An Empty Nest Easter
As I get older, I’m happy to report that some things just get straight-up easier. This year for the first time ever, the holiday was a non-issue. We celebrated our very first, bona-fide empty nest Easter.
My own early memories of Easter include frilly socks, white patent leather shoes, and white vinyl purses with little straw flowers on them. And hats. Those memories also include a lot of family fighting, often rather violent. And stress. And hearing stories of the two lambs my sisters got one year as a gift when I was still a baby. They were tied to the porch banister while the family went off to church, only to return to find they had hanged themselves on the rope. Not one of the most joyous times of the year, to be sure.
Not maintaining the religious focus I experienced as a kid, Easter for my young family was always based around the bunny thing rather than the holy event. Jelly bean trails leading to big Easter baskets, a family dinner with all the fixin’s. Yet even with all of the holiday buzz that comes with little kids, I suspect that my discomfort with this holiday seeped over onto them. I really wanted to just ignore it.
This year, my husband and I were alone for Easter for the very first time. I experienced quite a bit of trepidition leading up to it this year…should I still get Easter baskets? Cards? (The youngest one of my kids is 20…) There was no one here to cook dinner for. So…I just rolled with it! We spent the day working outdoors and enjoying each other’s company. And guess what…it was ok. More than ok. It felt…right.
There is definitely a transition period when your kids leave home. Sometimes gradual, sometimes more sudden than you care to deal with. But like everything else during midlife, you get used to it, and even come to enjoy it. Honestly. I’m sure that next year will be different, maybe we will all be together, maybe not. But whatever it brings, it’ll be OK.
Whether or not you’re experiencing empty nest, Happy Easter!