Mine, All Mine

On Monday night, I sat on my sofa and watched the season premiere of Downton Abbey, which led to much contemplation about whether Bates – such a temper! – actually is a murderer, or what the heck is wrong with far-too-noble Matthew Crawley (take the money, you fool!). It was two hours long, and I watched it from 5 until 7 pm.  My husband was at a friend’s house watching the BCS championship game, so I was home alone. My dog Lambeau kept me company, like he always does, though I know that he’s really just waiting for Peter to walk in the door – the best moment of his day, by far  – Lambeau’s day, that is (well, maybe Peter’s, too).

Lambeau, dog, my pet dog, I love my dog, Empty nest, baby boomer, midlife

Adam was gone, back to school. He left the day before, his truck packed with box upon box of clothes, an XBox and not much more. We said a tearful goodbye and watched him drive away, heading back to the future he had put on hold for a little while. Raising children is heartbreaking, sometimes – but this was a good kind of heartbreaking, sending him off to where he belongs. Peter and I went for some retail therapy that day and dipped our toes into the water of no kids at home again.

So there I was, with no one walking in the door, no one asking “What are you watching?” which is code for “I want to watch something else,” no one wondering what we were going to do for dinner (I had two handfuls of almonds), no one at all. Just the Crawleys, Lambeau and me.

It was really nice. No, not nice. It was heavenly. It was quiet and clean, and for the first time since we bought it in October, the new ginormous flatscreen was not tuned to football, Duck Dynasty, or the Food Network.


There’s something so wonderful about waking up in the morning and knowing that the entire day is mine, all mine – the house is mine, my time is mine, my thoughts are mine…

Do I sound selfish? I’m not, really. What I am is focused on my world, my life, and my future. Just as Adam is ready to be focused on his. Peter is playing his guitar and I’m reading magazines. This is how it should be, now. This is what feels right, for all of us.

My nest is empty once again.

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  1. says

    I so get this Sharon! I love my empty nest except for the my time is my time thing. I don’t quite have that now. Momma is on my schedule and though she is NOT demanding, she does like routine and changing ANYTHING is upsetting so I try not to do that.
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  2. says

    I totally understand, the peace the quiet the cleanliness the control of the TV and the remote and Downton Abbey with just a fur face smiling, a nice mini vacation. Lambeau is adorable!
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  3. says

    I was totally dedicated to my children’s needs when they were living in the house. When our youngest was a senior in high school, I was beside myself with worry about how sad it was going to be when we became empty nesters. I spent his whole last semester and that summer worrying about how I was going to cope with the kid-less house. We took our son to NYU (our daughter had gone there two years earlier)…I cried and cried when we left him. We got back to Phoenix and I fell in bed. The next morning, David and I woke up and realized that we didn’t need to plan our day around our children anymore. We could eat dinner at any time we wanted or skip it all together and just have popcorn. We could make love without the TV on loud and run around the house naked if we wanted! It was liberating and fun! We felt like kids again! Trying not to smother him, I waited to call and check on him. He ended up calling to check on us! I think he was surprised that I wasn’t still a blubbering mess. I told him how much fun we were having. At first, I could tell he was somewhat shocked….then I heard his smile through the phone…. he thanked us for being so dedicated to him and said that he was thrilled that we were having a great time together! I think HE was comforted that his parents were going to be fine without him, too. Sharon, enjoy this chapter in your life. You deserve it!
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  4. says

    I can totally relate to how you are feeling. While it is fun to have everyone around for a piece, I so enjoy being able to settle back in to our predictable (and clean)empty nest life. What I don’t like is dealing with the emotion swings that occur with the comings and going. Excited to see everyone; exhausted having everyone around. Sad to see them go; lonesome for the company. Moving on…

  5. says

    There are indeed joyous freedoms as our children grow-up. We have the chance to enjoy the fruits of our parenting labors as we morph our relationship with dependent child to one with two independent adults. Ruth Nemzoff, author, Don’t Roll Your Eyes: Making In-Laws Into Family

  6. says

    Enjoying my empty nest was the last thing I ever expected, as parenting was the most satisfying experience of my lifetime. But my husband and I have found the freedom this phase offers to be such fun – it’s like our years pre-parenting but with experience and resources to make it so much better.

  7. says

    I did enjoy this piece, and I sometimes manage to enjoy my time alone-again as much as you do. I adore to be along in my house for a day or two. It’s shocking how much you can get done (or not) when there is nothing to distract. I loved your insight the ‘What are you watching?’ really means “Can I change the channel?” SO true. That said, I MISS the kids when they’ve been home and then go off again. I even miss their enormous shoes all over the front hall. And each time they go away agin, it seems it is a little further… BTW I share your Downton Abbey addiction. Tonight! Who needs The Golden Globes?!
    Sarah@afterhood recently posted..The Light In My ClosetMy Profile

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