Word Count: 465
In and Out of My Life
By Peg Scarano
Sometimes you need to experience a heart filled with loneliness in order to truly appreciate the fullness of a heart bursting with love and the peaceful feeling of family and home. Kids are key.
When they are little, loneliness is a foreign concept – so far away and out of reach. But when they grow up and move away – foreign takes on a whole new meaning.
The oxymoron of it all is this: You spend your entire life teaching your children to be independent, to make wise choices and to grow into their own person and live their own lives. If you are not successful at your parenting, they may stick around and become a thorn in your side. However, if you are successful, they do just what you taught them to do – pack up their bags, books and belongings and begin their own life adventures without ever looking back.
You cannot admonish them for making great choices and following flourishing careers. You can only pat yourselves on the back and congratulate each other for doing such a great job raising them and then spend lonely days being proud of their accomplishments.
Holidays become even more special than they used to be. They are like birthdays and Christmas for little children – anticipated with such joy and eagerness. Preparations for the homecoming means more work, but even changing the sheets, buying extra groceries, baking, cooking, setting the table and cleaning become less of a chore and more a part of the anticipation of making new memories and sharing quality time all together.
Finally, the day comes when they arrive! It’s a very long day filled with anxiety about everyone arriving safely whether they are flying or driving. My stomach is aflutter with butterflies as if I were going to my first prom. While the last minute preps are not getting my hair, make-up and nails done, it is just as important to check each bedroom to be sure everything is just as it should be and make certain all of their favorite foods and treats are ready and in plain sight.
Here come the cars. The dog jumps out prancing and bounding with excitement. Out roll the girls dancing up the walk with their smiles lighting up the darkness of the evening. This is the feeling I love in my heart. They all rush in the door to get warm, but I don’t need the heat of the furnace to keep me warm. They warm me to my soul.
All too soon our dance comes to an end. More precious memories have been embedded in my spirit and I will relive these along with the older ones and fight my loneliness until the next time my children dance back into my life to make it whole again.