A not so empty nest is rife with possibilities. I’m telling you.
I have a not so empty nest. I had my son late in life; I wasn’t seventy, like some people I could mention (there’s a woman in India who had a baby at 70), but I was almost forty when he was born.
Some people think raising kids in their 40s, 50s, and beyond will hold them back when they retire and want to raise hell a second time. If you’re raising hell in your 60s, it’s time to get off the Harley and do some serious introspection.
Instead, buy a sailboat and set sail for the horizon. Before too much time has passed, you’ll be back at home raising your grand kids. In fact, take them with you, and leave your grown kids behind to watch the house.
Each parent reacts differently when kids leave home; moms have meltdowns, dads do whatever dads do- grunt, and turn on the TV, I don’t know. Kids are supposed to leave home eventually. Sometimes they come back home. In my case, my mom came back home. I took care of her for many years.
My grown and un-flown son is still at home, never having left, so I’ve looked at life from both sides now. I spent my usual amount of time – five minutes, give or take a few – thinking of reasons to write a list post, which are fun, and came up with:
12 whole reasons you might enjoy a not so empty nest:
1) You can borrow your kid’s clothes.
I used to ‘borrow’ my dad’s and brother’s shirts and sweaters.
I always liked big sweaters; I have long arms and I’m tall, and girls clothes didn’t fit me. This was back in the dark ages, before the fashion industry caught up with the victims of hormone laden milk.
(I originally wrote that I had long arms and was tall, and realized those things are still true. Choosing the correct tense is hard for a writer.)
My dad complained that I stretched his sweaters out in the wrong places, so I just kept them.
When I was pregnant, I drank disgusting stuff from the blender. (It wasn’t the blender’s fault, because I put the stuff in it, stuff like liver and spinach), so my son is tall, too. Now, I get to borrow his t-shirts and sweaters.
2) You can borrow your kid’s car.
I picked up a nail in one of my truck’s tires the other day; if he’d had a car, which he doesn’t yet, I’d have been able to borrow it.
I’m hoping he’ll buy a Ferrari one day. I promise not to drink a Cherry Slushie while I’m driving it 85 mph. Maybe. I love Cherry Slushies.
3) You can borrow your kid’s money.
This is a good one. There is no way they can refuse to ‘lend’ you money after you’ve fed, sheltered, clothed, educated, and gifted them for 18, 20, 25 years.
No way, man.
I’m rubbing my hands together. I love when kids are working and can pony up for dinner out.
4) You have someone to fix your mobility scooter.
This is assuming you have one. If it breaks down, make them fix it. Rent them out to a mechanic for a few years first, so they can learn how to fix things.
This scheme works for computers, too.
5You have someone to do the yard work and shopping.
Fire that housecleaning service, put down the mop. Sit on the sofa, sip a Margarita and flip through your magazines. The housecleaning is taken care of.
Well, at least the trash, the dog poop and a few other things. Let’s face facts; I failed miserably when it comes to making him do most of the housework.
If you weren’t an epic failure in this regard, mazel tov!
6) You have extra protection in the house.
It always makes me feel a little safer knowing someone is staying up way later than they should, and that no one will bust in and steal everything while I’m sleeping.
Lights are on, people are awake here, dweeb. Try the house next door.
My dog is an excellent watchdog, but only if there’s a piece of paper blowing by in the street or if the mail person is delivering mail. You know, someone she’s seen everyday for three years.
7) You have a babysitter for the dog.
I love my dog, but sometimes we might want to travel without her. No kennel necessary; we have a built-in babysitter.
8) You can keep abreast of what’s new.
I may never have found out about My Little Pony and The Bronies without his stories about them. Worse luck.
You should know that if World War III breaks out, The Bronies will not be enlisting of their own accord. Neither will the guys of Epic Meal Time. As a society, we’re doomed.
9) You can’t move into assisted living with someone under fifty.
Thank goodness. If I can delay playing Bingo or comparing medical procedures with my neighbors during dinner, it’s all good. Especially neighbors with orange hair wearing Smokey the Bear ball caps.
10) You have someone who can lift heavy things.
He’s big and strong. My scooching days – an excellent technique for moving furniture- are over, at least for the time being.
11) You raised this funny, intelligent person and now you get to enjoy them for awhile.
Just as this kid gets to be interesting and fun, AND starts earning money, they move out and some random stranger gets to enjoy their company.
You worked hard raising this person and you should get to reap some of the rewards.
12) You can make them drive.
I always have to do the driving, unless my guy and I are going somewhere. Then he drives. When your kid drives, you get to be the one issuing warnings.
The stream of instructions that issue from the passenger seat when my hubby is riding shotgun leads me to wonder if I learned to drive only yesterday. How do I manage the 95% of the time he’s not there?
It’s possible I’m in a traffic accident every time I drive, but because I hit my head multiple times, I don’t remember. This is the only conclusion I can come up with, from listening to my hubby’s instructions on ‘how I should drive’ when he’s riding shotgun.
When it’s time for me to start wearing diapers, he’ll be there to change them. Turnabout is fair play.