I’m not fond of bridges, especially tall bridges, but last Thursday night found me driving across the Sunshine Skyway Bridge — during a storm. My husband and I drove through torrential rain and intense lightning on our way from the beach to the airport in Tampa. It was so scary I texted three of my close friends and asked them to pray for us. The high wind advisory sign at the base of the bridge didn’t help.
Normally, I would not venture out in such inclement weather. Summer storms are tamer from inside a cozy house. I had a good reason though — my son was coming for a visit. And as a last minute surprise, a good friend from college was joining him.
Yay! My nest is full for the weekend.
Here’s the thing about living in the empty nest. Not only do I miss my offspring — I miss their friends as well.
There were always lots of friends around when my two grown children were still at home. My son especially had friends over often. Sometimes they would come home with us after church on Sundays. There were many video game sessions as well. In high school, it was small groups from church or one of his bands. I never dreamed I would say this but I kind of miss the sound of him playing the electric guitar. It was often a surprise to see who was asleep in the family room on a Saturday morning.
When he went off to college, he acquired another set of friends. These guys made several trips to Florida, especially during Spring Break. There’s something special about college friends. A strong bond develops when you live together.
My son has exceptional friends from his youth and college years — young men who are nearly as close as sons to me. With the exception of a couple of his friends who attend our church, I usually only see them when my son comes home (which is not often enough for this mom). Oh well, I’m learning to be thankful for the times we do get to spend together.
It’s a quick trip for sure — a last hurrah of the summer. The calendar announces the arrival of fall but that doesn’t mean much in Florida. My husband and I will repeat our trip across the bridge tomorrow, hopefully in better weather. We’ll take the guys back to the airport about seventy-two hours after they arrived. They will go home to their jobs and responsibilities and I will go home to my empty nest. But, my heart will be full again, full enough to get me through to Thanksgiving and another visit.
How about you? Was your home full of friends when your children were still under your roof? Do you miss seeing your children’s friends too? I would love to hear about your empty nest experience.