I'm an empty nester again. Sort of. I got home early from work today and wandered from room to room, tapping small items into their proper place and pinching small bits of paper off of the carpet. I flipped the blinds open and began lighting candles to scare off the emptiness with light, and to keep me busy. When that wasn't enough, I did the dishes, scrubbed the sink, brought in the recycling bins, vacuumed (even the stairs) and gave Marlee a bath.
I'd be lying if I said that the idea of coming home to an empty house isn't tempting. No one else's bad day to talk about. No one else's messes to clean up. I like to come to the clean slate, but I think that's because I know someone will eventually be there. Someone will eventually be sharing this space with me. There will be conversation and laughter and noise from the T.V. There will be life in this house. But tonight it's just me, Amelia and a soggy Marlee who isn't too happy with me. And, I know, never happy: but it's too quiet.
We're 22-year-old empty nesters. Callie has moved on to sleep on someone's couch while they look for a place in D.C. And with that, all catering and shifting and considering and adapating and being nice to a third person in the house ceases. We don't have to be quiet, or leave a key under the pot. We can have loud arguments without guilt and go on dates on week nights without that leaving-someone-out feeling. We can pick-up-and-go, even if we probably won't. The funny thing is that she was gone most of the time and when she was here, she was barely seen and never heard.
But it's still an adjustment. It's still realizing you can sprawl out on the couch a little bit more. It's still learning that you can leave all of your bottles and brushes out on the sink after you're finished when them in the morning. It's still missing having someone to vent to about your long day full of pointless meetings or annoying coworker--having someone who knows exactly how that frustration feels. (All of this sentiment, literally 12 hours after she left.) Oie.
Empty nesters fill up their nests with bits of scraps to provide protection or at least give the illusion of security. While it may be nothing more than a bundle of sticks wound together with string and bits of dirt and clay, the nest is very important. It's where the magic and the motivation happen. It's where I indulge and accomplish and scratch things off of my to-do list. I'm working to make this nest more homey, more safe. More inspirational. More of place where I can write on a regular basis, and remember to brush my dog's hair once a week, try new daring recipes and invite over new friends.
It's time I start living in this little nest.