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