The Boomerang Kid

So much for my empty nest!  Just when I was getting used to it being void of offspring, life threw me a curve ball.  A curve ball in the shape of my son, Josh.  Yep, he’s coming home.  He’s quit his job and he’s packing up his things and moving back in.

Though not for long. It’s temporary, he says.  About a month or so. Just until he figures out his next move, and a new career path.  Oh, and, he has his sights set on Chicago. He’s hoping for a fresh start there and I, for one, am rooting for him.

Meet the Boomerang Kid

By moving back in, if only for a short while, Josh is officially becoming another statistic. He is one of tens of thousands of young adults who reach a point in their lives when the best option for them is to move back in with the parental units. And there’s even a name for it, the Boomerang Kids. These homeward bound kids are finding that there really is no place like home…again.

So while, Josh is boomeranging, I have a second chance at bonding time with him.  Last time he lived here was senior year of high school. Everyone knows how kids are at that age, and we certainly know how they can get a bad case of “senioritis,” which for Josh hit somewhere in 9th grade.

But now he’s older and doesn’t mind spending time with me.  So while he’s making a go of his future, I will be biding time, playing the role of a supportive mother.  Here’s my pledge: I will try not to give unwarranted advice, which, I’m afraid, I’m very good at and have already been doing (much to his chagrin, I suppose).  I will try not to get too stressed or too worried about his future. And I will not coddle or dote on him. Nor will I be a nudge. No way. Instead, I will give him his space and act nonchalant, like he’s just a roommate (and not my son), so that he won’t feel like climbing the walls and screaming, “Leave me alone!”

So, I’m preparing for his arrival.  Which means I have to move most of my things out of his room. The very room that over the last decade has become my workspace, my blogging space and a place for me to scrapbook.

While I’m at it, I have to make room in the house for all of his possessions!  He’s bringing home boatloads of stuff.  It’s amazing how much we can accumulate in just a short time, which in his case is eight years. Eight years of books, magazines, video games, CD’s, DVD’s, not to mention, two guitars, three basketballs and one football.

And if I know my son, he’s packing up all these things in beat up, old boxes and Hefty trash bags, which he’ll scatter all over my humble abode. Well, so much for trying to keep my place semi-organized and tidy. When it comes right down to it, that’s what I’m really dreading: the clutter. Yuck. All that clutter is sure to muddle my brain and get me all discombobulated.

So I’m waiting for his arrival.  Any minute, his car will pull up and the process of unloading will begin.  I’m ready.  Here’s hoping it all works out for him (and for me!). And here’s hoping that no one’s climbing the walls in 30 days.  Yes, it’s off to another adventure!

Empty Nest, Indeed

Sarah, during freshman orientation. Clearly, she had no qualms about leaving me behind, in my empty nest.

It’s time to partition off my life again now that my daughter, Sarah, has returned to school. She’s a sophomore now and you’d think, having survived my oldest child’s departure as well as Sarah’s freshman year, that this would be old hat. But Sarah was home all summer, giving me a taste of life pre-empty nest and spoiling me rotten by wanting to spend time with me—the little fiend! Sigh.  And now she’s gone, and all I can say is,

Vaya con Dios!

Turns out, I’m pretty good at partitioning off my life. Sarah’s gone? Well, I’ll just close my Sarah box and put it on a shelf until she returns for winter break. Now that I’ve tucked away her box, the Work box just got a little bigger. Oh, and now there’s more room for my Blog box too!  Josh coming down this weekend to see a San Diego Charger‘s game with me?  Better dust off his box and get it ready.

By keeping myself organized in this way, I can focus on the here and now.  Kind of like when Scarlett O’Hara didn’t want to bother thinking about what wasn’t right in front of her and said, “Fiddle-dee-dee! I’ll just think about it tomorrow at Tara.”  Trust me, by concentrating on what is in front of me, and not pining for what is beyond my control (Sarah off at school and not here), I can find fulfillment in the present and in what I’m doing now.  Empty nest, indeed!

9-6-09 Empty Nest

Empty Nest, indeed. (Photo taken by roswellsgirl via Flickr.)

Of course, I first started to brace myself for the empty nest syndrome when my first child, Josh was a mere six months old.  He had awoken in the middle of the night, crying to be fed. While I rocked him back to sleep, this sweet bundle of a boy, it suddenly hit me:  My son would be wanting to move out soon.

Oh, sure 18 years seemed like a long time away, but not to me. That was his “sell by” date. Do you have any idea how fast 18 years can go?  Have you heard the expression, “time flies” or “gone with the wind?”  How about “gone in a flash” or “later, gator?” (That last one has nothing to do with the speed of time, but a friend of mine says it a lot so I thought I’d throw it in.)

So basically, the only reason Josh woke up that night—and every other night until he was three—was because he wanted nourishment so he could grow into a healthy and strong young man and be fully prepared to leave me. His big goodbye.  His swan song.  Adios, amigo, it’s been swell!  Later, gator! And sure enough, like clockwork, 18 years came and went and all I have now are the memories of my little boy. Empty nest, indeed. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

Thankfully, I have my partitioned boxes. A box for Josh, and one for Sarah. Another for friends, for work, for my dog, and for my extracurricular activities. There’s even a box for shopping. These are the boxes I’m using now. They are the sum parts of my life and I switch them out, depending on the moment.  For these boxes keep me sane and keep me motivated. Most of all, they keep me happy.