Lots has been going on around here lately, things that are good and timely and affirming of all the work we have done as parents over the years. Exciting for the kids, and yet also so very wistful for me. After many years with a whole houseful of kids we are now down to three at home, a number which may soon shrink to just two.
In September after a fair bit of apartment hunting, Josh and Lidya and Zeytuna found an apartment which they are renting together. They are 18, 21, and 18 respectively, capable and ready to be out on their own, so this is an exciting venture for the three of them.
I am more than a little happy that during this first foray of theirs out into the world they will still be with each other. I think that among the three of them I’m sure they will be able to sort out this new journey and take their first steps out into the world with confidence.
Ben, also 18, is apartment-hunting with two good friends. And if the most recent lead on an apartment comes through, he also will be out into the big world very soon. Which means we may possibly have four kids moving out in just a month.
It’s quite an adjustment for us still living here at home, one that honestly I am trying to not dwell on a whole lot. (The feelings— eek. Might be safer to let them just trickle in as they must, rather than opening the door wide and wallowing just yet.)
Basically it is a whole new phase of life, ready or not. It’s a big adjustment for Emily and Julianna too, our youngest girls and soon to be the only ones still home at 14 and 11. Last night we played dominoes on the living room floor, talking as we played, mostly about how strange it is to have so few people living here. We talked about how lots of families only have two kids ever. That’s their normal and they survive just fine. But for us, so far, it definitely feels abnormal.
Good, of course, for the just-grown kids. I honestly am rejoicing that they’re working hard and doing well enough that they can head out and have their own adventures. We raised them all along with the intent of getting them to self-sufficiency. This step is normal and will doubtless continue to mature them, in ways that wouldn’t be likely at home.
But it is going to take awhile for it to feel normal around here. Till then we will work and homeschool and play dominoes and read stories (this one was FABULOUS!!) and do all the normal life things that have been happening in our home for decades. When it gets too quiet we’ll invite the grandbabies over to inject some noise and commotion back in. We’ll zip over to the beach every few weeks to keep tabs on the new fun that’s happening over there.
And eventually we will get back to a new normal, one that will be rich and good in a new and different way.
But right now I’m walking past empty bedrooms and sighing a little. Grabbing favorite treats for the just-moved kids to help stock their new kitchens. Texting them to check in on their new lives. Hugging our youngest two with a little more intensity, determined to enjoy every minute of our time together.
Oh, and making an arts and crafts room for our youngest two girls out of one of those empty bedrooms. We’re thinking an easel and a chalkboard wall, and cubbies for all those art pens and paper and other supplies. Maybe even a place in a corner to leave my sewing machine set up all the time.
(To which my 11 year old says, “Mom, you hardly ever sew.” Well, I might just do it more often if I’ve got my space set up all the time. We’ll see!)
Because change….it’s not always easy. And sometimes adding in a bit of fun (both long-enjoyed and new) eases the way when the changes feel big.