The Swim to My 50s – Our Short-lived Empty Nest


A couple of blogs ago I talked about how sad I am (at times) that my husband and I did not have more than two children.  This temporary insanity acts up when I see my husband and his five brothers all together.   Although they don’t always get along, I think of how Walton-ish it would have been to have had more.

Enter into evidence,  child #1 and child #2.  They are both amazing, loving kids who have had to grow up sooner than many of their peers.  Even at a young age, they had to watch me suffer in bed unable to get up and attend to their needs as my Rheumatoid Arthritis wrecked havoc on my body.  

They learned how to get themselves breakfast, make their school lunches, clean the house, make their beds, answer phone calls and attend to my needs.  My husband was wonderful as well but his job kept him away from home for many hours.

Although they may not realize this yet, the circumstances they had to deal with have made them the self-sufficient, sensitive, caring souls that they are today (usually).  I am very proud of them and I see the strength and confidence they both have when making decisions.

Well, as my health has improved, thanks to modern medicine, I have noticed that their abilities have… declined.  Suddenly, they seem to have forgotten how to make beds, do dishes, clean the house, cook and clean up after themselves.  Quite the mystery….wouldn’t you say?

My son is a freshmen in college and my daughter a junior in high school.  We have become empty nesters even though my daughter still lives with us because, she is never home.  My husband and I find ourselves alone on friday and saturday nights often and have taken full advantage of this new-found freedom.    Consequently, the house is relatively clean and neat (except for her bedroom).  Who ever said girls are neater anyway?


In two weeks, my handsome 6’2, size 14 shoe – fisherman of a son, will be coming home for the summer.  He is funny and kind and brightens up a room.  Unfortunately, he also destroys that same room and all the rooms in the house – for that matter.  He leaves a trail all around the house and we can trace his every step.  Every room can tell a full story of what he is up to.  Socks, underwear, crumbs, mac-n-cheese, candy wrappers (when did it become in to throw wrappers on the floor rather than the trash?)

Then there is his fishing paraphernalia.  Fishing is his passion and apparently ours as well…or so he thinks.  We often trip over fishing line in the living room, come close to being pierced by stray hooks images, confuse his worms and bait containers in the fridge for some kind of exotic edible dip and cannot enter the garage without being hit in the head with one of his 50 rods.

My beautiful daughter is a bit sneakier about her messes.  We would often find a dirty sock or two of hers stuffed in between the sofa cushions. I kid you not.   We would be sitting on the couch, smell something…search under the cushions and, Voilà!  When asked why on earth she would do this, she simply stated that the laundry room was too far.  It is located two doors down the hallway. 

Soon, these two lovely teens of mine, will have forgotten how much they missed each other and will get right back to doing what they do best.  Arguing about, who gets the car?  Whose turn is it to empty the dishwasher?  Why they have to help?  How he hasn’t done the dishes in 8 months…and how much hair she leaves in the tub after she showers. 

The noise level in the house will increase, our grocery bill will double, the laundry will be overflowing, our water bill will go up, the big screen tv will no longer be ours to enjoy, the kitchen will be sticky, we will be kept awake into the later hours of the night,  the fish will be biting and the socks will be a’ hiding.  Our nest will feel empty – no more.

Truth be told, I cannot wait…kinda.


19 thoughts on “The Swim to My 50s – Our Short-lived Empty Nest

  1. My father passed away when I was just eight and, since then, my mother has raised me up. Your story reminds me of my own. I mean twenty but I’ve seen my younger sister growing, and changing, in all these years. I have always thought of myself as the guardian of my house.
    I usually don’t share these things but your post makes me do that. Loved it! Have a nice day ahead. 🙂 🙂

    Also, if time permits, would you check a short story written by me? just a five-minute read —


  2. My poor daughter, when she moved out at 17 1/2, she was barely airborne and I was painting her bedroom to take over as my office. In my defense, she claimed she was never moving back home and said I was welcome to it. She’s only been back for short stays (the longest six weeks), and I miss her terribly. Right now she’s in Hawaii twirling fire or picking mangoes, I forget which. It changes from week to week. Next month she might be in Japan. That’s what I get for raising and independent spirit! At least I still have my son at home, so I cherish every sock I find stuffed between the sofa cushions. Not really, but that sounded really good, didn’t it? 🙂

    Have fun this summer with both your kids home to keep you company. You know you’ll love it!


    1. That’s funny! I think my daughter will be like your daughter. Gone and not likely to move back. Whereas my son is more of a homeboy. We’ll see what happens! All we can do in enjoy them while we have them!


  3. OK….stop the presses. This was hilarious…and true…and perfect right off the back of your yearning for more kids blog. You need to publish these in the newspaper (except your kids would tar and feather you!). I think everyone can relate to the bitter/sweet scene of kids coming back into the home after you’ve adjusted to theri being away.


    1. Hee, hee! My kids would kill me if I publicized this. That’s why they can never know about this blog. 🙂 You know what it’s like to have to adjust when they come back home!


  4. Haha, aww…sounds like a good time! Girls can DEFINITELY be as messy as boys, or more so. But oh well, you know you miss them. You might feel differently after they’re gone again, of course… 😉


  5. I am guilty of this! We moved back in with my partners parents a few years ago when we were building our house “oh, it won’t be that long” we argued… 12 months later, our house nowhere near complete we decided (I decided? Haha) that it would be best to rent. Love his family to bits, but I like not worrying about awkward moments.


  6. In the UK there’s now a widespread issue with ‘boomerang kids’ – just as mum and dad get used to having their home to themselves again, the kids bounce back from college to stay … and stay … and, um, stay. Not sure it’s a new thing, though – my dad still claims to be finding stuff in his garage from 25 years ago when my sister and I kept drifting back home with all our stuff ‘just for a few weeks’. He says he always knew we were back because there’d be mascara on the towels and a backside permanently sticking out of the fridge … Enjoy your weekend!


  7. I lived at home while attending college, so my parents didn’t get a break until I bought my first home. My dad always said that was why he had extra gray hairs on his head. They still haven’t gotten rid of me…I visit every weekend, but I do bring cookies and an occasional item that needs to be sewn. My mom is good at it and I’m terrible! 🙂 Have a great time!


    1. I loved pulling in my parents driveway with my MGB packed with dirty laundry. I am sure my mother was overjoyed every time she saw me back then. My dad still jokes about how I would coast in on gas fumes, too. 🙂 Great post!


    2. Like I should talk! My parents moved into a small condo after we graduated from college only to have my sister and I move back home which forced them to build an extra room in the condo basement!


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