I am officially an empty nester now. I can’t complain. I mean, my son lives a half mile away and my daughter lives just shy of five miles away.
This is actually our second time around with an empty nest. The first time was not fun. In fact, my husband and I felt downright lost when our just turning 19 year old son moved to California just six months after our daughter moved to Georgia. And it only got worse when the situation turned sour very quickly for our son. An apprenticeship that he had worked very hard to get accepted into was just not turning out to be what he had been promised and the disappointment compounded his homesickness. The situation was much better for our daughter until towards the end of the two years she spent teaching in an Atlanta suburb.
At some point in time, I gave this whole situation a Little House spin. I mean, what would you expect?
Many years ago, 1984 to be exact, when I was a young single mom, my parents moved to Florida from Michigan. That was such a difficult time for me and my daughter. Long distance phone calls were very expensive. Per minute charges added up very quickly and we were on a strict budget. My parents had some high phone bills with two daughters and two grandchildren here in Michigan! My mother began a wonderful tradition of very often sending the kids notes or postcards with a little drawing of her and my dad (often dressed in seasonal garb). It was the such a wonderful way to stay connected with these faraway grandchildren (and the two more that would come along). They all looked forward to them too, even as they got older.
When my daughter went away to college, cell phone coverage was spotty, but I learned to email. A lot.
Then, when my own kids moved far away, times had changed. We had cell phones and I began to text. A lot. I learned to love texting!
So…the Little House connection?
I cannot even begin to imagine watching my children (or my parents) drive away in a covered wagon (or Ford Focus) and not knowing if I would ever see them again, or when I would receive that long awaited letter letting me know that all is well.
I am very thankful for technology. And I think Laura would be too.