Wednesday, 25 May 2011

May 25, 2011 - My Nest is Empty

I just turned 48. Many mothers my age have kids under or around 10 years old. Mine are nearly 25 and 19. Yes, I became a parent freakishly early for my era. And it was a fairly crazy thing to do. Yet as I listened to a group of women friends tell the bald truth about raising kids at a recent dinner party, I felt affirmed in my reproductive course of action. As one mum pointed out, if you've never had the pleasure of disposible income or leisure time as an adult, you don't miss it when kids arrive. The main theme of the discussion was energy - as in the vast energy it takes to care for small children. By the time I turned 40 and acquired a penchant for rest and comfort, my daughters were leaving and entering adolescence, respectively. They were welcome to stay up later than me if they wanted. They could take themselves places on the TTC. It was awesome.

I could never have opened Wise Daughters two years ago if my kids had been at more dependent stages. A small business sucks up huge resources of time, as well as money. I don't know how parents of young children manage, frankly. Not that I didn't work hard when I was young, and my kids were young. But this is all-consuming in a way a regular job simply isn't. I don't remember how I coped with commuting, challenging paid work, constant housework, school projects, extra-curricular activities and all the other demands of parenting, but I did. And I'm guessing my youth helped a lot.

Now here I am, settled in a condo my partner and I affectionately call "Club Crone". Neither daughter lives at home. One has been criss-crossing the country and may or may not land nearby when she wraps up her Master's in the coming months. The other is taking off for European adventures before university. It's a funny sensation. I'm thankful modern technology makes it easy to touch base with them daily, no matter where they are or what they're doing. It's amazing how close we can remain when we're physically far apart. But it still feels odd to have an empty nest already.

At least I've increased the odds that it'll fill up with visiting grandbabies before I'm too old to get down on the floor and play with them.

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