I am officially an empty nester. A little more than 18 years ago we went from having no children to having two born within two minutes of each other. We went from an empty back seat in the car to a full back seat complete with two child car seats, diaper bags and all things children. I loved it. But the problem with having two at once is they leave at the same time. We have gone from a house of lots of activity and sound, boundless energy and high grocery bills to a very quiet and calm house. For the most part, that is. And even Bella the pup doesn’t quite know what to do with it.
So instead of crying about my empty nest, instead of lamenting all that I have perceived lost, I have decided to count my blessings. Here is a short list of what I have come to realize in just a few days are the benefits without children in the house.
1. I don’t have to step over all the shoes and sandals in the floor between the back door and the couch.
2. The grocery bill has gotten smaller already.
3. It doesn’t take near as long to make dinner and to clean it all up.
4. Eating out in a restaurant is half as much.
5. I don’t have to step over all the shoes and sandals in the floor between the back door and the couch.
6. There’s more time to read a book.
7. I don’t have to run a carpool or take a child to school early in the morning for marching band rehearsal.
8. I didn’t have the 27 pages of information to fill out on the night of the first day of school. (Actually, this was Jan’s job, but I didn’t have to hear about it and help out.)
9. There are no booster club meetings, parent meetings, parent conferences or school introductory functions to attend.
10. I don’t have to step over all the shoes and sandals in the floor between the back door and the couch.
11. If I clean it up, it’s still clean when I get home.
12. I have time to catch up on some work in the evening.
13. Because of the slower pace, there’s a little more time to think about what’s coming next.
14. There’s more time to get ready for what’s coming next.
15. I don’t have to step over all the shoes and sandals in the floor between the back door and the couch.
16. There’s less laundry to do, thus it can be done quicker.
17. I can walk through the house in my underwear. (Many of you said this was one of the perks! Ha!)
18. There’s not a daughter in my bed and on my side when I’m ready to go to bed. I had to kick them out often.
19. I get to have meaningful conversations with my wife again.
20. I don’t have to step over all the shoes and sandals in the floor between the back door and the couch.
There you have it. The empty nester list could go on, but it’s only been a week. I keep thinking about the list and looking for the positives. It helps with the transition. They will come back, I know. I will then have to step over shoes and sandals once again. I do miss them but I am grateful for the stories that we hear now on the phone during the day. I am proud of my girls and pray for them often.
And the empty nest isn’t such a bad thing. It just takes a little getting used to.