A few changes I’ve noticed in myself over the year and a half that our son, Reeve, has been away at school:
1. I can’t seem to go to sleep before midnight. I just really get going right about the time that everybody else is heading to bed.
2. I can’t seem to get out of bed until at least an hour after the alarm first goes off.* Though I used to leap out of bed and spring into my running clothes and out the door in mere minutes.**
3. My diet consists of way too many spoonfuls of peanut butter and honey straight off the spoon. And lots of Cheetos. (Not that I can blame Reeve’s being gone for this one. I’ve never been the type to put a home-cooked meal on the table nightly, even when he was little.)
4. I will wear a favorite item of clothing until someone points the holes out to me. Unfortunately, I’m not kidding about this. My man Tim has had to gently say the equivalent of “You’re not going out in that, are you?!” at least once in the last month.
5. Haven’t cleaned my room since my parents came to visit in late 2007. Again, I wish I were kidding.
6. I am on the phone a LOT. Granted, it’s still the best way to stay in touch with College Boy (is it just me? or do kids today seem to eschew email?). AND it’s a new iPhone, provided by Mothering so that I can be more involved in researching new Mothering touch-point apps, etc, so I’d better be on it, but still . . .
7. I cry at the drop of a hat and listen to loud music. This has always been true, or almost always, so this isn’t really a change—but it fleshes out my list and fits right in with the case I’m trying to make.
Which brings me to my point: Does the Empty Nest lead to Second Teenhood?
I’ll get back to you on that.
*Not that this is related to #1 or anything.
**And, yes, there may be truth to the idea that once the child leaves home, accuracy in parental memory is not far behind.
Photo: An inexpensive, ecologically friendly, and highly recommended alternative to the energy bar. Yum.