My husband and I have been married for 23 years and we have never spontaneously gone four hours away to anything, much less a concert. When we got married, we both brought daughters into the marriage, and three years later, we had a son. We were a family of five.
In our 23 years of marriage, it had never been just the two of us.
There were always ballgames, concerts, school awards, etc that kept us busy and split between two places if not three. After the girls both left the house for college, we still had our son. While we missed our daughters, our son was there. As his high school graduation approached in 2020, I became more scared of being empty nesters.
My friends asked, “What will you do with all your time?”
I had no response because it had never been just the two of us.
When the day came, we moved our son into college an hour and a half away. I left my heart with him the day we dropped him off. The first few weeks were tough because my husband and I had all this time for just the two of us. We really had never had time for hobbies because we always had kids. Those first few weeks were tough, I’m not going to lie.
Then we started to find our groove.
Just recently, on a hot Wednesday afternoon, my husband texted me and said “Def Lepard is in Charlotte tonight, I think we can get tickets.” I’m not a big Def Leppard fan, but I said, “Are you sure? Charlotte is four hours away, when does it start?” He gave me the details and I reluctantly told him yes if he could get tickets and drive there and back.
Later he texted me: “We are going to Charlotte.” Wow! I’ve known this man for over half my life and we have never just picked up and gone anywhere on a whim.
We left that afternoon, just the two of us, like teenagers headed to a concert in a huge stadium to hear a band.
We laughed and joked on the way and I played DJ. (Thank goodness for music apps so you can listen to the songs you want to!)
Empty nesting is hard but it can be rejuvenating as well. The best part of being an empty nester is getting to know my husband again. We do things together just the two of us and don’t feel guilty about leaving a child with their grandparents. The two of us have been to amusement parks, concerts, the beach . . . and it has been great. You will be surprised what you can find to do when it’s just the two of you, like going to a concert four hours away on a workday.
To those of you preparing to drop your “baby” off at college soon, know there is life after the baby leaves. Get to know your husband better. Do the things you have always wanted to do, but didn’t because you had kids. Take a road trip to a concert. Go to the beach. Rest assured that the “baby” you dropped off is living his best life—so why shouldn’t you? You will be back home when he decides to come home and just like him, you’ll have stories to tell of what you and Dad have been doing.