There’s a man with a missing tooth in my space. I’m not surprised to find him here, after all I did invite him. To clean my carpets. They haven’t been cleaned in a very long time, because I dislike people in my space.
So I’ve moved my laptop, two books, two phones and a calendar to the room he said he’d clean last and I realize I’m very portable—even if set in my ways. Front door, back door, garage door—they’re all open, but Grendal is safe at my feet. This shouldn’t take too long, I tell myself, knowing that having this man with the missing tooth in my space will wreak havoc on my goals. I had hoped to be 44,000 thousand words into Losing Penny by tomorrow. I’m about 7,000 words short—doable, but definitely a stretch. Especially with someone in my space.
We’ve lived in our house for almost 17 years. We moved in when my twins were four days old. They’ll leave for school in a year. Every day we get college brochures in the mail, asking the girls to apply. Yale, Cornell, Boston College, schools that never would have written and asked for my application. We’re on a steep and slippery slope until they’re gone.
I know kids come and go. Adam is living at home after a decade of schooling. Bethany, Brandon, their two boys, and four friends are coming this weekend for a chiropractic convention. This weekend my household will swell from five to thirteen.
My friend had six whole month of empty-nesthood and now she has two married daughters, sons-in-laws and a grandchild moving in. She’s recarpeted, painted and gutted bedrooms to make room for them.
And this is what this stage of life is all about, watching your children come and go, making space for them in your house and your heart when they need you—and then trying to fill the empty space when they go….because they will go.
It’s what we came here to do. To love, to try and make the world a little bit better, and then leave.