Living in an empty nest


Those of you who read this blog regularly, or follow me on Twitter, are well-aware that my hubby and I became empty nesters last August. Overall, I’d say the two of us are doing fine. The silence in the house is difficult. So is being 2 hours away from our girl. But we see her often, and she was able to come home for a month for winter break, so I really don’t have anything to complain about.

Here’s what you may not know….my daughter and I are very close. VERY close. We talk about everything, shop together, have our nails done together (or did, when she lived at home). She’s one of the smartest, sassiest people that I know, and someone I would refer to as my best friend. When she left home last year, every person I know expected me to fall completely apart. I didn’t (in fact, I didn’t cry once), which is surprising to everyone – mostly myself. I question that frequently and the only way I can rationalize my emotion (or lack thereof) is knowing she’s happy, has made some very good friends, is doing well in school, and sees her brother often (he lives a few miles away from her).

On the plus side, an empty nest does have a few advantages:

  • You’re no longer accountable for your time. If the hubby and I want to see a movie or spend the day hiking, we don’t have to let anyone know what we’re doing or when we’ll be home.

  • The house is spotless. Not that my girl was messy, but having a third person in the house did create the need to clean more often.

  • It’s very quiet. For a writer, this is gold. And though I’ve been used to locking myself away in the office or bedroom when the words were flowing, I can now pretty much write anytime and anywhere. Now if the words would just flow!

  • There’s NO junk food in the house. Let’s take a moment to all sympathize with my hubby….who seems to think he’s destined to live a life with no chips or cookies. I will say that having our girl home did give him a reason to partake…and it did make it doubly hard for me, as I’m on Weight Watchers. He’s still saying goodbye to the half-eaten bags of chips and other assorted crap that I tossed in the garbage just as her car pulled away from the driveway. Poor guy….

I feel extremely grateful for technology given that she’s two hours away. We talk every day….either via text, Snapchat or FaceTime. We see her often (about once a month). I have NO idea how parents used to survive this empty nest before technology came along.

Soon enough she’ll be applying to grad schools and the 2 hour drive will feel like a luxury. My hope is that she’s chosen to attend grad school at the same college she’s attending now. The reality is that she may not. She may move further away, or out of state. The good news is that I’m pretty used to her being gone. Or at least that’s what I tell myself.

Oh…and if you’re wondering how the hubby is fairing…let’s just say he misses her so, so much as well. And not just because she brought junk food into the house. ;-)

AJ

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