Since our daughter left the nest to enter college two years ago, my little world turned upside-down. I mistakenly assumed since she was the older of my two children and I had always worked outside the home her absence wouldn’t affect me as much as it has. Only now do I realize the impact–good and bad.
The good. I took stock of my life and began working toward my dream of being a successful, published writer. I’m unpublished as of yet, but I’ve completed the first manuscript and have begun the submission process. I’ve also begun my second novel, and have two more outlined. (If you’re interested in reading more about that first year, click here.) My husband and I have more time to devote to our younger child. Our son enjoys being the center of our universe, as his older sister did for the eight years before he arrived. It’s only fair, right?
The bad. I have struggled to stay organized. I hadn’t realized how much I depended on our daughter to help with little chores around the house. She’s an expert dishwasher emptier, laundry helper, and pet caregiver. Without her around, those pesky jobs fell to me. I didn’t have time left over to do the extras. No more digital photo books for me. I also didn’t get around to making holiday cards or baking holiday cookies these past few years. Most importantly, though, I missed her. We’d text and Skype, but it wasn’t the same.
I’m happy to report I’m finally back on track and have adjusted to our new family life. In spite of some recent bad luck that waylaid me these past weeks, not only is the house sparkling clean, but our photo Christmas cards have arrived and are ready to address. To my son’s delight, we’ve begun to research holiday gifts and kinds of cookies to bake. I still miss my older child like crazy, but she is happy at college and I know she’ll be home again soon.
My family and I are very blessed in this regard. There are mothers and fathers who’ve lost their child to disease, war, or other tragedy. Their loved one remains with them in spirit, but won’t ever sit around the table again to share a meal. My heart breaks for them, as it breaks when I think of my relatives who have moved on. But I believe we are all still blessed. Let’s savor the little moments and wonderful memories.
I hope that, whatever your situation, you have a peaceful, contented holiday season. Take time to relax; savor family and friends. I promise to deliver a lighthearted post next week. Join me for a Margarita Moment, won’t you? We can all use a little escape now and again.