Thursday, August 30, 2012

Empty Nest

I told Eddie to empty the trash.  So he did - except the bits stuck in the <what??> at the bottom of the can.  I guess "empty" means to empty most of, but not necessarily all of.  And then Chris emptied the dishwasher.  I didn't think about it until today, but an empty dishwasher still has an awful lot of racks and spinny things in it.  So maybe empty could just mean a bunch less than what was there when it was full.

And my home has been feeling empty, or at least emptier than it has been.  I know having an "empty nest" officially means that all of your chicks have flown off.  It's only my Alec who has spread his wings.  But even having one gone makes a big difference.  I feel it when I look at the bank of homework computers he set up.  I feel it when he gets a letter in the mail and he's not there to hand it to.  I feel it when I pass the closed door of his room.  I feel it when I count the plates for dinner, thinking "we have less now than we used to" - as if feeding nine people is substantially less than ten.

But my heart isn't more empty.  There's no blank spot where Alec used to be, for he is still in there.  If anything, my heart is more full now that it used to be.  It's full of excitement for the new things he gets to be doing at college.  It's full of happy with the man he is becoming.  It's full of faith that the Lord will watch over my boy when I can't.  And there are a few Mother-worries tucked in there for good measure: about getting good roommates and how are we going to pay for all this and will he do well in his studies and hoping that he will make good choices.

He called me this afternoon, worried that his score on an upcoming test (which is a huge pre-requisite to staying in the classes he has and progressing in his major) won't be good enough.  I know that feeling well.  I've had it many times through life - both in and out of school.

That worry boils down to the scary "This is hard.  I'm not sure I'm prepared.  What if I fail?"

Man, that's a hard one.  I comfort and cheer as well as I can.  I hope for his success, and know that either way, this can be a good learning experience for him.  I wish I could wave my magic wand, but the growth is an vital part of independence and growing up.  And his empty spot in my home is truly a full spot in my heart.

I'm on the sidelines for you, Buddy, cheering my lungs out.  It's your game now.  Do your best, and trust the Lord for the rest.  You can do it!  You are doing it!  Love you - Mom

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