when we met in Erie to pick Mom up and take her back). This made the past few days feel like vacation: late nights, lazy mornings, meandering conversations, board games, crossword puzzles, and tennis matches. But then the fun ended. My mom left on Thursday; Em packed up this morning for a weekend trip to Canada with her boyfriend's family and is heading back to Syracuse from there. Meanwhile, our middle child, who had talked about coming home for the 4th, decided to stay in Rochester with his girlfriend this year; and our older son, who lives in town, made plans of his own for today. Of course, all of this is an inevitable part of parenting. The kids are doing exactly what they should be doing--growing up and having lives of their own. But ever since we said goodbye to Em this morning, Steve and I have been at loose ends. We're having a hard time remembering what we used to do on the 4th before we had kids. Thank goodness for Breakfast (and lunch) at Wimbledon--watching tennis used up some of the day. But night has fallen in England, and now we have to decide what to do with ourselves for the rest of the night. It's not really that there's nothing to do; it's more that we don't really feel like doing much of anything. We don't really want to go to the local fireworks alone and can't get excited about driving somewhere new to see fireworks because as it turns out, the 4th of July isn't really about going to see fireworks, it's about going to see fireworks with your kids . . .  and your friends . . . and your friends' kids. There are some aspects of an emptying nest you expect and try to prepare yourself for, but other things--like spending the 4th of July alone--end up taking you by surprise, and suddenly you realize you don't have quite the grip you thought you had on this new stage in life. So tonight, we might just stay home, watch a movie, make a backyard fire, and if we're feeling really ambitious, put the tent up and sleep outside. And bit by bit, we'll continue to explore this new (old?) territory, so that the next time we find ourselves alone on a holiday we'll understand the lay of the land better and won't feel quite so lost.

No comments:

Post a Comment