Empty nesters worry about what they’re going to talk about with their spouse now the kids are gone. No more conversational buzz around the dinner table: no sibling squabbles to settle, adolescent crises to resolve, schedules to sort through.
Suddenly, there’s space for a couple to talk. To one another. There’s even–trust me on this, younger parents; it will happen–silence!
Wherever they’ve gone off to, our grown children have potential majors to discuss; unfamiliar colleagues to dissect; engagements and new apartments and how they’re going to budget for rent and dog food on a starting salary.
We’ve been there, done that. We’ve got to look at one another across the empty dinner table and create news from lives which have been fairly routine for years.
It’s hard to sink into boredom with James around.
This morning, we headed to a kindly neighbor’s and picked enough apples to see us through much of the fall. For most couples, I’d say ”year”, but, well, we eat a lot of apples. (And, yes, if you’re on my Christmas list, it’s likely you’re going to receive a jar of homemade sauce.)
Thirty-two years married, and I’m still never quite sure what James will do next. Fifty-something, and he still clambers so high up trees that it’s hard to spot him among the leaves.
While I stay safely on the ground, sorting through windfalls.
That’s the difference between the two of us.
(It’s one of the ironies of life that I’m the one most prone to accidents. One of my Christmas gifts last year was a set of knives actually sharp enough to be of use. And a box of bandaids.)
I think, even with the kids grown and gone, there’s going to be plenty to talk about in the coming years.
If nothing else, this weekend, we’ve got to figure out where to store all the apples.