Sunday, August 24, 2014

Top Ten Best Things About the Empty Nest

The empty nest is great. In the month of July Pam and I moved our daughter and her new husband into their new apartment in Columbia, South Carolina. Then a week later moved our son into his new rental house in Nashville, Tennessee. Finally, after several false starts and 26 years of kid-centric living, we are home, alone. Now that we have had an entire month of freedom under our belt, let me list for you the best parts of empty nest life:

1.     We never have to fuss at either of them about how messy their rooms are. Every time we pass by their doors, their beds are all made…just like the last time we checked. What a relief it is not to have to nag them about it. Now, if we get unexpected guests from out of town. We won’t have to scramble around making their rooms presentable. Of course, we’ve never actually had any unexpected guests show up on our doorstep recently…or ever, but if it happens, we’ve got a couple of immaculately clean guestrooms going for us.

2.     Since our kids aren’t here to constantly leave their bedroom lights on 24/7, our electricity consumption has been slashed by…3.5%

3.     Now that they have moved out, the street in front of our house doesn’t look like a used car lot. Their two cars aren’t there and neither are the cars of their friends. It’s just empty…and since Pam and I both park our cars inside the garage, you can hardly tell if anyone is home…kind of like an abandoned house. It’s great.

4.     Our grocery bill has been cut virtually in half. Finally, the cupboard isn’t stuffed full of chips and snacks. The freezer isn’t packed to the gills with ice cream and freezy pops and all the other delicious stuff that they used to inhale. As a consequence, we are eating healthier. Yes, no more calorie filled sweet treats for us, no sirree Bob.

5.     Did I mention the laundry? Did I mention how we only have to wash clothes once a week or so? That’s a good thing…right?

6.     Quiet, it’s so very quiet. Peace and quiet used to be an impossibility around here and now it’s like…all the time. Really great.

7.     We don’t have to clean the kids’ bathroom anymore. We don’t have to scrub Kaitlin’s hair products off of the tile floor with a toothbrush. It really wasn’t her fault. She had to use all kinds of stuff on her beautiful curls to keep them from getting out of control. Cleaning up after Kaitlin’s beautiful delicate curls are now the responsibility of Jon. Finally…a clean guest bedroom, and no beautiful curls. Great.

8.     Oh, and the music thing. When Patrick was here, he was always sitting down at the piano working something out in his mind, playing the same measure over and over trying to perfect it. It was always very difficult to read with that piano going all the time. Sometimes I would sit there at my desk and just listen to him play and the next thing I knew, thirty minutes had flown by. I am so much more efficient now that I don’t have beautiful, creative, soulful music being written all around me.

9.     It’s also quite refreshing not to have the violent crash and flash of video game noise pulsing out of the movie room. Now I don’t have to remember to not trip on all the chords laying all around the floor. Sooo much safer in there now.

10.  Where before we saw our kids all the time, now we get to decide when we would like to see them. And when we do, all we have to do is hop in the car and drive 7 hours to see Kaitlin and Jon and a mere 9 and a half to see Patrick. That way, we will arrive fresh and rested and truly enjoy our two days together before we have to drive 7 and 9 and a half hours back…to our quiet, clean, nearly abandoned-looking house.

Yes, the empty nest is…great.