mid-Life · Motherhood

You Say Goodbye, I Say Hello

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Dear Anne,

It’s been a week of revolving doors around our house. I walked in the door from my trip to “America’s Favorite Bridge Tournament” in Gatlinburg to a living room filled with boxes and furniture, three extra cars in my driveway and a fourth dog in my kitchen. Jack and his girlfriend Alex had arrived from Oklahoma with Bruno in tow (not to mention three U-Haul pods full of stuff), staying with us while looking to settle near Jack’s new base assignment in New Jersey. The living room was Gordon’s staging area, filling up with the stuff he’d collected (and the furniture he’d made) while living with us the last three years since his college graduation–all in preparation for his own move west.

These last couple of weeks have been the first time the twins have been together in seven years (except for some brief holiday visits). It’s been so special to see the two of them interacting as friends, especially since I remember a few middle- and high school-age altercations, most notably the great Senior Prom Dust Up of 2010. I was unfortunately called in to referee that one, madly texting “No you MAY NOT leave your brother stranded in the parking lot!” and “Go back and get him RIGHT NOW!” So it’s a little poignant that just as they have some time together as adults, just as they are back living in the same city, Gordon is off to an exciting new opportunity in Nevada.

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Packing up and moving out!

What have I done in response to all this activity, you ask? The first thing on my agenda was to come down with bronchitis. Our friend Chandi says that this was God’s way of telling me to sit down and rest a bit. Considering I lost my voice, I think it was God’s way of telling me to sit down and shut up for a while. (I’m practicing for my future role as mother of the groom.)

After I recovered (sort of), I began to feel a strange urge to fix all those little things that I’ve ignored and replace those well-worn items that never bothered me before. The uneven flagstones that weeds love to grow between? The faucet that’s slowed to a trickle? The once lovely bedroom carpet that is past it’s prime? I addressed all of them in one week. I’ve passed along a dresser, two chairs and and several lamps to the kids. I’m making plans to get rid of my height-of-style-in-the-90’s armoire and re-do Gordon’s room. Could I possibly be nesting again?

When I was expecting the twins, I went through that cleaning and decorating phase to make the nest ready for their arrival. Now that I’m watching them move off into real adult lives, having conversations about mortgages and marriage and stock options, I’m back to cleaning and improving the (now empty) nest. It feels right to move into my new future in a home arranged and decorated with hubby and me in mind, not the family with three active sons we once were.  But I’m not purging all our old furniture just yet.  Those bunk beds upstairs are waiting for your kiddos–and maybe for some other little ones who might come into my life!

Love,

Susan

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