I’m thinking there might just be hope for my wife and I.
My son went away for the week with some of his friends to the beach. They played in the sun and enjoyed themselves. He’s got two other big trips planned for later in the summer. If you note a touch of jealousy, yes, I want his life. Who wouldn’t? Come and go as you want, without a care in the world! Oh, I’m giving him a hard time, but he’ll soon be heading off to college, leaving my wife and I home by ourselves. I need to make the most of these last opportunities together.
He’s the last kid in the family to the leave the nest, so with him gone for the week, we had our chance to test the waters. We were able to dip our toes into the deep end of the pool and see how full or empty our life as empty nesters will be.
Life of the Party
So, how did we do? You be the judge.
When our son came home, we told him that we didn’t do much: “Oh, just a little of this, a little of that.” In reality, we got out of the house too. We went to the movies. (Yes, we saw Top Gun: Maverick, our first movie since before the pandemic. I’m not a big Tom Cruise fan, but it was still great to get out and see a movie on the big screen.)
We went out for lunch and dinner as we pleased. We went for a long drive. We even went for a few walks. For a run of the mill week, we were actually quite busy.
When we were home, we played the music we wanted to listen to, the cupboard magically stayed closed, and the house actually stayed clean. (Of course, I didn’t have any excuses when I made a mess. I couldn’t blame it on my son. Yikes!)
Tears of happiness
With the big college move-in day coming fast, I’ve been thinking how my wife and I will react when we have the four-hour drive home. Will we be in tears or will we be jumping for joy? I suspect we’ll end up somewhere in the middle, we’ll be sad to see our son leave home, but excited for all of the opportunities and adventures he’s about to face. He’s ready, so we are too.
Like his brother and sister, we’ll visit him at school, but also give him his freedom to learn and maybe even make a few mistakes. So, yes, I’m preparing for changes, but I’m also excited about how our lives will change as Empty Nesters.
When I do have my doubts, my wife, the wiser one of the two of us, by far, quickly reminds me that our son’s Thanksgiving and Christmas breaks are just around the corner!
There’s hope for me yet.