29 November 2012

The Nest: Half Empty or Half Full?

This past year has flown by. I honestly don't know what happened to it, but here we are almost to the end of the year and it's a time for reflection. This year was a milestone year in our family. Our daughter got married. Of course I'm thrilled. But I have to say that no one ever trains us moms for the "empty nest". Sure, everyone talks asks, "how're you doing with the empty nest?", or you hear about empty nesters, but until you've gone through it, you don't know what it's about.
My daughter and I are very close. I was a single mom for many years, so it compounded that closeness. We have gone through everything together. School, cancer, mother/daughter camping trips, you name it. So as her wedding day approached, I know we both started anticipating the big changes that were going to be coming up. It says in the Bible - regarding marriage --that a man shall leave his mother; and a woman shall leave her home. We all know this, right? In prep for "leaving home", the week before her wedding, I took off from work. I wouldn't trade that week for anything. It was our time together. We moved her things to her new home (all except the essentials til the wedding day), we got her unpacked and situated, set up her kitchen, and spent mom/daughter time together. And one of the days we just had a good old cry! We knew the wedding was just days away. We knew she was marrying her true love, we knew it was the right thing, at the right time, but all of a sudden, we were hysterical. And it wasn't panic, or nerves about the wedding. It was just about change. About life. About growing up. But that cry did us both a lot of good, and it seemed that it was what we needed. Yes, things would be different. But the love between us would be the same. We wouldn't be living together, but hey, there was always unlimited texting. : )

So the wedding day came, and it was like a dream. She was beautiful in her wedding gown, and my son in law was dashing in his tuxe. The wedding ceremony was beautiful, and meaningful, and blessed; the reception was fun. Everything went off without a hitch, and off they went on their honeymoon. And then we get to the empty nest. I tried very hard to back off a bit. I wanted her to adjust to her new life. And have fun on her honeymoon so I was good. I didn't call or text. The hardest thing was not hearing from her daily. I'd wonder where they were, what they were doing. And then they came home from the honeymoon, and it was even harder. At least while they were away, she had reason why we couldn't see each other. But back in town ....I know, I know, it sounds silly. But you have your child with you for 25 years, and then in one day, she's out of the house, all grown up, and a wife!

Those three weeks after the wedding were the hardest. The nest was empty. And then Sunday came and she said they were coming to church and then coming over afterward. At church that Sunday, my daughter and son in law received and distributed the Kiss of Peace. Der Hayr announced them as the newest family of our church. And I felt so happy to see them there, together, participating, worshipping. After church they came over for lunch. And I saw how happy they were together. Not cheesy happy, but just "at ease" and natural happy. And I realized something: That my daughter is right where she is supposed to be. It was her time to get married. And God blessed her with a wonderful husband who loves and cares for her. And the nest is not really half empty, but half full!

Today is Thanksgiving. We just came home from my daughter and son-in-law's home. It was their first Thanksgiving, and they invited us over. It was a blessed day. There they were, working together to make the meal..making new traditions. My daughter is a nurse and works nights. She had just come home in the morning to start cooking. He had made the turkey and gravy, and they were working together to make everything perfect. The table was set, the Thanksgiving prayer was said. I looked around and saw my grown up daughter (who will always be my baby) and her husband, and then I saw the bigger picture as well. There I was, surrounded by family...our new inlaws (my khunamies), and the grandmas, my son, my husband.  Family.

Our family had grown and was full and alive. I am truly blessed. I will always be a mom. The bond that I share with my daughter will always be. And now I get to share with my new son. I am thankful for my beautiful family, the love that we share, and my nest, which is not only "half full", but truly full, and over flowing with love!


Bruce Burr said...

your nest and your life are MORE than half full - you are blessed... I feel it too. -BB

Pomegranate and Eye said...

Thanks Bruce. Life is good. And a blessing!

Sonig said...

Anushig, you gained a son. God bless your family.

Linda Zadoian said...

My girls are 5 and 6 and I'm already balling! Thanks for the beautiful words Anush.

Pomegranate and Eye said...

Linda, it all goes by in a flash! Lots of bachigs and hugs every day!

Ellen Tippit said...

I loved hearing your love story between you and daughter. You expressed your feelings in such a heartfelt and loving way that it touched my heart. I have experienced the empty nest and it does take awhile for your heart to adjust to not being so physically close to your child. When you said, .."my daughter is right where she is supposed to be." I think that is such a comfort for a parent experiencing the empty nest.