Family Matters

Family Matters

Relearning Parenthood: When Children Reach Adulthood, What Then?

By Sharon Saline

May/June 2021

I live in an open nest. It’s not an empty one, but some days it sure feels that way. The rooms are tidy and still. Things stay just where I place them: the dirty glass in the sink, the jeans drying over the bannister, the bag of walnuts on the counter. My husband goes to work most days at a nearby hospital, offering solace to people who pass from this world to the next and to their loved ones who remain. My beloved Jasper, a golden retriever of incomparable sweetness and light, lies newly buried in my backyard, next to Tucker, the four-legged brother he barely knew. I work too much, trying to make a difference by helping others lead healthier, more emotionally satisfying lives. Sometimes, the silence in the house is deafening. Sometimes, I feel ecstatic. On bad days, I can’t seem to find myself or know where I belong.

My children are grown. My son, 25, lives in the Midwest with his girlfriend and their new puppy. My daughter, 21, is still in college nearby us in Massachusetts. When my son returns home for Thanksgiving, wearing rolled-up jeans and sporting a beard like Rasputin, he greets us with an earnest smile and big bear hugs. “That was a brutal, 12-hour drive,” he says. “But it’s good to see you both.” My heart wants to leap into his. My big boy, home.

Then he looks over at the kitchen table, carefully set and ready to receive the special vegetarian meal I’d prepared just for him. “Hey, you got new placemats? What happened to the old ones? They seemed…

Already have an account linked to your magazine subscription? Log in now to continue reading this article.

(Need help? Click here or contact us to ask a question.)

Not currently a subscriber? Subscribe Today to read the rest of this article!

Read 3608 times
Comments - (existing users please login first)
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

1 Comment

Sunday, May 16, 2021 4:31:53 PM | posted by Karla Archer
this is lovely and put words to what I'm currently going through with my own adult and approaching adulthood children