Spring break. The heart aches in the silence of the house. The kids have all moved away now. One is in college and the other just left to room with his buddies. The silence is deafening.
Those big feet that belonged to the male eating machine would constantly pound down the stairs in the morning yelling, "What's for breakfast?"
And, the sound of that incessant blow dryer as she would fuss over her hair for hours each morning, whining loudly, "I hate my hair!"
I miss it very much. The problems of teenagers, with their ever present drama and bad decisions taking a toll on the entire family, seem to be a distant insignificant blip. That entire episode of the teen years seem so harrowing... so incredibly important, then.
I miss them in the house. I miss their friends. I miss the mess strewn throughout the house of misplaced clothing, school books and spilt sticky juice on the counter. I miss it all.
We are an empty nest. A nice tidy home now with everything in its place. It's maddening. I hate this quiet place. The only sound now is our voices and the tv. Every little musical ding in the background, and I am checking my cell phone for their text messages. I seem to wait for their contact everyday.
We are connected by our cell phones and computers. We share our family pictures in the social networking sites like FaceBook. We text each other. Though I would prefer to talk in voice, they both claim that I am old-fashion and no one calls anymore. I miss their voices very much.
What I have done is plan a trip for our family this spring. We are going rafting and camping together. Amazingly, they both agreed and they were both excited. We used to take them when they were adolescents. The wide-eyed amazement on their faces made the rafting trips worth every minute of the hassle of packing them up in the car to drive the miles cooped-up together in the noisy metal box.
I told them to bring a friend with them. That's always fun as I love to watch them interact with their peers. The insights in their conversations tell me so much about their life now. I stopped interrogating them long ago as I discovered that teens and young adults really don't tell you what you really want to know. I know I never told my parents much... only what they wanted to hear.
Soon, they will be arriving only during special occasions with their own children. Soon, they will look at us fondly, and believe that we are wise beyond our years. That day is not here, yet. So, we grab each other on these special whitewater trips to bond and tease each other lovingly. 2011 Spring Break brings us all together again for a family outing...
I miss them so much.
Notes: W.E.T. River Trips honors our families. We now have multiple generations on our whitewater rafting trips. Some have been with us since the late 70's and bring their own children and grandchildren now. Bless all of you and may we enhance your family experience in the best possible way.
All photos by W.E.T. River Trips except for the Family pic at the top. Thanks to Google images for that one and thanks to youtube for the video parody of teens tolerating their parents.