On Sunday I received a phone call from the foreign exchange student coordinator a couple hours after my daughter moved out.
Sunday was a bittersweet day.
On Sunday, my best friend became a grandma for the first time.
On Sunday, it’s been a year and a day since my close friend lost her daughter in a fiery car crash.
On Sunday, my daughter moved 4 hours away and is not planning on living at home again.
I was feeling down as you can probably imagine.
My oldest daughter moved out, my son is off pet sitting this week, and my youngest daughter is volunteering this week as a camp cook. I’m feeling the empty nest kick in. I realized that I may have a harder time with this whole empty nest thing than I thought.
I’ve been a caregiver since I can remember. I was my autistic brother’s “second mom”. I also helped with my other two younger brothers.
In college, I was a caregiver for an elderly woman with Alzheimer’s and a middle aged man with Paranoid Schizophrenia. I took care of my brother Matt up until after I had several kids of my own. I also took care of my Aunt Grace when she had dementia. I provided day care for several children when my kids were little.
I don’t know what it is like to not take care of someone and the thought is a little scary.
As I was crying and feeling sorry for myself, the phone rang. The foreign exchange program coordinator called and said she had an emergency situation. One of the host parents for a student from Germany ended up getting into a serious motorcycle accident and broke her back. This student was really into music and needed a home.
I was wondering what to do with my daughter’s empty room. So we filled it. Now we will be hosting two foreign exchange students starting next month, Estelle from France and Clara from Germany.
I feel like my life has meaning again. I suppose most people get another pet once they start emptying the nest. Not me, I guess you could say I am rather extreme.
Even though it might be stressful having 3 teenagers in the house again, I am going to enjoy this last year of chaos before I have an empty nest.
By the time next year rolls around, I might actually be okay with only taking care of me.