What’s the opposite of empty nest?

You may recall reading my posts expressing mixed emotions of lonliness and pride as I waved two of my four children off to college. You’ve kindly continued to read my blog as I’ve waaahed about my family being halved, and the fact I can’t seem to adjust my cooking to allow for the reduction.

Well news flash… they are home. No more dropping in for the weekend. They are home to stay.photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/23797059@N02/4285924910">clean up time!</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/">(license)</a>

The college year is over. Can we just think on that one for a moment. They left in September, it is now the end of May… those of us who do not go to college would call that nine months. Seemingly we are wrong, for they burst in the door between Friday and Sunday two weeks ago, laden with black bags and cases filled with clothes, duvets, lamps, shoes, photos and other bits. The only bag I have yet to fall over is a bag filled with college books. I’m assuming it’s all on their laptops, but I dare not ask.

The washing machine is exhausted, the clothes horse broken and the dryer costing us a fortune, yet there is no sign of the laundry baskets coming close to empty. Music is blaring and the ‘weekly’ shopping consumed by day four. Every room in the house has a body in it, and sometimes other bodies too, as friends call by to catch up.

As the days  have passed I can feel the new, old norm returning. From the moment they breezed in they have breathed life back into the house. That first evening I watched as they ditched bags in their bedrooms before emerging to resume the life they left. I smiled from a distance as sisters sat on the couch, legs intertwined, filling the house for hours with the hum of their gossip, surprising me with their familiarity with each other, despite the time they had spent apart. Since their return the dinner table is once again a place of gathering, where laughter and rows continue long after the meal has ended, and various perfumes and aftershaves fill the air.

Indeed my brood are back under one roof. At days end I can sit and relax as one by one they come to say goodnight. Later as I turn off my bedside light I put away my phone; no good night texts to write, no phone calls to fear.

They are home, and all is good in my world.

photo credit: clean up time! via photopin (license)

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21 thoughts on “ What’s the opposite of empty nest?

  1. That’s so lovely. In the US it seems that once the kids turn 18 they go to college and never return home again, apart from the odd weekend here and there. I’m sure yours have summer plans, but it’s nice to have a summer at home now and then before heading off for the big wide world.

    1. It comes around so quickly once they go to secondary school the time just flies.
      I am a terror for holding onto them, but they are plenty independent despite that. I suppose now they are this age I am aware a clock is ticking, and these days cannot last forever. I think it’s been my favourite part of parenting so far. I did love the many years of little ones, but this feels like payback.
      It’s all ahead of you. Enjoy every step.

    1. Thank you.
      It’s good to know when life is going well, while it is going well. For time teaches us that could change in a heartbeat. Tonight I’m happy. 🙂

  2. Mine have been gone for a long time (they’re 33, 30, and 24) and I am still not used to it. I think that’s why I grasp at any chance to have us all together. It’s only about once a year and only for about two days at that but I love having all of us together, even when the all of us now includes spouses and significant others.

    I know you’ll enjoy yours, regardless how many times you trip over one of their bags!

  3. i love this, tric. one of my fave posts ever. how wonderful when the house if full of life and love and all the little chicks back under one roof. the aussies have decided to move back to the states this summer and i anticipate this feeling in advance. )

  4. The cycles of life, you think you have all the time in the world when they are little, then it seems like overnight they are spreading their wings and flying out into the world on their own. I love when they come home, and I’m sad when they leave, but they know that they are forever in my heart and prayers.

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