Wednesday, September 21, 2016

12 Observations from my First Month of Empty Nesting

Today marks one month and three days from the day we dropped the last little Haverkamp off at college.  Life is much different than it used to be…and it’s not half bad.  Here’s why:

1. Mornings are slower because I am not trying to clean up any dishes left in the sink or the remnants of lunch-making mania.  They now involve drinking coffee and sitting with my main man on the porch talking and listening to the birds welcoming the day. I love our new morning routine.

2.  Suppers are quiet and kind of pieced-together; we have had lots of soup, sandwiches, quesadillas, and eggs.  If I make an entire roast or something in a 9x13 casserole, we have to eat it forever.  And that’s a long time. 

3.  Speaking of food, I finally went on a real grocery shopping trip last week after Brent said, “Hey, I don’t mean to be critical, but we have nothing in the pantry and only Half and Half in the fridge.”  He was actually wrong since we had tortilla chips and salted almonds in the pantry and a half a bar of dark chocolate in the secret drawer by the fridge.  He was, however, right about the Half and Half.  I mean, since no one is really around anymore, I pretty much just eat those things.  And only those things.  I am a bad eater when I am alone.

4.  We go through lots of Half and Half—in our coffee because it has to be light tan—but not much milk.  I had to pour some milk down the drain yesterday because it was sour.  We even started buying whole milk, thinking that we could use it in the place of Half and Half if we ran out.  Because running out of Half and Half is an emergency.

5.  Our conversations center on either the dog or the Roomba—mostly things like, “Jet tore the drainpipe off of the garage and ate it today” or “Do you know where the Roomba is?  I started it before I went to work so it must be stuck under the bed.”  We are able to talk about these very arcane and boring subjects for an entire mealtime.  I think we are going to have to buy those little note cards with conversation starters on them so we can expand our repertoire.

6.  We see way more movies.  We have gone out to a movie theater THREE times (and we even got popcorn once!) since we have been on our own.  Two of the movies were great, but Brent fell asleep at the third since it was animated and about pets.  I did not fall asleep.

7.  Evenings are uninterrupted and slightly boring.  Which is why we have gone to so many movies.  And out for ice cream.

8.  You know all that time I spent stressed out when I had kids at home because their rooms were disasters and they never made their beds?  Well, those same rooms stay neat and tidy now and the beds are made beautifully.  This is both a happy and a sad thing.  The bathrooms staying clean however, is an entirely happy thing.

9.  I post videos of my dog on Facebook and celebrate his birthday by buying him a toy and letting him play with the old dog food bag. 

10. Brent mows the yard now, and we had to decide who would take the garbage out.  I have 100% of the pet duty and Brent puts salt in the softener.  He has also agreed to cook one day a week, and on Sunday he made eggs with an avocado garnish and a side of salsa.  It was yummy. He had forgotten that he was a great short order chef.

11.  Everywhere we go, we notice other people who are obviously empty-nesters doing the same empty-nesting things as us—kind of like when you are pregnant and you notice all the pregnant women—kind of like that, but with no baby.

12.  We take lots of walks together in the morning--and sometimes at dusk—and we marvel at God’s goodness to us.  He has blessed us richly.  So richly.  Like coffee with lots of Half and Half, except better.