There’s an old Jewish folktale from Eastern Europe– retold many times — about a man and his family who are very unhappy living in their little, little house. So they go to their wise neighbor for advice. She tells them to move six chickens into the house, saying, “See what a difference that will make!” That makes things worse, not better, and the man goes to the neighbor again. Each time, she tells him to move more animals into his little, little house, saying, “See what a difference that will make!” Finally, with six chickens, a rooster, a cow, and a smelly goat in his little, little house, the man is frantic. Again he returns to his wise neighbor. This time, she tells him to remove all of the animals from his house. That makes such a difference that the house no longer seems too small, and the man and his family are all very happy in their little, little house.
My younger daughter is moving out two weeks from today. Our nest will be empty, and I’m going to miss her a lot.
We dragged out six chairs and a table from our garage and repainted them so she can have them in her new apartment. They currently sit in my dining room — which already contains MY table and six chairs. She bought a second-hand couch and armchair, and they now occupy my living room, which was already occupied by MY couch and armchair. We’re decoupaging my old college steamer trunk — you guessed it — we stuffed it into the family room. Boxes of dishes, clothes and accumulated stuff are shoved up against every corner of every floor. And we haven’t even officially started packing yet.
By the time she moves out with all of her shit, my little, little house is going to seem very big and spacious. And empty. And quiet. <Sigh>