As you probably already know (since I have been talking about it endlessly), we are one year deep into the quagmire that they call Empty Nest Syndrome at my house. Our youngest son Steve left for his second year of college in mid-August.
Naturally, I had been thinking about this situation for a long time. There comes a point in the lives of our children when we realize they will leave the nest. This doesn’t necessarily happen just when graduation from high school is looming. For me, it happened years earlier so I saw a lot of their growing up through that prism. Sad to say, once you realize it, there’s no going back to the time when you think your little family will stay like that forever.
Since this is such a MAJOR change in the life of a Boomer, and the subject of countless books I wish I had written, I thought I would break it down into small increments so we don’t all end up blubbering at our respective offices and homes today.
So pulling from my vast experience with ENS, here are some things I think I think:
* Yes, most definitely, the house is quieter. This may be the second most common comment I make to people when they ask me how things are going (The first being: It’s weird, really weird.). It’s not a tough call, really, for those who know Steve, to consider the difference in noise levels from when he is here to when he’s absent. I find myself playing music around the house more than I ever did before, trying I guess to fill up some of that quiet, especially around 3 p.m. when he would come home from school every day.
* Who ya gonna call? Actually, I may have to resort to calling Ghostbusters to reach out and touch somebody, anybody. The phone rarely rings around here anymore. I’m not sure who used to call us, but it is startling that after being gone entire days at a time, we come home to a blank answering machine. Thanks to the “Do Not Call” list we enrolled in to reduce the number of telemarketers, the phone lines are pretty silent (darn). Sometimes I feel like I should call Verizon and check to make sure they are still in service.
By Teresa K. Flatley