Friday, February 26, 2010

M.T. Nestus Interruptus

My son came home from school for the week-end. His goals appeared two-fold: to go shopping with his Dad for rugby equipment and to spend time with his local friends. My agenda was different; I hoped for some (not much) meaningful communication. The first hour of his homecoming was the best for me. We talked (really talked) about his classes, his social life, athletics vs. Greek life, and such. He showed me a paper he’d written about Franz Kafka’s Metamorphosis. I could hardly believe my ears... my baby boy reading Kafka? The boy that left home in August for the wilds of Long Island has indeed begun to evolve.

And so began a week-end of M.T. Nestus Interruptus (brief interruption of a budding empty nest).  I walked a fine between being the observer who remained silent as my son made his own decisions and being the helicopter mom who never remained silent about anything. I worried about my son’s still developing amygdala (the emotional part of the brain that contributes to reckless teen behavior) and the testosterone pumping through his adolescent-ravaged body. I hoped (as always) he was mature and commonsensical enough to make good choices.

My honey and I have been getting used to the prospect of life as empty nesters, comfortable in the knowledge that it’s only temporary for now while our children are away at school. Our daily habits have changed substantially. Our weekly shopping excursions yield fewer bags of foods and snacks. Dinnertime at home is generally late, while dining out is commonly early. I don’t have to share my car. Best of all is the noticeable absence of a mess in every corner of the house (except for my paperwork which is everywhere).  We seem to worry less about what our children are up to.  Maybe it’s believing they are safe in a controlled environment, or perhaps it's because we’ve discovered some magnificent distractions.

It’s all good: an empty nest, M.T. Nestus Interruptus, and M.T. Nestus Resuminus (return to the delights of an empty nest). But best of all for me is a Snow Day (like today) in which I’m snowed in with my husband and the children are safely snowed in away at school. 

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