The youngest arrived on Saturday morning and left to return to London this afternoon. It was a quick visit but we managed to squeeze in a trip to see my mother, a meal out, a visit to the cinema and a good old fashioned Sunday dinner. It all felt very busy, although the youngest has never been loud, the house was noisier than we have become accustomed to, and there just wasn't as much time to spend together as we would have liked.
Seeing her off at the station was a moving experience but, of course, it's only a few more weeks until she'll be home for a month.
Upon my return and, solely out of interest I assure you, I found myself looking up Empty Nest Syndrome on Wikipedia. Apparently all parents are susceptible but those who are dealing with other stressful events such as, and it cites "retirement" as a specific example, are particularly vulnerable! Oh dear!
However, it does point out that coping mechanisms include pursuing one's own hobbies and interests (full marks there); keeping a journal (presumably this blog counts); taking advantage of the opportunity to spend more time with your spouse (Mister E and I virtually walk hand in hand into the sunset together); even (but I do draw the line at this one) going back to work!
Whilst I sympathise with those who do suffer from depression when their children leave for university, I can probably draw comfort from the fact that my lack of desire to return to work must be illustrative of the fact that life feels rather full at the moment. So much so that I would struggle to consider myself afflicted by such a syndrome and instead am somewhat proud that, together with Mister E we have prepared the youngest for living away, even in a city as vast as London and as different to our home village as one could imagine.
Of course we keep in touch by a variety of means that were never available years ago, including Face-time, direct messaging, e-mails, text and mobile phone. I even send postcards although I haven't yet got down to letter writing and would certainly never expect one back if I did.
The article in Wikipedia concludes however by referring to a recent trend, described as the Boomerang Generation. It seems that the offspring you thought had moved out, sometimes return! I'll really know how much I'm enjoying retirement if, should such a scenario seem likely in the future, I find Mister E and I discussing downsizing!