Empty Nest, But Full House
Just because the children are gone doesn’t mean your house has to be empty. Last year was the first year that both of my children were on their own for Thanksgiving and at first I was dreading the holiday. It’s amazing what a change in attitude can do! After thinking about what Thanksgiving really meant, I decided that I still had so much to be thankful for that I would open my home to other friends who also had no plans and needed someone to care about them.
I had quite an eclectic group at my home! One mother of three whose husband was serving in Afghanistan came and filled our home with the sounds that only happy children can make – and gave us an excuse to pull out some of our children’s cherished toys! Another guest was a grandmother who was too far from her children and grandchildren to share the holiday. Another guest was an echocardiography technologist who was on call, but since I live only 5 minutes from the hospital, our home was perfect for her! Our final pair of guests were a married, childless couple who chose to spend the holiday with us!
It looks like we’ll be facing the same situation this year since one son is 1400 miles away in college and the other son has a fiancée who goes out of town to be with her grandmother on Thanksgiving – a tradition I encourage for as long as she has her grandparents in her life. I know that was a special tradition in my family until my grandparents passed away. We’ll celebrate Thanksgiving with them the week before, so we’ll still get to enjoy turkey and all the fixings together.
In conclusion, just because your children have launched doesn’t mean your holidays have to be less joyful. Take the positive energy you have and share your home or your time and talents with others. Then you’ll have an empty nest but your heart and your home will still be full of love.
Written by: Anna Jaworski, www.babyheartspress.com
About the Author:
Anna Jaworski married Frank Jaworski in 1986. They have two sons — Joey and Alex and 3 furry children — Pancho, Domino and Missy. The Jaworskis love to travel, read, write and have get-togethers at their home in Central Texas. They love to play games, share favorite books and make special memories together. Since Anna and Frank homeschooled their sons, they are accustomed to hosting many activities — from robotics club meetings to game nights to a variety of co-op classes to book club meetings. The house always feels better with friends and loved ones filling it.