It feels quiet around my house as of late. It is very different then when I had four young kids running around my house. When my kids where young there was a constant clatter of noise that made me feel like I would sell my right arm for a bit of piece and quiet. Something was always happening - fighting, crying, banging of toy trucks, the bossing a small, but determined little princess...
Quiet was only reserved for night time when everyone was gloriously all asleep or when the kids were being particularly naughty, like making a magic potion out of laundry detergent or causing a great flood like in Noah's time in the bathroom with small men and animals. Quiet time was basically unheard of.
Yet things do change - one day I woke up and realised that things have definitely changed around here! Now quiet seems to be the norm. Sleeping in and taking naps is loved by all and quiet reading or watching movies is a favorite activity. Every now and again I hear music coming from my daughters room and some pounding on the floor and I know that Tia is once again practicing her ballet, or I hear the kids make plans to go into the field to play soccer or someone bangs around in the kitchen to put together a sandwich, but all in all, it is eerily quiet around here.
This summer also came with another big change. I helped my eldest son pack up his stuff and move out. His once VERY messy room now stands clean and empty and his spot at the dinner table now sits empty.
It is a weird feeling, mixed with happiness and relief of not having the argument to clean his room or having to do his laundry, along with the terror of not having my child under my watchful eye, and knowing that it is totally up to HIM to make good choices now, not me.
As I watch my eldest son work his first full time job and take on the responsibilities of bills and rent I have to admit that I feel a mixture of pride and fear, all mixed up in a tangle of emotions. Questions and thoughts have swirled around in my mind of what I did right...what I did wrong...what is my role now...what does he still need from me?
Even though there is some relief when your kids move out, it is hard to let go. Now, when I look into the eyes of my adult child I remind myself that he will never be too old or outgrow his need for the love, guiding and understanding of his mother and I am reminded that the argument over a messy room will not last forever!