Friday, March 11, 2005

Playing Our Cards Right & Empty Nest Syndrome

I've always heard about the "empty nest syndrome." We still have one child at home, a 13 year old, and the full teenage parenting-experience in our future one last time, so we don't yet have an empty nest. But still, with three adult children and two spouses, we find ourselves with less, not more, time for ourselves and our friends.

We're not complaining, mind you. Just observing. We choose to care about our kids and their lives. Both of us have/had detached parents...ones who mildly cared from afar, with occasional gifts and rare visits. They chose to not be involved in our everyday lives. We want more and we want to show our love more than that.

Trisha and Nino have been married 18 months, and live in an elegant San Francisco Bay area condo. They want a single-family home and don't have zillions to spend, so they're selling soon and moving to Portland, Oregon. They're successful free-lancers, so they can move where they choose.

I hear its beautful there. We can't wait to visit them. I talk or email with Trisha at least twice a week. Sometimes more.

Ryan and Giovanna, both in their mid-20s, were married last fall, and they're expecting their first child, our only grandchild, in May. They have little of anything but love. Ryan works fulltime, and goes to school in Costa Mesa to finish his degree. He'll soon pick-up a second job so Giovanna can quit. We're helping them move to a one-bedroom apartment...they adorably liken it to an immense mansion.

Next week, I'm taking Giovanna and her non-English speaking mother to a Babies R' Us to educate them on baby things she'll need, and to register for a baby shower I'm throwing for her in April.

Kevin works fulltime as webmaster and chief internet designer for a large surf retailer, all while attending Cal State Long Beach Business School fulltime. He plays soccer on weekends and hangs with his buddies, just like any 21 year old. He loves my weekend cooking. Apparently little dining, much less cooking, is done at his five-guy apartment.

And, of course, there's the hyper-schedule of an active young teenage girl

I hope we never feel "empty nest syndrome." My hunch is...we're not in danger of that.

If we play our cards right.

And soon...not soon enough.....a golden grandchild!

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