Prelude To An Empty Nest

Friday. For so long it was my favorite day. Friday meant I got to spend two full, uninterrupted days with my family. Since my divorce, Friday has become something else entirely.

Every other Friday morning I kiss my daughter good bye, knowing that her father will pick her up before I get off work and it will be two long days before I see her again.

I try to drag the work day out. Searching for unfinished projects that need my immediate attention. Anything to make the work day as long as possible and delay going home to an empty house.

Before the divorce I never came home to an empty house. Sure, there were times when my daughter went to a friends house after school, but I knew it was short lived. Before I knew it she would be home ready to share the stories of her day.

These Friday’s are different. This empty house is different. It is so quiet and I know it will be a while before it is once again filled with noise and mess and little girl giggles.

Every week I try to make plans, things to do, lunch with a friend, coffee with my sister, shopping with someone else. At the end of all of it, I still come home to an empty house.

My daughter has a room I didn’t help decorate. She sits at a table I didn’t pick out and eats food I didn’t prepare and tonight, I don’t get to tuck her in. I think about all of this as I stand before the open refrigerator eating cheese, wondering what to make for my dinner for one.

I’m trying to enjoy this time, to think of it as my time to do what I want, when I want, without having to be responsible for anyone but me. Is this how it feels to have an empty nest?One day it will be worse than a weekend at Dad’s. One day she will go to college, get married, live in her own space. Then the quiet will continue, what happens then?