“There are two lasting bequests we can give our children. One is roots. The other is wings.” -Hodding Carter, Jr.
Whenever I ask my kids a question that they can’t (or won’t) answer, their advice to me is, “Mom, it’s worth a Google”. Today, I thought that this question was worth a Google, “Is Empty Nest really a syndrome”? Unfortunately, the answer that I found wasn’t quite what I was looking for.…. Google(traitor) informed me that empty nest is not technically a “syndrome”, it is merely a “transition” that parents must make when their children fly the coop, hit the road, move on, move out. HA! I would really like to use some choice words here, however, I am holding myself back…. I thought that maybe I had an actual medical problem that could explain the heartache and loneliness that sometimes I feel.
Don’t get me wrong, I am extremely proud of my three children and admire all the goals that they have obtained. They have grown into very independent, successful, young adults. My husband and I wanted them to spread their wings and fly, but when they did, we realized that we had did little for ourselves to prepare for our lives to change… forever… Oh, but wait, I did ask friends and family members if it was going to be difficult…. lies! Nothing but lies! I can still hear them, “Oh, Vicki….it will be wonderful”. Yes, it was wonderful for the first 24 hours when I was exhausted from moving and unpacking multiple boxes into college dorms and then I woke up!
This brings me to what I would like to call, “Best Cure for Empty Nest Syndrome”. I would like to introduce, Bella. This little life saver came into our lives two years ago. She was my husband’s “50th” birthday present. I started this new relationship, just like I did with our children…I read the “How to Raise Shih Tzu’s” book. (I know what you are thinking…no, I did not read that specific book when we had our children, but something similar.) I have to ask everyone’s opinion, the book said to NOT treat puppies like fur babies. Does sleeping in our bed fall into these lines? Bella doesn’t require all the time that our kids did, but she does fill in the quiet gaps. She likes to be bathed, brushed, walked and she does know a few tricks…who am I kidding? She is a genius…. she knows several tricks. Just ask me I am her mom!
Does Empty Nest Syndrome get better? I can’t answer that, not just yet. I am working on making myself better. When the kids would come home for vacation or holidays, my husband would have to “get the bucket” (a phrase my cousin will never let me forget) because I would let the tears roll. Those times are getting better. I still walk by their rooms and can still hear their music playing or them arguing over who was going to get into the bathroom next. I then look down and see the soft brown eyes of this mess of a dog with her oversized bunny hanging out of her mouth and I am reminded that things aren’t so bad. Cheers!