PRACTICING FOR AN EMPTY NEST

I just got back from a wonderful week-long vacation in the mountains above Lake Tahoe; it was the first time in forever that my wife Meg and I went on a trip by ourselves for more than a few days.  As I’ve mentioned before many times and in many ways, my partner of 22 + years is an amazing woman who is fun to recreate with. Yet we haven’t really practiced recreating over a long period of time as a twosome.  Our youngest child, Brett, will be 17 in May and off to college somewhere far away by this time next year, and we’ll truly be an “empty nest” couple. This concept has never bothered me too much; I’ve seen friends lament the fact that “all our babies are gone now!” and I’ve often thought to myself “but that’s what your kids are SUPPOSED to do!” The bigger challenge, it seems to me, is finding a new rhythm to your home-life with just you and your spouse…how do you transition into this new reality without driving each other too crazy? Sure, one week is a small sample size, but Meg turned to me half-way through or snowed-in week together and asked “do you feel OK with just me around?  You know, this is how it’s going to feel once Brett leaves for school…” I turned to her in my Star Wars pajama bottoms, 49er sweater, holding a cup of coffee, and asked “are YOU OK with ME?” Maybe we’ll need more practice 🙂

John Young

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