For the first time in over 16 years, I’ve been home alone. Husband is back in LA and my sons are scattered. My mind is so used to multi tasking that it took me some time to settle; to recognize that once I put myself to bed, that’s it, I just need to go to bed. A few weeks ago Husband caught me so upset and wondered what was wrong. I told him that our eldest was going to go to college soon and that our lives would never be the same. He tried to be caring through his laughter and wonderment that I could be bereft of a situation that isn’t going to happen for two more years! I looked at him equally incredulously wondering how he couldn’t feel the same way.
Empty nest. Now here I am in London, in our home, alone. It’s only for a night or two and my eldest does come back during the day, a bit. But it’s like a trial test for me to see what I feel like when they are all gone. Answer…alone/ish. It’s not a real test when I know next week will be loud and chaotic again, but sensing the nest emptying makes me feel a bit nervous and sad, if I’m honest. Husband’s been telling me to make sure I look after myself during these years so that I have my own sense of Self when they all go. How the hell does a full time mom do that?
The dilemma is in the title of the job description – Full Time Mom. Like any other job, it leaves time for hobbies and ‘other jobs’ on the side and often left unfinished. No moaning here, just reality check on what is possible for me, anyway.
Having said that, the quiet allows me to think longer than a minute and carry those thoughts to words. I haven’t written in a while because I haven’t had time to get into that zone of reflection. LA end of school year followed straight into our trip to Israel for my son’s bar mitzvah with his cousins, bnei mitzvah it’s called. We traveled there for two weeks with our whole family and some great friends. Insanely beautiful country; both the people and the place. Israel is rich in flavors and colors and culture. The troubles there leave you walking away profoundly sad for all the common ground shared that is a missed opportunity for peace. Much of the people we met were non political and wishing for peace. They had kids and dreams and hopes that don’t involve hate or judgement. The radical few dictating the future of the masses resulting in sirens in daylight forcing you to take cover. This should not be.
And now here in London. Our tenant left unexpectedly and even more of a surprise was the state she left our house in. It’s too annoying and disgusting to dwell on but needless to say, it’s taken a month to fix everything and get our family’s energy back into these walls. My conflict with renting this house remains; I don’t want to. The reality is in the obvious financial gain and the hopes that the house is better off with someone living in it. I look around the space as I sit here on my own and actually sense that these walls can talk. They are telling me of the disrespect of the last tenant and her groupies that lived here, and are wishing for better people next time. It’s madness I know to project emotions from plaster board and brick. But there is a soul to this house, this ground, and I can feel it.
Maybe I’ve been home alone too long? Think it’s time to venture out and get a coffee and stop talking to my house. It probably thinks I’m crazy.