A few weeks ago, we had a little family get-together at the beach. The weather was beautiful and, though it rained a little, we saw the most magnificent rainbow on that Saturday evening. The next morning my eager boys got up about 7am to go to the beach and so I got up with them and we headed out. Just looking out at the vast ocean, listening to the endless sound of waves crashing, birds chirping and kids laughing got me thinking.. what am I going to do if or when this is over: parenting
So, I got out a piece of scrap paper and pen and started writing an Empty Nester Bucket List.. well, it started out as 1 list but then spilled over into 2: “Empty Nester” and “When They’re Gone”
Being on both sides of this parenting spectrum, so much of me has been poured into being a mom. Blood, sweat, and tears (literally, all 3) have been put into raising these boys, as well as, trying to have a baby. And a little part of me is saying ‘just start preparing for the worst.’ Does it have to be the worst? I have friends who live the childless life happily. Some with kids going off to college, others who choose to travel. It can’t be that bad, right?? To me… it feels like it would be the end of the world!
And so.. I started writing.. Things I want to do before the boys leave for college:
Join the PTA – having finished college while they were in Elementary school, I missed out on being an active PTA member, I would have LOVED to join the Bake Sale or chaperone more field trips
Do Outside Activities With Them (Golf, Football) – Yeah, this will take some coercing. Haha… I’ve offered to throw the football with the boys, but being a girly-girl, I DO throw like a girl.
Teach Them to Drive – Yep, its almost that time, and I’ve already started teaching my 15 year old.
By the time I was done, I listed 17 things.. Then I started thinking, well what about AFTER they leave for college??? So I continued:
Start my Business – I’ve always wanted to open a re-used book store / coffee shop.
Find a Mutual Hobby with Hubby – Yes, we get along so well because (1) we enjoy doing things together like watching movies, trying new restaurants..etc (2) we give each other ‘individual’ time/space But we don’t really have a Hobby that we enjoy as a couple.
Finish their Baby Books – well, they did get started when they were babies.. but, as the years have passed, pictures and mementos have gotten stuffed in the front of the book to be properly scrap-booked in later.
Not that I think I’ll ever be ready if they decide to move back to the West Coast.. but I think at least if I can check off the things on my list, I’ll have felt like I didn’t waste my time while they are still under my roof 🙂 And the things I’ve listed on my “After They Leave” list sound pretty exciting to me!