Traditionally, this time period is called the "Empty Nest," but that sounds kind of sad and lonely. Sure I miss my kids; but Skype, texts, email, and proximity to 2 out of the 3, gives me peace of mind that I can see them any time I need to. They are happy, successful, and independent...everything my husband and I wanted for them. There are definitely perks..my house is cleaner, the kitchen cupboards don't stand open, and our grocery bill is considerably lower. The best part, though is that I get to date my husband all over again like we did almost 30 years ago. No baby-sitter needed.
Spontaneity is again possible. We want to go to the movies on the weekend? We go. We can even go to the movies twice on the weekend. (Confession time..last night we saw Silver Linings Playbook and this morning we saw Quartet...both great movies). Going out to dinner is relaxing and easy. (OK...it's VERY easy for me to call Keith at 5:00 from work and ask him where he wants to meet for dinner). One Saturday not too long ago, our son told us at 4:00 in the afternoon that he forgot to let us know about his concert which started at 8:00 that evening in Cincinnati (an almost 2 hour drive for us). As soon as my husband was finished photographing a newly engaged couple, we threw clothes in a bag, jumped in the car, and were on our way. We made it with 10 minutes to spare.
After almost 28 years of marriage, he still makes me smile. I look at him and think about how nice it is to be married to my best friend. We can enjoy this time because we've gone through so much together...the ups and downs found in any long relationship. This is the good part...we get to know each other all over again.
Thanks to Stacey and Ruth of Two Writing Teachers for hosting Slice of Life Challenge. You can view other slices here.
You can view my students' writing on our classroom blog What's Cooking in Room 114