By and large, Linda and I have come to that point in our "empty nesting" where we have rediscovered the joy of being a "couple". We are finding it to be a sweet time in life, not unlike a second honeymoon. Still... there are moments.
Saturday night we were snuggled up together at the end of the day. It just so happened that both of our girls were home for the weekend, though Christine would be returning to her home in Baltimore and Mary to her apartment on her college campus. We were talking about how good it was to have the four of us together again.
Linda said, "It makes me realize what we've lost". And she was right. It did.
With kids returning to school again, there are many families experiencing this dissonance; joy in watching our children blossom, an appropriate sense of pride in their growing independence as they move towards, or actually become, adults themselves, and a great sadness as we miss them.
What I have come to believe is that every stage in life that we are in is a sweet one. Life is always a mixture of things lost and found. Appreciating the time in which find ourselves, being duly thankful for it, tucking it in our hearts so we can treasure it when it is time to move on, and then moving on... well, that is a great gift to be able to give to someone we love... and to ourselves as well.