Scrubbing schmutz off the counter on yet another July afternoon, I hollered to my sons, "You people are pigs! You are disgusting! You are so dirty!" And then, humbly, "And I'll miss you so much when you're gone in two months, despite the mess." Here I show you a benefit of having an empty nest. (I had to add that sentence for @*$%# SEO purposes.)
Two months later, with one settled in his out-of-state job, the other at a far-away college, I find my kitchen counters -- well, not spotless. I'm a crazy-messy cook and The Hub doesn't notice crumbs or smears. But, cleaner. Cleanish. Less cluttered. Rarely sticky.
Those counters have long served as my base-point for peering into the den, the kid-hub, which is now mighty spic and span. It's also empty, allowing The Hub and me to reclaim it after spending eight years reading, watching TV, and occasionally eating in the bedroom. Those young men flapping their not-so-tender hairy-arm wings and flying north to freedom gave us leeway to use the house's common space ourselves.
We've power-watched Homeland in there, and, soon, we might get to watch Modern Family, Criminal Minds, and ... that's all I watch. Maybe Celebrity Apprentice with Arnold Schwarzenegger. Where else can you see old faves like David Cassidy? But hey, it's nice knowing I have the option of using my own den.
Hug your kiddies lots and lots,