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  • Writer's pictureLaura Smith

Empty Nest; the first two months

Hailey left for KU. She is on a rowing scholarship and it was ALL her. Of course as Mizzou grads we never would have approved a child at KU. But we also raised her to be an independent thinker. So although we miss both kids hurt the heart terribly, we know they are thriving. So how are things different for us now with an empty nest?

Here's the list: * We make plans and then have to back out when the kids decide to come home unexpectedly. *We can meet up with the biking group for dinner.*Meeting up for the Sunday coffee/beer ride. *Went on a fun scooter date night downtown on a Wednesday *Make dinner at home? Why? *Lonely Saturday mornings because the walks with Hailey to the square for coffee or the drive to Starbucks are over until summer. *TV? What is TV? I haven't watched TV in years. What should I be watching? What is Netflix and Hulu? *Went on an ice cream date to Dairy Queen. We sat outside eating our ice cream and I found myself putting my head on Jay's shoulder which I just hadn't relaxed enough lately to think of doing. *Went to Johnnie's Jazz Club at the new Liberty B&B Theatre to watch Steve Rigazzi and Kim Sivils...and thinking back 25 years to when we first starting going to jazz clubs at City Light under Plaza III with Karrin Allyson, and PBT. *And bad bad bad dream I had where all I could process after I woke was that I can prepare them and then I have to leave. I can check on them and see how they are but it's up to them to answer. It's up to them now. I am a coach.

📷I think the best way to describe this new phase in life is that we feel like we did when we were first married. We got married barely out of college at 23 years old. We lived in a tiny apartment for 3 years before buying our first home and having Cameron. Life was free for us to do as we wanted, when we wanted, but back then we had zero money to do much more than go to dinner and split a meal and share a diet coke.

📷Things are different now. Sometimes I just hurt. I tear up often thinking about the days when the kids were running around, family meals, and hugs on demand.  What I don't miss is football or soccer weekends ALL weekend long. But I will say that it did force our family into a car together and to be together so it wasn't all bad. But it wasn't for US.

What Jay and I do now is for us. This weekend was perfection and the cool weather helped a lot. Here is a sampling:

📷*Crossfit and shopping for new jeans for me. *Biking for Jay. (It's always biking for Jay::) *Jay and I walked the dog to the square and sat outside of Morning Day Cafe for coffee. Jay worked on the house, I took a nap in the sunroom. *We sat on the porch swing together. We puttered. I worked a little on my R+F business. 📷*We cleaned up a bit and went to our favorite, Dubious Claims Brewery and bumped into some friends which was fun, had Blueberry Wheat and pizza and went out back to listen to the band.

It was JUST the pick me up I needed because as fun and relaxing as the day was, I was melancholy. It's the perfect word to describe it. There are just those moments when I get a picture in my head of what family life for us used to be. And it will never be that way again. I have enjoyed every phase and age with my kids but this one. This is tough. Selfishly I just want them to be with me. And selfishly I just want to be with Jay. I can't have it all. So when I'm feeling down I just remind myself that this is the way God intended for things to play out. We did our job and we will continue to be the best parents we can be to . our kids forever! It's just that now it looks a lot different.



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