EMPTY-NEST SYNDROME

Little Black Boy – Gypsy

EMPTY-NEST SYNDROME                           08 22 2012

By  EWALT AINSWORTH

Any day now the children leaving.  It may be one or two or all of them for that matter.  Just let them go and don’t you weep or mourn or groan.  Your best days are now ahead of you. Irrespective of the number it is back to school time all over the world.  And if it is your baby…your teenage queen that is going off to college, have a little faith.  Don’t do stupidness and pull your hair out your nappie head; she or he not coming back and that’s a fact.  They were all planning quietly on the computer and weaving a web of deceit on Facebook.  Be prepared to do it alone Coz.

The empty nest syndrome does affect West Indian families in a subtle but deliberate way.  The rest of this month and for the better part of September outside of Christmas, churches make the most money in donations.  Mothers do get confused and think that if they give a big offering all will be well.  Out of sight is better than having they flat behind running around the place and running up the utility bills.   

Guyanese folks especially do not like to let go of their children and they buy the biggest house and the most cars and the most soft toys and technologies to corner the children.  They buying things for the children and bribing them when in actuality they are betraying themselves.  Children do not want things; they want freedom…. rather than a mommy or a daddy watching and mining their business.   Kiskadee and blue sackie do not multiply in their mother nest; they create their own space and place and that is how it must be.  If you love your children, let them go and if they come back, they are yours; and if they never come back they were never yours.

Children need to move on and get something called experience.  Parents having them on their insurance, giving them a joint credit card and taking the young adult kids with you on vacation is ole time thing.  Get with the program.  You too might be surprised to see how much weight they would lose and how savvy they would become in a changing global and market driven environment.

Recently and very recently that is (weekend of the 18th) a countryman and colleague had a going away party.  Tables were set for 250…25 tables with 10 seats each.  The family came from both far and near bearing gifts and providing a kinda spiritual incentive to both disappearing student and cautious parents.  The children all were grateful for the show of solidarity and proved a Philip to the ambitions and collective dreams fulfilled.  There were no tears and all the fears were neutralized.  ASOMELYKAM.

Very late in the bash, other friends and relatives showed up to see the little girl go off to college.  She is planning to be a pharmacist.  Both parents are money managers and this is the last of five children to go out there and make their way.  The first four are all professionals.  That is the way it is and that is how it must be.

In the average Guyanese family any time of day you call the house number, adult children with children in arms answering:”who-dis?”  Parents must re-orient themselves and be prepared to do it alone immediately after high school.  When you hang on to your children you are creating eye pass and financial decline.

Another big man he is musician and she is nurse.  He is always on the road and she runs things:  Five adult children in their 40s and touch and now the children’s children are stacking up.  The collective cell phone bills are as much as the mortgage.  None of the cars ever have gas and the orange juice jug is in the recycle bin.  The daddy whenever he comes home pauses in the driveway to finish his dinner.  Daddy likes Chinese and mommy is Vietnamese and the children adore left-overs available in the deep freeze.

Sometimes to be kind you have to be cruel and get a U-HAUL truck and an IKEA credit card and sen them packing; the further away the better.  You cannot tie bundle with young adult children.  Bare yuh chafe and band your belly and face reality and learn to keep your own company.  And if he still exists or in the picture do not rush to sell the house or reduce your life style.  Making decisions in anger is the worst thing.  Just don’t do anything at least for the first semester or two and then you would become a better person.  The children leaving is not the end of the world; it may very well be your best and rest time Coz.

Children leaving home in pursuit of higher education is a must.  You did the basics and created the environment and family-attachment programs.  Now is the detachment phase.  And do not have them calling home three and four times a day and call it love.  Love is when you can leave them to their own devices.  There was a time when they bicycle had training wheels and when you were not watching, they dismantle all the accessories.  And when they fall and bruck-they-behind, is only when it turn gangarene you would know.

The best thing you could do at this juncture is keep a farewell party in the backyard or at the church hall and send them on their merry way.  Sometimes it is better not to have them than to have them with all the baggage and strings attached for your own mental health and psycho-illogical self.  ASOMELYKAM.

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