The odd things you miss when you’re an empty nester…

Where I live tomorrow is the first day of school. When my oldest went off to school for the very first time I was tempted to do what half the neighborhood was doing…get in the car and follow the bus. Instead, I hung out on the corner with a new neighbor who just put her youngest on the bus, and my neighbor across the street, who also put her last child on the bus. I think they wanted to break out the champagne. For the next oh, eighteen years between the three kids, I couldn’t wait for the first day of school. Not because I wanted to get rid of my children, just that a full summer of lake, pool, lacrosse, hockey, golf, swim team… School days was when I got a few hours to myself… filled in with a job. Lucky for me all the “careers” I’ve had over the course of the last twenty years were either, taking care of other people’s children (had my own daycare) or teaching preschool dance (when my kids were in school) or doing computer work on a contract basis. The school year was busy with 3 kids playing travel hockey. At one point we averaged 170 games in five states and two countries. One weekend we had all three kids playing in tournaments up in Toronto, Canada and. Two of the kids made it to the championship games (adding extra games) My husband made it to all 16 games. I made it to 14. That was a very interesting weekend.

At the height of this craziness that was my life, I would hear of this thing called empty nest and I would think about what it would be like not to got to a hockey rink EVERY SINGLE DAY. Yeah, I actually don’t miss that. I do miss the game, just not going there all the time.

I used to worry that I was going to drop the wrong kid off at the wrong rink at the wrong time. That actually happened once. Thank goodness for cell phones.

This is my second year as partial empty nester as baby boy is off at his second year of college. I’m sort of used to Kelsey (my eldest, now 25) being gone as ever since she graduated from college she might have been in this country for 6 months. Conor, middle boy, who is going to be 23 (cough, choke) that’s really weird to say as an awesome job in Vegas at a beautiful Golf Course.

This past weekend, one of my daughters best friends stopped by. She was visiting from DC. Of course, Kelsey is in Madagascar, so she came to see me! We had some good laughs and some fond memories.  Made me think of all the things I missed…

So, Anyway. My top 10 things I thought I’d never miss….

  1. The bus stop. Those were some good times.
  2. Hockey practice. I did a lot of writing at the rink.
  3. Being woken up in the middle of the night by a sick kid…oh wait, that happened last night with one in school.
  4. The phone call from the middle boy saying he’d left his back pack at home, AGAIN!
  5. Getting to the rink for a game only to find out a piece of equipment was left at home… (really bad when it was either skates or helmet)
  6. You’re daughter and her friends suddenly coming down with “food poising” after having been out the night before (and I fell for that one a time or two).
  7. HAVING to get up at 5:30 to make sure kids got up and made the bus so I didn’t have to drive them. Sadly, from all those years of getting up at that time, my internal clocks is set for that time.
  8. Having 20 boys at my house for poker and sleepover… almost every night.
  9. The laundry. Okay, I don’t really miss it, but I tended to watch TV when I folded laundry and now I’m behind on all my shows!
  10. The Noise. I appreciate the quiet, but sometimes its deafening.

Do want to go back to all that? Hell no. I enjoyed every of second of raising my children. It’s a both a privilege and a honor to be their mother. Now, I get to have hysterically funny conversations with my children. Now I get to go visit all the wild places they go. They do grow quickly, but they grew up good!

Our Rock Star Album Cover! LOL

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