when the kids return to the nest

when the chicks return to the nest

Besides all the chocolate and church of Easter (not to mention those delicious hot cross buns that I can never get enough of!), the other bonus Easter brings is a longer holiday break and the chance for the 'grown and flown' children to come back to the family nest for a visit.

As a mum this is just the best bit ever - all the catching up and hanging out and eating and talking.....
Our first visit has just finished. Our son and lovely daughter-in-law (and their wild cat Willow) came down on Good Friday and left this afternoon. I love seeing them because they only come every few months, but when they do, they settle in and make it a vacation. It's lovely to see them lying on the couch or sitting at the table with a cuppa having a chat.
midlife blog ~ cresting the hill
Jared and Hannah
We have even started a few family traditions when they visit - there's the walks around the neighbourhood, the visits to the local shops and there is afternoon tea at a lovely place in Harvey (a town about 20 minutes drive away) where we have our coffee on a shady spot overlooking the river and surrounded by beautiful heritage gardens (Hannah has become quite a gardener over the last few years and loves all the mature plants and cottage gardens).
midlife blog ~ cresting the hill
our coffee spot perched over the river
But the best part of all is just spending time with them as adults. It's a new stage of the relationship where we are parents and advisers (they are thinking about having a baby and asking all sorts of baby questions at the time being) but at the same time they can offer advice to us from their skills and experience. Case in point was my husband's mobile phone that had 'died' - only it turned out that it could be resurrected (very Easter appropriate) because our engineer son knew where to get the necessary software online and re-install everything - amazing stuff to a midlifer like me!

Life is certainly more full-on while they are here, lots of talking and heaps more food in the fridge and thinking up new things to do to make their stay interesting - not to mention having a third cat wreaking havoc everywhere and trying to take over ownership of its new home. Things settle down in the cat adjustment area on day 3 - which is usually when they are getting packed up and ready to head home (then the process repeats with their next visit - a small price to pay for having them here).

It's a lovely time to sit back and bask a little in the satisfaction of a parenting job that appears to have been successful - to have children that are independent and settled in their own world, yet happy to come back and visit their parents is a really good feeling. There might be times where I still wish for more (those Brady Bunch expectations again!) but as a whole, I am very happy with how my children are turning out. And the icing on the cake is that our daughter is coming down for a visit at the end of the week - I just love the Easter holidays!!