My wife and I are recent empty-nesters. For the past twenty-four years, we have found collective definition in our lives through the raising of our children. I have always preferred defining my life in this way; left to the standards of personal choice, service to my fellow-man and conduct in general, you would find me ranked, should such rankings exist, somewhere between Jeffrey Dahmer and Richard Nixon. My children, however, are impeccable in both character and appearance, and since most of you don’t know any better, I take my share of credit for it.
Within the past three months, my son moved out and married and my youngest daughter relocated to California. (My oldest daughter married last summer and now lives in Colorado). Suddenly, my wife and I were left to fill a substantial void in our lives. My priceless, go-to pearls of wisdom – “That was dumb.”; “What did you do that for?”; and “I didn’t learn you like that.” – now merely float out into space, unheard and unheeded. For my wife, it’s been even harder: always vigilant and ardent with respect to the needs of her children, she now has a sizable chunk of her time to fill. (Shrinkable, if she’d only drop her steadfast refusal to cook me meat or fetch me hooch). I suspect that this is a common problem for married couples who now find their homes more quiet, less stressful and substantially easier to clean.
You know what? Now that time and resignation have settled in, it hasn’t been that bad or, for that matter, bad at all. I still love my wife (for those that know her, you would rightfully ask “How could he not?”), and I know that she still loves me (for those same people, “Character judgement: her one major flaw.”) We’ve found, after twenty-five years of marriage and the absence of those who would draw our attentions away from each other, that we still enjoy each other’s company.
My wife and I have decided to take some day trips around Arizona each weekend. It’ll be fun to get away from the stresses of everyday life, spend some time together and find what this state of ours has to offer. As a side benefit, I hope to find some new material with which to line this blog’s cage.