Our six children arrived in a fifteen-year span of time. This year it will be twenty years since the first one left the nest. The last one will be married in July at the age of 27. Some of our friends have been empty nesters for many years and we are about to join their ranks.
Gerald bought a house in January and started moving into it in February. The first couple weeks he was still here about half the time but now is spending more time there than here. He still brings his laundry home and sleeps here once in awhile. And he is quite willing to accept cooked meals and baked things to take with him. His room here has not changed much except that his clothes are gone. His desk and other things will not leave until closer to the wedding when the house is more ready for his bride to join him there.
The house was a one-owner built in the 1940s by a man who died last September at the age of 101. He lived with his son the last eighteen months of his life so the house was empty for nearly two years. Kelly is finishing her degree and will graduate in May so she does not have a lot of time to spend at the house. This month I've been trying to go about once a week to do some serious cleaning. I tackled the kitchen first so it would be fit to eat in there. Now I'm working on the upstairs.
Having Gerald move gradually is making it easier for me to adjust to an "empty nest." I am getting some practice in cooking for two and getting used to not having anyone else around when we get up in the morning. No more talking in whispers because someone is still sleeping.
I felt blessed to be able to have children at home for more than forty years but the inevitable is coming to pass and it's time to let go. It is good to know our children are all able to take care of themselves. But our nest is not really empty. There are still two of us here.