Summer 2020.

Ihave been listening to a meditation app called Waking Up by Sam Harris. I love his voice. After listening to the daily meditation, I chose another titled, “One Last Time.” As I listened intently, I became aware that I was having a “one last time” event right now.  This summer with my sons living back at home is bonus time. They are living in the basement, eating all the food in the fridge (rapidly), leaving their socks and shoes strewn throughout the house, and sharing meals on the back deck with us discussing life, love, and other things.

These wonderful beings do not belong to me. They came through me, and now they are ready to go out into the world (whenever that may be). I am happy to see them thrive. The upcoming generations have a big job in front of them, and my sons are rising to the task. I honor and appreciate their passion.

And I also miss the old days. The days of curling them up in towels after swimming on a sunny day; of bike rides to find the best speed bump in the neighborhood; of soccer games and hockey games; of playdates and sleepovers; of hilarious school plays and concerts; of chocolate milk and cookies as the best treat.

Days when life was about what is happening right now.

I miss the living room wrestle and chasing each other around the couch; how they speak to each other like no one else can; the sound of their feet across the floor and up the stairs; holding them in my arms and rocking them to sleep; the tender moments reading books in bed; and referring arguments about who made the mess.

Those days were sweet.

My sons are ready to experience and explore the world, which is an essential part of their development. I understand and value this next stage of their growth. Instead of focusing on the days gone by, I am sifting my perspective. Parenting and teaching requires us to hear and respect the perspective of others so that we can understand the situation more clearly. Keeping relationships in tact is always the goal, that is my belief and my passion.

To change my empty nest narrative, I am following the advice of Sam Harris:

“…pay more attention…attention is your true source of wealth, even more than time, right, because you can waste time being distracted, so this is just to urge you to take a little more care. Pay a little more attention…connect with your life…continue to wake up…” – excerpt from “One Last Time” meditation.

Empty nesting is arriving, and that’s ok. I am practicing being entirely present in this moment with my sons. Enjoying my one last summer with all of us under the same roof for a few months. Together and happy.

In a year, I’ll have more perspective. Until then, I am focused on being here, with my tender heart.