I am "bugged". Perhaps distress has amplified my reaction, perhaps not.
I have been bumping around the Internet, having a look at sites geared to discussions about children leaving home. The "Empty Nest Syndrome" discusses this phenomenon, but the information I have unearthed to date assumes, almost exclusively, that the child has left home to attend college or university. This assumption leads to commentary that fails to address my concerns and experiences.
When children leave home for destinations other than higher education, concerns for their well being and their future prospects differ from the concerns held by the parents of immediately college-bound individuals.
"Is our situation so unusual?" I thought.
A quick trip to the Statistics Canada web site revealed that the majority of Canadians, with English as their mother tongue and between the ages of 25 and 29, had attended a College, Trade School, or University (no indication that they graduated). The remaining forty-five percent of that segment of the Canadian population had not attended institutions of higher learning.
Clearly, not all young people leave home to attend college or some form of higher education. Not heading for college right out of the nest might not even be considered unusual.
It was a relief to establish that Terra's departure from the family home does not constitute a shocking anomaly in Canadian society.
"Perhaps," I thought, "the term "Empty Nest Syndrome" is meant only to describe families where the children have left to pursue a higher education."
However, a visit to www.bartleby.com revealed the following definition for "Empty Nest Syndrome" from The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language: Fourth Edition. 2000:
College, university, and higher education do not seem to be a part of this popular definition. It might be worth taking a run to the University library to do a more thorough and academic search, but I think my time is better spent accepting the above definition and moving on from there.
I will continue my Internet reading. Since no sites seem to address issues similar to my own, I will continue to read what is out there and glean bits of useful information and insights wherever I can. It will be a long and arduous task.
Attila and I are enjoying our time together more than ever before. Our relationship began when I was a single mother of two. We have been, from the beginning, a family with children. Now we are a couple without children, for the very first time. I had worried from time to time, that without the challenge of childrearing that we would have nothing in common; what a waste of time those worries were.
This time of life is one of extremes, extreme concern for and worry over Terra, and extreme joy and delight in being alive and having Attila in my life.
I do not know whether to laugh or cry, so that I do both.
|RECIPES :: Cast
As above, so below.
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