Empty Nest

A couple of weeks ago, I thought about writing a post titled “Empty Nest” because I was thinking that I missed having M’s siblings around all the time. For a few months before getting married, Abbey lived with us, and when Lennie was younger, I have the impression that the other kids (sorry, you’ll always be “the kids” even when you’re in fact a ripe old fart like me) were around more. This is not to say that we’re neglected. Last weekend, we had everybody over for a big Sunday morning breakfast as Ashley prepared to return to school in Nashville after a quick weekend home. And every few weeks, we have some cause to see one or more of the kids, so that we generally get at least a once-weekly fix. But something feels different about it than it did a year ago, and I feel at times like we have an empty nest. Which is weird. But that’s not what I’m writing about this morning.

Today we do have an empty nest. As in we kicked Lennie out to fall or fly last night. Abbey has today off, and Andy has classes later in the day, so it was a great night for them to take her overnight. We’ve been working toward this in anticipation of the new baby and the fact that Lennie will have to be comfortable staying elsewhere for a night or two as we try to push that one out. So Abbey came over for dinner last night and by 7:00 had whisked Lennie away. We wound up going out to catch a rare movie (Pirates II — enjoyed it, but it was a half hour too long). We called to check in when the movie ended at a little after 10:00, and Lennie was asleep, having spent some time going back and forth between a couple of beds and being a little sad about it but finally having fallen asleep. We halfway expected a call if/when Lennie woke up at her usual 3:00 – 4:00 caesura, but no call came. By now, she’s probably awake and asking for breakfast. We have a doctor’s appointment for the new baby in an hour, and we’re heading to that and will pick Lennie up on the way home.

It was nice to have a night out, but it was hard to let her go and a little sad-making not to have her come in and snuggle us in the middle of the night and wake up asking me to put on shorts and fix breakfast. Sending her off to kindergarten will crush us.

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