Not So Empty Nest

Our family is wrapping up five days of delightful reunion.   Spring Break brought some Peterson children home!  Some of you are in a similar stage, and I know you know- it is simply rich to have your grown children back under your roof; laughing, talking, teasing, and eating you out of house and home.

When your children are small, you know, at least intellectually, that the day will come when your Saturdays are not chock full of soccer games, birthday parties, and piles of laundry to wash so you can do it all again next week.  For better or worse, life is so daily and so demanding, there isn’t much time for sentimental contemplation.

But sometimes, in a particularly poignant moment that usually happened while we withdrew from the world a bit and took the kids backpacking or on a road trip, I would weep tears that mingled something like two parts gratitude with one part sadness because I could hear the sand whistling through the hourglass of our threesome’s childhoods. I just couldn’t help it.  I knew those moments were fast and fleeting, and very, very special.

I’m making my peace with the increasing emptiness of our nest (I’m not going to lie- there are some perks, and it is good for grown children to take care of themselves!), but I am so grateful for the “As Good As It Gets” moments our family has had, especially as they grow more rare. I treasure them, and try not to suck the life out of them by capturing, clutching, and caging them up so I can preserve them. Instead, I try to breathe them in, enjoy them, and release them with a whisper of thanksgiving.

Oh yes…and cajole my three into letting me snap a few pictures…

three shrugging

The body language says it all…

Thank you Father God,

For snippets of time to make memories with those we love,

The fleeting nature of these moments sweetens their significance,

Heightens the happiness at being in one place at one time.

Minutes made to be lived fully,

Drunk up and delighted in,

But not clasped and clutched

So close that they lose their flavor.


Though time is unbounded, unbroken to you,

You bless us with singularly special hours,

Overflowing with tender affection, remembrances,

And a good deal of silliness.

Thank you, thank you, Father God.

Thank you for the “As Good As It Gets” moments,

And for the occasionally, not-so-empty-nest.


kpeterson   march 2013

Snuck this one in while they watched surfers enjoying some Cambria waves.

Snuck this one in while they watched surfers enjoying some Cambria waves.


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2 Responses to Not So Empty Nest

  1. Annette says:

    How wonderful that you knew intuitively that those “little” years wouldn’t last forever and you chose to savor them. I think many of us mom’s often miss that inner message as we navigate the daily demands of life within a family where we are often the hub of the wheel that keeps it spinning. I love when my big kids all come together….those are precious times these days. I love to see their camaraderie, and the inside jokes of life with their goofy parents. lol Your family is beautiful and you are so very blessed.

  2. Mmm. Thank you Annette. That camaraderie is sweet to behold.

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