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Empty Nesters

August 21, 2010

Filed under: life — Terry Wohlers @ 07:40

For the first time in more than 28 years, my wife and I are living without a child under our roof. Two days ago, our daughter, who is 10 years younger than our son, left the “nest” and “flew” off to college. The university is only about 13 km (8 miles) away, so that’s comforting. Even so, it will never be the same at home.

The day was filled with mixed emotions as we helped our daughter move into a dormitory on the campus of Colorado State University. She was among 4,500 first-year students moving in. We also attended several welcome and social events that went into the evening. We are happy to see her enter a new phase of life and pursue her dreams, but we will also miss having her around—most of the time. She is a teenager with a mind of her own, so we have been known to clash at times. Most of those times, however, have already been forgotten.

My wife, Diane, and I will try to stay engaged with her as much as possible, but we also understand that it’s time to let go. That’s the hard part. It is also a time for Diane and me to enter a new phase of life. Although we haven’t discussed it much, I know we’re both looking forward to quiet evenings, uninterrupted movies, dinner together, and travel. We’ve had the chance to see some of the world, but we want to see more. And, we’d like to see more of our home state of Colorado. We’ve lived here for nearly 30 years, yet we’ve seen far more of South Africa than we have of Colorado.

I’m sure we will learn to cope as empty nesters. I understand that some parents struggle with it, especially at first. If you’re an empty nester and you have advice that you’d like to share, please feel free to do so. We’re new at this and enjoy hearing from others.