On becoming an empty nester
Some of you know that my son, Kendall, graduated from Natick High School on June 3rd. He’s our #3 child by birth order but each one is, of course, special to us in their own way. The event has been followed by his graduation party and attending many others around town. Through these and other gatherings, we have been informed that we are now official “empty-nesters”.
It is an interesting concept as each person who has announced that we are empty-nesters seems to be expecting some kind of jubilation from us. Is there some special empty-nester party that I missed? Am I now free of some obligation, like paying of my mortgage or taxes? I seem to have missed the memo that I should be feeling some sort of euphoria.
Now, mind you, we are very happy for him and excited for what he will do next. This spring was full of his exciting high school volleyball games and making it to the second round of playoffs, one better than last year. It has brought us great joy to watch him excel at this game over the last four years and also develop important team leadership skills.
We are thrilled that he has graduated and is heading off to the University of New Hampshire. He has grown so much in the last four years and is now about to start learning more about his future career and learning to be an independent, young adult. We couldn’t be happier.
Yet, I am still looking for some post telling me where the empty-nester party is. And, there is supposed to be some big weight taken off our shoulders, right? Especially considering that he is the youngest and the last one at home.
As any true parent knows, parenting never ends—it just changes. And that’s what has gotten me thinking.
This past year, knowing that Kendall is graduating has made me realize that we are entering a new chapter in our lives (e.g., empty-nestering). It has made me think more about how I would like to spend my time and time with my wife Katie. It truly is a milestone because all of those years of caring for toddlers then pre-teens and then teenagers is coming to a close. During those years any parent will tell you that they are just trying to get through the day (without losing their minds).
I am starting to see some different kinds of joy now that we are empty-nesters: more free time for home projects, time at the lake in NH, and more time visiting friends and family. Also, my model train table in the basement, which has been dormant since Grace was born, is calling me. I am also looking forward to continuing my volunteer work especially as it relates to preserving our environment.
We’ll see. I’m told that empty-nestering is awesome.
Do you want to have a conversation about becoming an empty nester? Give us call. We’re here to help. You can schedule a quick call with me by clicking HERE.
Lyman H. Jackson
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[Photo: Kendall at graduation, in the back row, middle.]
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