Sunset at Prien Lake Park

Sunset at Prien Lake Park

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

On Becoming Empty-Nesters

So, we returned yesterday from Dallas after depositing son number two (he’s six minutes younger) at the University of Texas at Dallas. We took his brother to Southeastern Louisiana University the week prior. And suddenly, after 18+ years of raising our twin sons, we are the proverbial empty-nesters.

I remember the day Bob and I brought the boys home from the hospital. We set them on the floor of the living room in their little car seats. We sat on the couch and looked at these two newborns. And we felt an overwhelming sense of Okay, what do we do now? If my mom hadn't been there to help, we might still be sitting on that couch, trying to figure out this parenting thing.

Returning home from Dallas was a similar emotion. We walked into the house. The empty house. And we wondered – What do we do?

“Just you and me now, babe.”

“Yep, that’s it.”

The boys have become young adults. Our job as parents is essentially over. Did we teach them enough? Did we love and nurture enough? Can we remember how to simply be spouses, without the parental component? What do we do now?

Well, we’re not going to Disney World. But we are excited about the prospect of having the time to travel, explore, and discover -- just the two of us. We’re looking forward to all sorts of outings, weekend trips, vacations, and sailing excursions.

There’s no doubt about it. We’re going to miss those boys like crazy. Thanksgiving can’t come fast enough. It’s an uncertain time of transition at our house. I’m not sure yet how I feel about it. There’s a bittersweet mix of sadness and excitement. I don’t know exactly what it looks like, but knowing Bob and me, whatever we do, it will be an adventure.


Lora Zill said...

I wrestle with how conventional wisdom for us "empty nesters" (of course I swore I'd never be one) is to get a life. I have a life, often feel like I'm living three or four lives. I have friends galore, hobbies and activities I adore and a successful career I love. What do women like me do? I guess I'll be figuring it out!

Angie said...

Lora, I agree. Parents need a life separate from their children, even when the children are growing up, so they're not so blind-sided when the kids spread their wings and fly. It is those parents whose whole world revolves around their children who have the hardest time. Like you, I have plenty to keep me busy.