We have focused on all the positives winter break brings to the empty nest. Family bonding time along with vacations and special events/holidays shared remind us what it really means to be surrounded by those closest to us. Observing the maturation process our young adults have undergone up close rather than through email or text fills us with pride. As with everything in life, we must take the good with the not so good. When reality enters the equation, an extended visit home is not always sunshine and lollipops.
Generation Y’s distaste for long term scheduling drives us bonkers. We cannot count how many times we asked our college students about their plans for an evening…usually at 6PM at night…and heard a blunt, “I don’t know” (with an underlying “none of your business” tone). Ok then,..is dinner for 4 or 2 or 6 or 8? Or are you going out? Will you be home for dinner and then go out? Then there are the evenings you watch your favorite TV show together as a family…say 24 perhaps…and next thing you know they are outta the house at 10PM!
During senior year of high school we were accustomed to late bedtimes and very late wake ups. But we kind of forgot about it during fall semester. Then during the long winter break there is the 2-2 rule. Bed at 2AM and wake up at 2PM! We finish more than half a day of work by the time our little prince/princess rolls out of bed to grace us with their presence, all tousled hair and grouchy mood! With their body clocks upside down you can bet there is some serious stomach rumblings going on. It is important to have lots of snacks in the pantry so more trips than usual to the market are necessary.
Lets not forget the constant purr of the washing machine. Bet you never realized how many articles of clothing your son or daughter has. And then you remember, most of their wardrobes are back in the dorm. So how come the washer and dryer are in overdrives?
This generation rarely talks on the phone and there is the continual melodious sound of text messaging. In our day we took typing classes at school…today’s students must take thumb texting lessons. We thought our typing was fast, but we have never seen two digits of two hands move with such accuracy. Head down, cell phone in hand, two thumbs clicking is most definitely the symbol of this vacation!
As the last of winter breaks end this weekend and almost all students are finally back at school, we admit we’ll miss them terribly. But there is also the understanding that the empty nest affords us a freedom and independence we have not had in at long time. We love our kids and will always be their parents, but during the long break it truly hits you: they are, ever so slowly, growing into who they will be.
Claudia and Jill are excited to talk with “The Lavish Cheapskate” author Ardy Skinner, who will help us learn how to recession proof our lives! Join us at live at 11AM PT, Wednesday, January 20th on www.blogtalkradio.com/emptynesters .
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It's good to talk.