I’ve always lived in a nest. Like a robin- I’ve had a number of them. My nest has had so many shapes. A tiny third floor apartment. That I bought croscill curtains for – so at least SOMETHING would be pretty against the walls with corners softened by so many layers of cheap paint.
A duplex with a basement. And a yard- where we planted a garden of dirt. (Nothing grew, but it was fun)
Another duplex with a deck- on a dirt road that had a few houses and a few industrial complexes. We eventually bought half of it (yes- half) on a land contract… it became the first place we actually “owned”….
A small house on a typical street with sidewalks and a basement. Sidewalks that made me cry. I desperately wanted someplace safe for my kids to be able to play and ride “bigwheels.”
Finally- a nice place in a tiny cul-de-sac with trees, and sidewalks and plenty of space. A home that has experienced growth- both inside and out. And- as I’ve recently come to understand- a home that is quickly becoming a launching pad.
Every place we’ve lived has been special. But honestly, some have been places that were rough. They weren’t all really places I wanted to raise kids… but they were places we were blessed to have… they were each. Home. Our nest. Regardless of what surrounded- or how loud, scary or rough the neighbors were….or how many huge trucks rambled through each day…(at a few places the police were often spotted) we nested. We made them ours. Outside there may have been rough twigs and branches- but inside? A soft down filled nest.
A nest that will, much too soon, become emptier.
The mail every day reminds me of this. Letters and packages from colleges arrive nearly daily. (they also make me wonder how we’re gonna pay for 2 kids in college…) My oldest will be 18 in December. And- he wants to go away to school.
He wants to leave the nest.
He wants to fly. My words have returned to haunt me……as he prepares to fly… I’m smacked with the act that this is what we’ve always been preparing for…. but now have to experience. Not in theory. But, in life.
I remember one of my very first (of way too many) arguments with my mother in law. It was over a parents role in the live of her children. (Oh I was soooo wise at 19 without kids) Her perspective was that you BE THERE or your kids forever- that they always need you. Which, in a way is true—- but even then- I knew she somehow had skewed. (Can you say rescuing?)
My perspective was- (and still is) that you spend your time preparing your kids to be independant. To care for themselves- be responsible. Sometimes this is done by being there- and sometimes by letting them learn the hard way. We fought.
I may even have yelled. (ummmm yeah, I’m pretty sure I did- I usually do when I’m passionate… which is well… mostly always!)
What I didn’t know then…but am learning now… was how hard it would actually be!
I prayed that I’d be someday launching (sounds better than pushing from the nest) my kids. As men. And now it’s nearly here. The oldest will go away to school, in just over a year. This all the youngest will be in school. the middle one will continue in high school- then… go to college as well.
My time with a nest full is ending.
I wonder what it will be like? I wonder if there are enough good memories of home… I wonder if I’ve said what needs to be said…. given enough love, enough discipline, been tough enough- soft enough….
In a way it feels like an hourglass has been flipped. The sand is running out. I feel like I’m losing something. But I also feel like the sand is running into the bottom of the glass- preparing to be turned on end, and start a whole new life…. for my guys my husband and me.
So. I’ve been nesting. Getting my house in order. Making sure the nest they leave is as safe- and wonderful as possible. Every time I clean their toilet… I feel different. I feel like there are only so many more times that I will have this opportunity.
It’s like the nesting I experienced before each of them were born. Maybe, it’s crazy. Maybe it’s midlife. (ummm well- if it is, it could be much worse!) We’ve replaced creaky toilet seats… leaky faucets, fixed broken things, filled holes in walls…..replaced the dishwasher….I’ve been waxing the hardwood weekly.
Weird. My response to college prep and kindergarten prep— is nesting.
Maybe, it’s reverse nesting. Preparing the nest for flight. The argument with my MIL comes full circle- now it’s my turn… they won’t need me the same as they do now- and did in years past. It feels good- in a way… and yet, is sad. Frightening- and exciting. But still- like the sand is running out. It makes me pray for them more than ever. It makes me savor this time more than ever. It makes me trust God more than ever…. because-
I don’t know the future. For me- or for them… but, I trust the one who does.
“Dear Jesus- as my guys continue to grow- to stretch their wings and prepare to fly- I pray that you will be the constant. I pray that you’ll give them a flight path…that honors you- and more than anything- lies them closer to you… I love you lord- amen.”
Also- today is Tuesday- my post is up at Laced with Grace! Stop by and find out about public nudity….. yeah- well kind of!