When Peace Is Shattered.

It’s the time of year when everyone posts about Christmas. I was thinking I’d do the same thing, but then I decided that I’d be a bit different and post about something else.

There’s been a lot of stuff happening this year. For the first time, my husband and I have been ’empty nesters’ – parents of university age young adults, who have moved away for the majority of the year to study. Now they’ve come home for the summer break.

We’d become quite used to washing about three times a week, not needing to use the dishwasher daily, the house staying tidy, and a lot of peaceful quietness.

The kids have been home for about a month now, and the washing machine seems to be going several times every day, the dishwasher has just given up the ghost in protest, and the quiet that was is now shattered at least once a day by the drum kit, the marimba or the sounds of singing.

The gigabyte allowance for the internet has taken a bashing, the food bill has escalated, and someone keeps drinking all the milk.

Am I whinging? Not at all, just ‘adjusting’ I think, or perhaps readjusting is a better word. Readjusting to having the (adult) kids home again. It’s lovely (mostly) to hear all the music happening, and the interesting conversations over the advent calendar and card games. The pets are happy because their people are home, and we’re all looking forward to Christmas and the weather is heating up and we’ve had our first trip out to the dam to kayak and windsurf.

It’s lovely to have them home, but it’s a funny thing at the same time. They’re adults. Yes, we still have behaviour rules for when they’re home, but their comings and goings are entirely up to them. There aren’t any curfews, they’re of legal drinking age, and they both have driver’s licences. We’re adjusting to being a family of adults – not a family with teenage kids.

I like it. I remember when they were born, and every time they grew a bit older, I’d think “This is just the best age!” I’d say it every time they did something cute, or beautiful, or just plain clever. I’m still saying it. This morning at church as part of the music team, I was singing with our daughter – she was singing melody and I was singing harmony – and our son was drumming. It was lovely. “This is the best age!” I was thinking.

Our peace may have been shattered, but each time our kids come home I’m reminded of how much we love them. Families change as kids grow up, but they’re still families – just families entering a different stage – and they’re still great.

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