Quite a few years ago we went through what all parents experience. That lonely, hollow feeling when the kids leave us for lives of their own. That time when the offspring finally spring off.
Left to our own devices, we had to reinvent ourselves. We faced the daunting task of putting our own interests first. And to be quite honest, we first had to figure out what those were. But we perseverved and settled in to new routines, letting our creativity flow from heretofore untapped wells of talent, or at least a reasonable facsimile thereof.
Then came the crown jewel of family life, grandchildren. That etherial time when all other worldly concerns fade as cherubs enlightened every thought. It blended perfectly with our new found freedoms as we indulged their every whim without concern. After all, it was their parents who would deal with any aftermath.
But now, even they have grown. They have their own activities and sets of friends. We, though always in their hearts, are now only occasionally in their lives. We were adrift once again.
Until last summer, when our oldest granddaughter, whose family is in Charlottesville, wanted to stay with us. She found a summer job as a restaurant hostess. We knew she wanted to do that again this year. But she surprised us by asking if her best friend from college could join her this time. We readily agreed. They were both able to work at the restaurant.
We quickly became immersed in the lives of these young gals and their college friends (many of whom live in this area). The house was constantly spilling over with young adults going to or coming from work, kayaking on the lake or swimming at the beach or the pool or fixing a meal or planning an evening out or….well, you get the idea. It was stimulating just to be around such activity and zest for life. Best of all, these young folks fit right in and genuinely interacted with us. They were as interested in us as we were in them.
To top it off, our younger granddaughter came to stay for a few days with a high school friend of hers. This place was busting at the seams with activity! Emails, texts and snapchats stretched the very limits of the wifi bandwidth.
But alas, all good things must end. The school bell beckons and they must answer the call. Tearful farewells were shared and the girls, carrying with them our own feigned youth, disappeared into the distance. In mere moments those long ago feelings of unavoidable abandonment surfaced again.
Isn’t there a law against double jeopardy? Because that’s what this feels like.