Test driving being empty nesters

I ordered a beer, my wife asked for a tall glass of sangria. We ordered an appetizer and watched the Summer Olympics on one of the many televisions scattered across the bar and restaurant. We listened too to the music that blared throughout the restaurant. After about twenty minutes, my wife even ordered a second drink. 

We had no worries. We didn’t have to rush through our drinks or meal. We had no where that we had to be. We could make the outing last all day if we wanted. When we finally did decide to leave, I was shocked when I realized that I hadn’t looked at my phone once during the dinner to check to see if the babysitter had called. 

A different time and place

Times have certainly changed. For one, we haven’t had a babysitter in years. Our two oldest kids are on their own and our youngest is taller than me now. When we take selfies, he has to stand behind me or he blocks me completely out of the shot. 

Next year this time when he leaves for college, my wife and I will officially become empty nesters. Over the past couple of months, we have for all intense of purposes been giving the arrangement a test drive. He’s had a busy summer hanging with friends and getting ready for his senior year. He sleeps over at friends, has been to the beach twice with friends and their families, and has the social calendar of a celebrity.

The summer has given us a chance to see how we’ll manage again without kids. Like driving any new car for the first, time, we’ve had our moments. We’ve gunned the engine inadvertently a few times, like the times when we left the house without a house key and came home to find that he had locked the house and we had no house key. (Thank goodness for the garage door opener.)

While that’s been a bummer, we’ve liked the new car shine, like how he’s been away and we’ve had the chance to get away ourselves for quick trips to visit our daughter or just spent the evening out.

Just not too soon

Overall, we’ve enjoyed the experience. It’s fun to get out again.

While that’s all true, I’m happy too for our son that he’s got a sense of freedom and has a good head on his shoulder, but I still miss him. I must say that a smile spread across my face recently when he came home and asked what time we were eating dinner, because he wanted to eat with us. 

Now there’s my boy! 

I’m ready to be an empty nester and it will come soon enough, I’m just not ready for it to happen today. 

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