Just an off handed comment, a throw away really, yet it had so much impact on the recipient. Words are funny like that, aren't they?
"I don't live here anymore."
"Wait, what?" I thought, "Yes you do!"
No, she doesn't.
I am doing my best to navigate year one of the Empty Nest, but to be honest it's hit or miss. My husband travels for work and inexplicably the travel follows an unfortunate pattern. My daughter comes home for a month or a week or a weekend, she returns to school, and then he leaves for a few days or a week or a month. Then the new reality hits me like a ton of bricks.
She doesn't live here anymore.
This is followed by the admission that I don't want to live here. Here is a way station, temporary housing, and it is simultaneously isolated and exposed. I waver between digging into the tiny Fortress of Solitude and making escape plans. I miss my friends. I miss my family. I miss being the me I used to be before I transitioned into The Empty Nester Farm Lady. To be quite frank, I'm not enjoying the current location or situation.
I miss her. I miss him. I miss me.
I don't miss 'the three dog-migos' though. They're ever present, as is the proliferation of hair that has coated nearly everything in this tiny apartment. How do three small dogs create this much hair? It would be impressive if it weren't so disgusting. Also, the barking is incessant, because the barn apartment is above a barn, which is a hubbub of barn-like activity. The barn noises activate the barking. We have at least five ear splitting barking shows a day. Ain't we got fun?
No, we ain't...but we retain hope.
At least we have warm puppy snuggles. These mostly make up for copious amounts of hair and barking, if I take off my glasses and wear ear plugs. Ah, much better.
I don't want to be isolated. I don't want to be The Empty Nester Farm Lady. I want to be around the people who like me and get me. Oddly enough, they aren't hiding here in the middle of nowhere. I don't like the scenery or the weather or the allergies. I was clear about that long before we relocated.
We can't always get what we want.
I'm not sure I have what I need, but sometimes you have to take one for the team.
This is a temporary location. I tell myself this every day. I tell myself this when she says she doesn't live here anymore. I think maybe if I lived somewhere more compelling, she'd want to stay. I dream of ocean breezes and warm days filled with sunshine in a cottage with big windows flooded with light just a walk away from a charming cafe where I might sit and sip on a glass of champagne and work on my novel. I imagine fabulous, fascinating friends meeting me for fabulous, fascinating conversations on my fabulous, fascinating patio watching a fabulous, fascinating sunset.
I imagine her coming to visit, turning to me with a huge smile and saying,
"I wish I lived here!"
My dear child, so do I.