My boys are gone this weekend. That leaves just Dad and I (and the dog) alone in the house. Left to our own devices. More like staring at the four walls and checking the boys’ bedrooms every time we walk down the hallway and then remembering that they aren’t here.
What the Kids Are Doing
Tre was invited to go camping this weekend at North Bend Park and Campground with his friend, Jacob, and Jacob’s mom and brother. According to the pictures that Melanie has sent, he’s having an absolute blast and is not missing home a single bit!
This is his first camping trip, and his first time being away from home for more than just one night. I am so relieved that he’s having fun – even if I am missing his hugs and laughter like crazy! I look at it this way, since he’s having such a wonderful first camping experience, he can help me coerce his dad and brother into going camping too now! I have been DYING to get them to go camping and attempt the “let’s go camping on our vacation” ploy each year with absolutely no enthusiasm whatsoever. Tre can come home and tell them how absolutely great it is and hopefully get their camping hormones to kick in!
Jonathan came home from school on Friday, grabbed his $20 and hauled butt out of the house off to spend the night with his friend, Hunter, and a few of their mutual friends at a sleepover at Hunter’s house. I sincerely hope that Hunter’s mom is blessed with infinite amounts of patience and food to deal with that many teenagers all at once!
What Mom and Dad Are Doing
So that leaves Dad and I to ourselves. Alone. No kids. We have never had the house to ourselves – ever. When we first met, I already had my daughter from a previous marriage, and he had two children from a previous marriage, so there have always been kids in the picture no matter where we went or what we did.
It was strange last night, having the house to ourselves. We kept walking up and down the hallway checking their bedrooms and the kitchen and then remembering that they weren’t here. As a mom, I was a bit depressed at first. This wasn’t like ME ditching the kids and going somewhere by myself. They had ditched ME and left me to my own devices. Then I started thinking. This was our training for the future, for the time when they all had moved out and moved on, and hubby and I were left to our own devices.
It was time to P-A-R-T-Y!
Well, party like “old people” do. We had a quiet but fun evening together. We ordered up some Jersey Mike’s Subs, Dad got The Italian and I got the Grilled Pastrami Reuben. We splurged and went big. We ordered The Giants. Gasp! We didn’t have to worry about downsizing our orders to make sure there was enough money to pay for our orders and the kids!
We stopped at our local Fasmart on the way home and stocked up on Pepsi and smokes and headed back to our empty apartment. We threw caution to the wind and camped out on the bed and watched television and munched on our subs. We talked about a variety of topics, laughed like crazy, and just had FUN. We took our showers, ran around the house buck-ass naked, and didn’t have to worry about anyone popping out of their room and being instantly struck blind.
We curled up in bed with Mollyanna (hogging the bed as usual) and settled down to watch television for a while. I drifted off to sleep with visions of the future dancing through my head. Lazy mornings, days spent gardening, reading, shopping, and evenings of hubby and I going out to dinner and dancing the night away. The two of us taking day trips to see the sights, check out a new fishing spot, or just walking along the beach.
I’ve always been one that worries about Empty Nest Syndrome. Even though I had Jonathan and Tre, when April moved out it hit me like a ton of bricks. I cried all the time, I was depressed, I picked fights with hubby over the smallest of things. I was absolutely miserable. In time, with two other children who needed my love and attention as well, those feelings passed and I learned to accept it and live with it. I didn’t like it, but that is the way the universe works, right? You raise them to eventually move out on their own and become their own individual and make their way in the world with their own identity, not as so-and-so’s daughter or son.
I love my children dearly and I will hang on with every breath in my body to keep them at home with us until I’m sure they are ready to be on their own. Getting a glimpse of what life will be like without the children around, however, makes me a little less afraid to face the unknown when that time comes.
Have you experienced Empty Nest Syndrome? Are you looking forward to that time when you can reclaim your own identity as a person and not as a mother or father? Let’s discuss!