Empty Nesting…

When I was 19 and walking down a wedding aisle, I gave no thought to this current season of my life.

I was naive and giddy, excited to begin the adventure of marriage. I was ready for this fairy tale…the happily ever after… or so I thought.

  
Looking back, all I can say is, “oh my….”.  We were clueless, as most couples are, about the work marriage is.  Two dysfunctional people, who don’t know they are dysfunctional, loaded down with emotional baggage and unrealistic expectations….oh my…

Before our two year anniversary we celebrated the birth of our daughter. Before our 5 year anniversary we welcomed our son into our little family.

If you have followed my blog, you are familiar with my story of being the adult child of an alcoholic.  Our family life was disrupted over and over again with the drama addiction brought into our lives.  Every 2-3 years, I was leaving my husband and children to sit in a hospital room, as my dad had again drank himself to death’s door. We were always open and honest with our children, in age appropriate terms, about what was transpiring and why grandpa was “sick” again. Little did we know that our openness and honesty was laying the groundwork for how we would relate to our children as they became adults and how they would relate to those around them.

I did not parent perfectly…shocker isn’t it?!  I was a smother mother, control freak, sometimes screaming crazy woman.  

Over the years, as I have pursued my emotional healing and God has faithfully been restoring me by His grace, I have apologized to my children for failing them.  I have given them the freedom to come to me at any point in time and honestly share their feelings with me about how my behavior hurt them.
I did not want the secrecy and “sweep it under the rug” mentality that I had grown up with to continue on to another generation….and another….and another…

It never fails, every time we are all together, my children and their spouses relish in telling “mom” stories.  It used to twist my heart and I would overcompensate by trying to fix it by apologizing all over again. (Add “fixer” to my imperfect parenting traits!)  Now I am able to relax and just laugh with them. I know they don’t bring the past up to be cruel or to exact revenge.  The reality is, the past is woven into the fabric of our lives along with forgiveness and restoration, love and respect.

The caption for the image of the empty nest above is…”seeds-in-birds-nest”.  When my children left home, I remember sitting in their empty rooms and weeping.  I didn’t know what my life would be like without them.  In His all knowing mercy and provision, God had already lined my empty nest with seeds that would sprout into many yet unknown paths, adventures, heartaches and the most delightful joys called grandchildren. 

And for almost 38 years, my husband and I continue to live out our “fairy tale” one day at a time….one argument at a time….one kiss at a time…

Lately, my favorite verse of Scripture has been Proverbs 31:25.  In the New English Translation it reads….”She is clothed with strength and honor, and she can laugh at the time to come.”

I’m laughing…..I hope you are too…