Wednesday, March 16, 2005

The Emptying Nest

I took a board out of the kitchen table.

Matt left this morning on a road trip to Ohio with two of his friends. Amy is off in New York City having great adventures such as walking down Broadway and talking with a Real-Live Jewish woman.

So our table was much too big and we had to stretch across the butter dish to hold hands to pray.

I used to think that when I got my children through teething and tying shoes and Bible Memory Camp and algebra and graduation then I would be DONE, finished, on to another project.

I also used to think that my mom worried way too much about me after I was gone from home. Why did it matter so much that I called her to let her know I got safely to where I was going? Why did she take such an interest in my friends, my health, my car? I mean, it was nice, but why should she trouble herself?

Now I understand. It is said that when you become a mom, you will for the rest of your life have your heart walking around outside your body. Your heart doesn’t go back in its proper place when the children grow up, because part of mine is off in NYC and another part driving through the Cascade Mountains.

And some day, when my heart is scattered in six different places across the globe, will it expand its capacity to include grandchildren in this indescribable, vulnerable combination of love and pride and fear?

If I follow in my mom’s footsteps in this as well, I’ll have plenty of love to go around. And I’ll be happiest when we stretch out the table to its full length, slap in all the boards, and have the whole family sitting around it.

Quote of the Day:
"That could be a fascinating estuarial situation."
--Byran, the nephew that got me started blogging, on the possibility of both fellow-Mennonites and ‘very un-Mennonite people’ intersecting at this blog


  1. For the rest of us who aren't in college:

    1. The part of the wide lower course of a river where its current is met by the tides.
    2. An arm of the sea that extends inland to meet the mouth of a river.

    adj : of or relating to or found in estuaries

  2. Thank you, Hans! I hate to admit it, but I wasn't certain what was being said. I knew what an estuary was, but I'd never heard the adjective form.

  3. Dorcas, I want to play you a song sometime. I want to play it for my mom too. It makes me a little sad - certainly sentimental - when I think about it in the context of me moving away across the country and stuff.

    I'm lonesome for my children,
    They live so far away.
    I pray they hear my callin',
    And come back home someday.

    There really, truly, is no place like home!

  4. Experienced mom and grandmother3/29/2005 9:04 AM

    I can't imagine where the term "Empty Nest" originated. It only gets fuller, not emptier!

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