What are you going to do for YOU?
My friend’s mother asked me this over dinner when I again got weepy about my daughter and my hurt feelings because she doesn’t want to come home anymore. She’s launched herself with velocity out of the nest and is happily ensconced in another nest with her lover. She says she is happy and for that I must be glad, of course, and of course, I am. But.
I just never thought it would unfold like this. But what do I know?
I’ve been moaning and crying for the last three years about my daughter’s perceived ill treatment of me. But my friend’s mother seemed to see it differently, and what she said echoed what my son has been saying for a long time.
“Stop focusing on her. Focus on yourself. Your Self. What do you want to do?”
I used to say, glibly, blithely, “I expected to have the worst empty nest syndrome, but I’m fine! I’m having fun!” I said that for months when both kids departed. I thought it was true.
But I think I must have thought, assumed, that they hadn’t really left the nest, i.e., they were on trial flights of various sorts, but I would always be the main home, or at least I would still be the main home for the foreseeable.
Not having that be true for my daughter, my second child, my youngest, is a shock. I feel cheated, ripped off. Other mothers, my friends, have children who come home during the summer, who come home for Christmas. My daughter is busy playing house with her amor. She can’t come “home.” To her mind, I suppose, she is home.
All of this stings.
To add to the mix, I recently moved. I’ve spent the last two weeks painstakingly setting up my daughter’s new bedroom for her arrival. Even after she “reminded” me that she was “house-sitting” (with her loved one), I only got derailed for about a day before I returned to working on her room, erecting little shrines to her and the past all over the place. It’s macabre. And desperately sad.
She’s not coming home. My friend’s mother said, “Make it a guest room.” My son has been saying that for some time.