Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Empty Nest

Yes, as of September 1st, 2012, Diane and I are officially Empty Nesters.  It has been on my mind a lot, and I'm still trying to process it.

The house is quiet.  Jon has said he will come back and finish cleaning the basement that was overflowing with his stuff for the month he stayed with us between houses.  My guess is, like a lot of their projects, I'll have to finish it.

The dog is now sleeping in our room, and our queen bed (small for our fat butts) isn't quite big enough for all of us - so there is a bit of sneakiness as he moves from the floor to the bed when we are asleep and can't kick him off.

I've noticed Diane is spending a lot less time upstairs in the bedroom - maybe because it is so quiet, or just that she actually has a chance at the downstairs tv.  She wanted to start planning for our free time several months ago - but I put it off wanting to have the free time first.

Do we have free time?  I finished my stint on the band boosters as of May 31, so you think it would free me up.  But instead I've started more miniature projects (technically 4 if I were to actually work on all of them - but two are way on the back burner).  So I have more than enough to keep me occupied, if I want to.

I have always found it a bit difficult to process change, and especially endings.  And this is a big ending for me - I was an active father for the 24 years, 4 months and 12 days - more than half my life.  Now, while I'm still a father, it is one to three adults (ok, step-father to one of these), an two college students.  Not nearly as much in the active category, and finding that I have to hold myself back a bit as well - because it is their lives to live, not mine.  I did the best I could to raise them - and we have kicked them out of the nest, to fall or fly, on their own.

Even the college students are getting so they won't be back.  Erik is hoping his friends plans for a house will work out - which would mean no more having to move somewhere for the summer.  Matt is in a dorm this year, so will be home for vacations.  But even that gets different.

So I'm still trying to process this, as I think Diane is.  Cooking for only the two of us.  Not being able to yell at one of the boys to empty the dishwasher.  I'll have to go out and pick up dog poop myself - haven't done that in ages!

One thing I'm not feeling yet is a beginning - it just feels like an ending.  It doesn't yet feel like I have started on a new phase of life yet - just like a lot is over.