Monday, August 9, 2010

Bye Bye Love or Hello Happiness?

Are empty nesters happier once their children fly the coop?  According to Britain's Daily Mail, you too "might just start feeling richer, fitter and sexier". 

Our family 2005 the year our first born left home for his freshman year in college

Okay, I'll buy that.  In fact, there's no doubt in my mind.  While I love my sons dearly, when they were both out of the house, my husband and I were happy, extremely happy.  It was kinda that feeling we would get when we'd drop them at summer camp each year.  We'd say "buh bye" and they'd be standing there waving and we'd be waving and, as soon as they were out of sight, we'd start with the high fives and the "What'll we do for the next few weeks while they're gone?" fantasies. 

One of the first things we like to do is...run around naked.  Now, don't say "ewwwww".  I bet many couples like to run around naked.  Not so much because it's sexy but because, with the kids out, you CAN.  Another is to not worry about dinner til you're hungry, if at all.  No nutritional issues now that the kids are grown.  I mean, if you just want to eat salads every night & drink wine, you don't have to make a second more nutritious meal for the children. 

We can sleep.  No lying awake nights waiting for them to come home from whatever they have been up to.  No worries.  No matter where they are, they are not in your face with it any longer.  Plus, I never could sleep worth a damn until I knew they were safe and sound in their beds. 

The pets eat on time again.  It was always a struggle to get the poor dogs & cat fed by 6:30pm.  You'd think I was asking them to dig a ditch.  And the squabbles over whose "turn is it?" 

We have clean drinking glasses in the cupboards again.  It seems like every time we wanted a glass, they were all dirty and in their room.  I'd go up there and find aat least 4-6 empty, dirty glasses in the room.  Why couldn't they carry them downstairs and put them in the dishwash so we'd have some clean ones?  Huh?

There's hot water left over, the electrical fees have gone down, we have the use of our washing machine back and the dryer is empty and may be used.  Kids leave every light & computer on in the place.  They take showers lasting a minimum ten minutes, usually twenty.  The washer & dryer are always in use...by them. 

Oh yes, we miss them but in a good way.  We miss their exuberance and their presence in our lives and their smiles and laughter & joy.  We don't miss the coming & going, the phone calls past 11pm, the constant activity and boistrous bellowing.  We don't miss dragging them out of bed at 11am in the morning.  

My husband and I get along better than we have in years.  How many years?  Oh, I'd say about 22...since the second "little Angel" was born. 

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20 comments:

Baino said...

I have mixed feelings, both mine are at home at 23 and 25. One is a treasure to live with, the other . . oh yes glasses and beer bottles on the windowsil! Still I'm a single so the prospect of an empty house for more than a week isn't a very bright one. Then at this rate, there'll be at least one at home for the next year or so. You 'run' around naked? God I couldn't run for a bus!

Brian Miller said...

smiles. so this is what i have to look forward to...hmm...i got about 16 more years to go...smiles.

Kalei's Best Friend said...

the nest doesn't stay empty for long.. my home is now a hotel.. which is fine.. they will travel up and spend the night either visiting friends or on their way headed north...

Kathryn said...

I agree. With everything. You said.
Absolutely.

Uncanny!

Marguerite said...

Oh, how I can relate to everything you've said, here! Except maybe running around naked! lol Lucky you!

Deborah said...

Cali Girl, this was a WONderful post! I laughed all the way through it, enjoying the fact that kids are the same no matter where they are and whose they are. My youngest just moved out days ago, and while I'll definitely miss the late-night chats and the 'listen to my latest song' stuff (when I get back there in the fall) all the other things you list are things I won't be sorry to see the back of, either.

And a big 'Yeeesss!' to running around naked!!!

Alan Burnett said...

Yes, I have to agree with you. Ours is with us for another couple of weeks yet but I am already beginning to look forward to his return to University. It pains me to haved to agree with anything that appears in the "Daily Mail", but I have no such problems agreeing with you.

Tanna at The Brick Street Bungalow said...

I'd say you just about summed it up... exactly!!

gayle said...

Very true post!! I had the 2 girls and same worries and problems that you did!! Mine have been gone for some time now...not sure exactly and yes my husband and I get along much better. Most of our arguements were about the girls anyway!

Captain Dumbass said...

I have a two month old now, by the time we get to run around the house naked we'll be on one of those electric scooters.

California Girl said...

Thank you all for the amused comments. And, Capt Dumbass, the image of you naked on an electric scooter, well, that takes the cake.

dutchbaby said...

It's T minus two years for my empty nest.
We will have more drinking glasses in the cupboard next week after my daughter returns to college.

I will miss the petty arguments between son and daughter - they are always so entertaining.

Wonderful post, California Girl!

Who Is Afraid of Alfred Hitchcock? said...

Hi! C.G.,
Your post touched on many bases when it comes to reality, humour, and just all around "straightforwardness."

Unfortunately, I can and yet I can't relate because I'am single and don't have children.
Thanks, for sharing!
DeeDee ;-D

California Girl said...

Dutchbaby & Dee Dee: thanks for the praise. These are the posts I find the most fun and easiest to write. My husband keeps telling me to focus on this type of writing. (But I have so many interests.)

Grandmother said...

And the running around naked can lead to other pursuits without having to worry about who's around! Ah, yes!

Barbara and Nancy said...

i'm still trying to cope with my daughter being out of the house and it's been over 17 years since she left for college and flew the coop. Unlike some parents, I'd welcome her back anytime - but once she saw New York, I don't think it's going to happen.

Nancy said...

Boy, isn't this the truth? I love my girls with everything I have, but not waiting for them to come home at night is pure heaven. I STILL cannot sleep when they are home visiting and go out with their friends. Maybe I just remember those friends...

Linda Myers said...

Yes, yes, yes. My husband and I have eight kids between us, all grown now. I remember the years of lying awake until the curfew time, listening to car doors slamming in the driveway. And the wet towels. And the dirty dishes.

Haven't tried running around naked yet, though!

Pat Tillett said...

We have five kids and they are all "out of the nest." I'm here to tell anyone who will listen, it's a good thing! It's like a new life. We love them all and want them close, just not too close...
What we love most is the quiet.
You pretty much hit it all right on the head with this post!

Susan said...

I loved this post, D. You are spot on with all your points. Of course, now I have the grandkids to do most of those things on a regular basis, so enjoy the years between...they don't last as long as you think they would. Maybe in your case in won't matter so much about the running around nekkid, because, if you're like me, at my age, I don't even want to see myself nekkid, much less anyone else!