Monday, July 14, 2014

An empty room, and a new chapter

A new chapter of life has begun for J. and me. Our son, our older child, moved out over the weekend. The long hall in the picture leads to the room containing the few items he left behind.

I thought I had great plans for this room. An enlargement of our library? A spot for yoga,  meditation, or even a good place to do group spiritual direction?  I intended to get right in there to pull up the nasty denim-blue rug which 16 years of life with our son has virtually destroyed. Those awful curtains he wanted? They're goners. I was going to blast through there like a small tornado.

Instead, something blasted through me. I stood in the middle of my son's room, and felt as emptied out as the space. J. felt the same. Tears came off and on. We watched movies and ate comfort food. I ate ice cream three times yesterday.

Today I feel better. Still empty, but with better balance. Grieving the change, but in proportion.What is parenthood but an emptying out, a kenosis?  We do as much we can for our kids, help and encourage them over the rough spots in their lives. We weep and rejoice. We help them plan and dream, and we sometimes watch them spin out of control, with unfortunate consequences. We've done all that, over the years.

I guess God feels like this, emptying Godself to create and sustain us. We please God; we disappoint God. All parents know this feeling.

Well, our fledgling has gone off to join his younger sister in adulthood. May blessings go with him. I console myself that he's only 40 minutes away.

But that rug ... I'm thinking plain hardwood might be better.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It is funny how as parents we yearn for those empty nest days when our kids are driving us crazy but when the day arrives, it is not at all what we expected. My experience is that there will remain a very tiny knot in the pit of your stomach that will always remind you of what was. Having said that, you will slowly find yourself adjusting to a new way of life, a new way of communicating with J, a new ebb and flow in your home. Yes, it is different, but not in a negative way. You will also realize that this was God's plan from the start; that you would love and nurture your children, and in good time would send them out to continue the cycle if life. Just like the stages of grief that confront those that have lost a loved one, this is also a "process" that one undertakes one day at a time. The beauty and appreciation comes when they return "home" to visit and you realize that you did your job with a 100% success rate :-)