By Judith Masters
My nesting is now complete. Similar to our days as expectant parents, I have sorted, donated and rearranged in anticipation of welcoming two of my adult children back home, if only for a little while.
Having gone away to college, lived on their own in many cities and met the challenges of adulthood, I am thrilled that my children recognize Buffalo as a cost-effective, supportive, opportunity-filled city.
I would be remiss if I ignored the anxiety I feel attached to this transition. Adjustment to our next chapter will be the task of all involved. The soundtrack of parenthood is ever changing!
I have three beautiful, successful daughters who have been raised to have an opinion. They possess the confidence to share those opinions freely. A bit of a chip off the old block. How will all of these personalities mesh under one roof? We come together as adults who thrive on routine. How will these schedules mesh?
Their brief holiday visits and college summers allowed for restraint as I longed to share my wisdom, advice and thoughts on their futures. They are now adults, responsible for their own pathways.
That occasional advice asked for via text or phone may threaten to escape my lips in person. The many days spent chauffeuring teens from event to event offered the perfect stage to share my thoughts and give advice.
I am no longer the disciplinarian. I can now be their friend. As they’ve forged their paths, we’ve remained the supportive soft place to land. I have driven away from many a city after settling them, praying for their safety and happiness knowing that independence and challenge are the tasks that help us grow.
I suspect they have a bit of anxiety as well as they move through this next chapter.
In the early years of my marriage, I welcomed my in-laws into our home. For at least 15 summers, they would move up from Florida in May and live with us through October. This created a similar situation in which furniture was moved, bedrooms were reassigned and schedules adjusted.
I did this out of love – for them, my children and my husband. Merging their ways with ours took some adjustment, but the memories created making gnocchi or listening as my mother-in-law lovingly read to her grandchildren was reason enough to open our hearts and home.
Having married a man who claims 100 percent Sicilian roots, when it came to guests, I never knew who, how many or for how long they would visit. I have grown to love this way of life.
I am approaching this next reorganization of loved ones with the same faith and dedication. Generations before us and cultures that surround us know the value of family.
I therefore leave the first move up to my husband. Always one to shun the need for a moving van, preferring instead to load one car with the essentials of dorm life, he will now be the U-Haul driver, deferring to the adult in charge of the move, offering his advice when asked for. I will be the welcoming committee at this end.
As parents, we say thank you to Boston and Westport for helping our daughters grow, and providing great spots to visit. We ask the City of Good Neighbors to shine, reinforcing why we enjoy living here.
As the sound of “Mom!” once again fills our home, my heart will smile. We will all transition and thrive.
Here’s to the resurrection of Sunday dinners, as we are reminded that together is the best place to be.