Megan and her 3 sweet ones have been in Mississippi this week with Rod. Ashlie and the boys are in Colorado with Cody for the next 6 weeks. Melissa is in Bolivia, South America on her mission trip having a fabulous time and won't be home for 2 more weeks. Yes... my house is quiet. Very quiet. Too quiet.
I usually have one or more of the girls and some or all of the grandbabies there off and on during the course of the week. It's been strangely quiet this week. No sticky fingerprints on my glasstop table. No sippy cups being found under couches or beds. No "thomas the train' toothbrushes playing their song. No tiny little clothes in the laundry room. No sweet little voices calling out for Nana.
My mom warned me about these days. After the birth of my first daughter in 1985, I can remember my mom saying, "Cherish these times, Beth. They grown up way too fast." I heard her, but not sure that I listened. I can still recall looking forward to the next milestone in her life. I couldn't wait until she slept all night. Then I couldn't wait until she could reach for toys. Hold her head up. Sit alone. Crawl. Talk. Walk. And the list goes on. I didn't realize at the time that I was in essence wishing her babyhood away! It was so exciting to see her grow and go from stage to stage. It didn't really dawn on me that as each stage passed, it was gone forever.
Fast forward to November 23, 2002. That is the day that I entered into the fabulous world of 'nanahood'. Oh, what a joyful day in my life! My precious firstborn had become a mother and I began to see babyhood in a whole new light. I knew firsthand how fast time really flies. I knew firsthand that each day of a baby's life is truly a miracle. I knew firsthand that these times needed to be cherished. I knew firsthand that each stage needed to be enjoyed and treasured to the fullest. I knew how quickly motherhood had evolved into nanahood.
My rooms are still empty for now. But my heart is so full. Full of love for my girls. Full of love for my grandbabies. Full of love for my husband. Full of love for my sweet Savior. Full of wonderful, precious memories of my sweet girls. Wonderful memories of Jimbo and I spending time with our girls so that they could have those memories. Full of memories that we are now making with our grandbabies.
Oh, yes.... Empty nest. But only empty of the tangible. The intangible lives on in my heart forever.