Care Packages and Granola
“Empty nest.” What thoughts and emotions do these words stir up? Excitement? Dread?
I’ve looked forward to having an empty nest ever since Alyssa crossed the threshold into “Teenager-dom.” Two years later Jackie followed her big sis into that horrible place. I shudder when I think back to those years.
Well, to be honest it wasn’t ALL terrible. We had several great family vacations, there was lots of love and many moments of good conversation, laughter, happiness and cooperation … but there was a lot of terrible. I don’t want to sugar-coat it. It was one of the most challenging periods of my life so far. I hope I never forget how difficult this stage of parenthood can be.
We were never in the running for Family of the Year. And I definitely never even got nominated for Mom of the Year.
I’m relieved to have emerged on the other side with (most of) my sanity and self-respect intact. I feel nothing but sympathy for parents who are currently navigating their way through their child’s teenage years. I admire the families who seem to handle it so well (but secretly I think they are just putting their game face on!).
The funny thing is – now that the nest is empty, the children have matured and are starting to behave … rationally! All the “stupid” advice and lessons we tried to teach them when they lived with us are actually sinking in. They were listening! They are showing more and more appreciation for the advice we give. And they seem to respect our life experience.
These are exactly the people I want to have in my home! Exactly the people I want to surround myself with! Instead, both our daughters live thousands of miles away. Not fair at all.
To help me feel a little closer to Jackie and Alyssa, I’ve been sending them care packages once a month. Okay, I’ve sent only two so far, but I’m having a lot of fun with this and plan to keep it up all year. I’ve noticed I’ve been filling the packages with food, mostly. The next care package will have a jar full of this homemade granola — a little love from my kitchen to their tummies!