The children are gone. The nest is empty. Save the occasional visit by grandchildren, there’s no pitter patter of little feet. The television volume is where it should be. Off.
In fact, there’s hardly any sound at all these days. The house is quiet, except for the occasional email alert on the computer, the air conditioner going on, then off.
The sounds children make while growing up make a house a home. There was always music blaring in the background, a television show that no one was watching. Throughout the teenage years we had a glimpse of what was to come as both boys developed a social life beyond home.
Surfing, the car, basketball, Friday nights out with friends. All those tend to mute the sounds of a happy home, though it happens gradually, over time, sort of like the way that grass grows. You can’t see it happening but the change can be noticed every few days.
The nest is empty. It’s quiet. Relaxing.
There’s more time for thought, introspection, planning, and memories. In many respects I’m glad the next is empty. It shows that the effort in raising children to become adults was met with some success, and the children don’t need parents watching over their shoulders.
For those of you with children who dread the day of reckoning, that day the nest empties, fear not. The peace is good. The job is done.
Mostly. They keep coming back. And with their own offspring.
The nest may be empty, but it’s not barren.