It’s Quiet Around Here

slice of life updated

It’s a little quiet around here. I don’t know where the phrase “empty nest” originated, but I find myself wondering what mama birds feel when their babies take flight. As I drift into still spaces, I picture those mother birds, peering down into empty nests. Do their hearts catch? Do they remember firsts like I do? Does something about the nest feel not quite right?

I hear the hum of the refrigerator in my kitchen, now that there isn’t an episode of Grey’s Anatomy, or the sound of voices from a face-time call, or a heated conversation between teens arguing over an article of clothing, drifting down the stairs from the girls’ bedrooms.

Suddenly, my cozy home feels big. I come home to spotless countertops, an orderly living room, and no wet towels on the bathroom floor.  I think I miss the mess.

The phone rings, and it’s Claire, checking in. She talks fast, and her voice bubbles with enthusiasm. She loves college. I smile- inside and out- and drink in her joy.

It’s a little quiet around here. I keep looking at this photo posted by a friend on social media.

your wings

I think I’d change that last part from “but my heart was not” to “and my heart is catching up.”

10 thoughts on “It’s Quiet Around Here

  1. Hugs to you, Lisa, a poignant post for sure. There are good things about having grown up kids, but I know about this first “quiet”, love that you miss that mess. Glad Clare is off to a great start, and also bet she’ll be calling you still about “stuff”. I posted about this last week on Poetry Friday, knowing that many are seeing their kids off, kindergarten too! Here’s a sweet poem for you, chronicling so many of the stories: https://www.loc.gov/poetry/180/075.html

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a poignant slice. This morning on my way to teach at my middle school in another district, I took the highway that runs parallel to a frontage road dotted with teenagers driving to the high school in the distance. My son took that route last year when he was a senior. He’s living at home attending a local community college now, but I still can’t believe the rush of childhood is past. But then again, I do have the time (and energy) to comment on your post at 9:45 p.m. on a school night!

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  3. Oh I got chills at that picture…and tears, too. I know they are meant to spread their wings and fly but, oh, it is so hard to see them go. I’m at the other end of the academic spectrum- about to send my little guy off to kindergarten. He’s ready to fly and my heart is catching up. Beautiful slice.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. “As I drift into still spaces. . .” “I hear the hum of the refrigerator…” Isn’t it amazing how everything familiar becomes strange and yet remains unchanged when the nest is emptied. I hear your heart. It will catch up, and then it happens all over again when they visit and leave.

    Liked by 1 person

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