What I learned from a summer spent with my 21-year-old:
Immaturity is contagious… and fun. A $20 blow-up kiddie pool can be turned into a fabulous day spa, complete with frozen margaritas and music.
Technology is our friend. Who knew our T.V. system is actually wireless, and you can bring said entertainment outside to watch the Card’s games while enjoying the day spa or an evening cigar? I was not, however, a big fan of the thingy he installed on our main television that supposedly responds to voice commands. Oh, I never tired of hearing “Xbox, on!” “Xbox, on!” “Xbox, on!” said in an ever more threatening voice until the thing caved and responded from fear. I had to unplug it when he wasn’t home as I wasn’t able to instill the same level of intimidation to get it to do anything.
He also helped me figure out my new fitbit wrist monitor thingamajig. This was a much-needed purchase as it statistically confirms my poor sleeping habits as well as my lack of exercise. Bonus: the chances of me answering my cell phone before fitbit, about 3%. It now has risen drastically, to about 13.5%, as my fitbit buzzes and displays the caller’s name when my phone rings.
He reminded us that recreation is important. I went to more ball games, played board games, learned all sorts of poker games, and spent more time outside on the deck chatting with friends and family. He even validated my often denigrated hobby of jigsaw puzzles. After many forays into my jigsaw puzzle lair, picking up random pieces and trying to force them into places they didn’t fit, he looked at me and his eyes lit up with understanding. “Oh, I finally get it, it’s like your Xbox!” Exactly.
He reminded us that no matter how many people are living at home, we are still a family. Hubs and I, in our empty nest laziness, had gotten into the horrible habit of eating in front of the television, or just grazing separately for dinner. We three sat down together for dinner, laughed, talked, argued and took turns sitting in missing elder son’s place, just because we could. Yes, I did eat substantially more steak than I would really choose on my own, but it was a small price to pay for such great memories.
Okay, I admit occasionally I lament the fact that I did not have a girl. I think of all my wasted hair braiding talent, plus I would like to have someone who now and again shared emotions and dreams instead of sports stats and funny YouTube videos. I think T realizes this. My favorite night of the summer? Hubs was going to do some boy stuff with friends, T looked at me and said “Yay! Girls’ Night!” We quickly popped a bottle of chardonnay, shared emotional stories appropriately interrupted with the equivalent of “Oh no they didn’t!” laughed, confessed, drank too much and almost tearily (yes, on my side) hugged goodnight. We both had slight headaches the next day, a truly successful girls’ night.
He reminded us that stress is overrated. Things will get done, no need to fret about it. Here is a picture of his room about one hour before he left for his last year of college.
Oh, and he talked me into this.
I love my stage of life. We have been practicing empty nest for a few years now, and we are getting really good at it. I did, however, physically block the door to try and prevent him from leaving. Thanks for the life lessons, T!