Both my sons moved out earlier this year. The oldest to the inner city. Where he feels comfortable. Among the buzz of hip life. Full of intellectuals, hipsters m, wannabes, freaks, drop outs, young urbane types.
My youngest has moved out with another young lad from our street to a flat on the harbour at Kirribilli, that looks directly onto the Opera House. No one can believe what they are paying. The views are to die for. And with its gentility, it’s more The Dreamer’s scene than the city and inner west. He can skate or train across the bridge to the city and then escape back north.
Both are keeping their rooms here. And the spare room which has lots of their stuff. And shoes on the front porch!!!
Even if I was so inclined, I couldn’t empty their rooms. Mr S wouldn’t let me. He wants to boys to be able to come home any time they want.
Older Boy comes back quite often. He is a member of an athletics club close by and he trains with them. He might sleep here about once a fortnight. Or drop by for dinner.
Younger boy is back several times a week – sleeping here about twice a week.
He also comes to wash, to eat dinner with us or to eat whatever we had for dinner (we often cook double quantities to save cooking every night). On being asked, “What’s for dinner?” I asked if he thought dad and I might be cooking for two now. The look on his face told me he hadn’t even considered that option. He just assumed there’d always be enough for him too. Well, there is but it means we will have to cook another night too. And to be honest, Mr S always cooks for about twenty people.
The Dreamer has also said he is returning when his lease is up in June. So he has not really moved out – not physically, not mentally, not permanently.
So while we get several nights a week as empty nesters, we are not really empty nesters. Will we ever be?
I don’t feel deserted. How can I be? They’re here frequently.
I don’t feel at a loose end. I have never defined myself as a mother. Anyway, I am still a mother. Mothering was never my whole purpose and I didn’t live through my boys’ lives.
I can’t miss their mess because it is still here.
I don’t miss their company because we still catch up. One weekend we all went to an engagement party. Next weekend, we all went out for lunch and drinks and chat in the city. And then there’s the nights they’re here. And The Dreamer works at my school a couple of days a week.
I quite like the quiet. No SHOUTY computer game talk. No midnight feasting, klompimg around the kitchen, tinging of the microwave. No loud, not my taste, music.
So no grief here. But then maybe it’s because the nest really isn’t empty as much as it is that I have other things in my life besides mothering?
What do you think? Have you suffered empty nest syndrome?
What I’ve just read: I have several books on the go. None finished yet.
What I’ve been watching: started the investigative 3 part series into the fire in the ghost train ride fire at Sydney’s Luna Park in 1979. I couldn’t watch most of episode 1. It was too harrowing. I felt dread at the thought that the producer was just bringing up the pain of the families of those boys who died so she could have a sensational show; promising them a “real” answer rather than an electrical fault. But fuck, it was powerful and emotional and well done. No one who watched wouldn’t be in tears. Unless you kept turning it to mute and looking away like me. So you could say I didn’t really watch it. But I did watch some, even more without sound.
My pick for the week: Fisk. Written by and staring my favourite female comedian, Kitty Flanagan. Cringy, laugh out loud, nodding in agreement with situations. It’s great. I love the young comedian, Aaron Chen, who plays the “Webmaster”. All round brilliant cast.