LIFE AFTER THE KID(S) LEAVE
One of the great pleasures of reading the Examiner are the columns by Meghan Cox Gurdon. She’s a terrific writer and the stories of her raising a houseful of kids are warm and funny. I have some advice for her: Treasure these days, hectic as they are.
Unlike Meghan, my wife and I have only one child, a daughter. She graduated from high school in June. She is now enrolled as a freshman at a North Carolina university.
All summer long was a count down. I would look at the calendar from time to time to see how many months, then how many weeks, then how many days until we had to drive her to college. Even though she celebrated her summer days after high school with her friends much more than with us, she still came home (eventually) to sleep in her bed. Just knowing she was in her room at night, fast asleep, was comforting.
Exactly 18 years to the day we brought her home from the hospital for the first time, we found ourselves on congested I-95 heading south. Two days and many tears later we left her on her own.
She seems to have adapted well to her new environs. Especially considering what dorm life is like. I had forgotten how small those rooms are. And the common bathrooms? Well, let’s just say rumors that boys are messier than girls are unfounded.
But while she has adjusted to her new life, it’s taking her mom and me a bit longer to figure out what’s next. The house seems eerily quiet. The phone doesn’t ring much. The parade of teenagers filling our living room has stopped. So, too, have the regular reports of teenage injustices, outrage and gossip that used to be the focal point of our dinner conversations.
This isn’t to say our new life together sans daughter is dreary. It’s not. It’s simpler and more predictable, good things I guess.
I often clip Meghan’s columns to pass on to others to read. Meghan, you may want to clip this one of mine. It will ring true sooner than you can imagine.
God’s amazing gift of children is a Core Value.