I've heard there's a name for the sort of condition I had. I think it's called "Empty Nest Syndrome", or something along those lines. Whatever it's called, I was apparently driving my two grown children nuts. In early 2004 they were both living away from home, which we were adjusting to quite nicely, thank you (or so I thought)...and then the whole charade came crashing down.
Within a three month period, I lost my job, Dave lost his, and Rosie, our sweet but paralyzed eleven year old Australian Shepherd mix passed away. In short, I lost my marbles for a bit. Don't get me wrong-it was thrilling to be without all that responsibility for the first time in over twenty years, but you can't just hang up those motherhood urges at the drop of a hat. Not that I didn't give it a shot. We took a long road trip by ourselves and enjoyed the freedom of not making plans or reservations, and pretty much wallowed in being childless and carefree again. It was when we got home that I began to notice how quiet it was, just Dave and I and the two cats. He was enjoying this newly found quiet, this relative lack of responsibilities. I missed the kids. Missed the dog. Missed the chaos.
So, after a few too many long, drawn-out phone conversations with my kids about their future, they started lobbying Dave to let Mom get a puppy, for God's sake! It took awhile. I said I would just look. We went to the Humane Society a couple of times, and debated the merits of girl dogs vs boy dogs. We've had two girl dogs, and Dave thought it was time to try for a boy. I agreed, just needing a motherhood fix. And then I started looking on craigslist.