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Posts Tagged ‘children’

Empty Nesting

We are back from having moved enough furniture and belongings to fill a 16 ft. truck and two Saturn Ions from our home to Jenna’s and Jen’s new apartment in Lubbock, followed by a couple of days unpacking and getting them settled in. A few days after our return, we saw Ali off at the airport so that she could meet Matthew in California for their three-year dating anniversary. This week is just a short, empty-nesting preview, but the real thing will be coming all too soon.

Although it’s a slow time of the year for selling real estate, we’ve had enough interest in the house to keep us paranoid about leaving daily messes. We thought we had a young family showing interest in the house toward evening yesterday when we spied a couple and three children examining our creek. They left and then returned with others collecting under the trees on our creek-front property for thirty minutes or more. Over the years, we’ve had several mistake it for public property and we eventually concluded that it was probably a church group. We made our presence known by taking the dog out and getting the mail, but they still seemed clueless that they were trespassing. We saw no harm in what they were doing so we didn’t tell them or ask them to leave.

My typical summer morning routine takes about an hour with pets, tidying, and some yard work — and then there’s too little to do the rest of the day. Earlier this week I got another glance at one of our creek owls gliding over my head as I was watering. I awoke this morning and immediately took Phoebe outside, as I normally do. We’ve had some rain lately so instead of grabbing the hose to start watering potted plants, I sat in a lawn chair to enjoy the cooler morning for a few minutes. I looked across the pool and spotted a familiar face cautiously peering back at me. Butterball? What was he doing outside? Happy to see me, he came running as soon as I called and I put him inside, but I soon realized that Sox was also missing. I dressed and began looking for him, first in the house, and then outside. Finally, Steve awoke and began looking too. He’d gone to bed late and they must have escaped when he let Phoebe out one last time before he went to bed. They’re inside cats and don’t usually even try to go outdoors. We had just about given up finding him when suddenly I saw Sox timidly sitting in just about the same place that I’d seen Butterball earlier. I sat on the diving board, wiggled my fingers and coaxed him to me. About that time, I spied a probable victim floating lifelessly in the pool — a good sized rodent the cats had probably chased to its demise. They may have had an adventure, but both were glad to be back inside.

With all that done, this is the time of morning I usually start hearing footsteps bounding down the stairs — but strangely, it’s very, very quiet.

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After a nearly sleepless night, I was startled awake by the ringing of a phone at precisely 8:52 a.m. As I made my way to answer, caller ID announced a name that I didn’t recognize and without glasses, couldn’t read; I turned around and headed back to bed. Again the phone rang from the same caller, which is usually Ali-code for “Mom, I forgot my phone, I borrowed someone’s, and please, please, PLEASE answer the phone!” So, I did.

I could detect a hint of panic in the familiar, hushed voice that indicated my daughter was stowed away in a school restroom stall with a cell phone, hoping not to be overheard.

“Mom, I can’t find the last page of my essay! Could you look in the printer?”

Unable to find it, I was further requested to print it again from her laptop. In doing so, I discovered the printer’s blinking light and an empty paper tray. Problem solved.

“I need it before third period so can you get it here as soon as possible, please? Thanks, Mom. I love you!”

I fed the paper tray, fed the pets all dancing at my feet, herded the dogs outside for a routine morning potty break, threw on my clothes, found my keys, packaged and labeled her report, let the dogs back in, and — unaware of how much time all that actually took or when third period started — made a mad dash for the school. I completed the delivery to a student office aide and was back to my car by 9:20.

Once home again, I met Jenna (daughter #1) heading out the door.

Coffee time.

I’m honestly going to miss being needed like that once they’re all out on their own. It’s a phase of my life that’s coming all too quickly.

Now, where did I put the carpet spot-cleaning brush?

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