Temporary empty nest

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Temporary empty nest
Mon, 06-17-2013 - 11:08am

I dropped DS off on Sat. am and he won't be back until Friday--he went to a local college for Boys State.  that is a program run by the American legion where the students learn about government, have a mock legislature, etc.  It's really his first time away from home on his own since he never went to camp or anything like that.  He was kind of irritable so I think he was a little nervous about it, having to room with a stranger, etc.  They also have a girls' program at the same time and a good friend of his was going to Girls State, so I drove both of them down and they were talking about hopefull being able to meet up when they had leisure time--most of the day is pretty structured from early breakfast on, but they did say to bring sports equipment or musical instruments if they wanted to, so they do have some fun time.  They wanted to be there early so both of them were the 1st ones in the rooms.  Oh and they gave a long packing list of things to bring--since it was a dorm, they had to bring sheets & towels and toiletries.  So my son packed on his own the night before and when I was asking him about bring things (the most important thing being not to forget his anti-seizure medicine) he accused me of "nagging" him so I stopped--and of course he forgot something.  They are supposed to bring one nice outfit and he forgot his sport jacket and tie!  He did at least bring his white dress shirt and hopefully his good pants but it was annoying to me.  I just bought this whole outfit for this event and his National Honor Society awards night--it's not like he's going to get frequent use out of it.  And he brought a tennis raquet but I don't think he brought tennis balls so hopefully if he finds another kid with a raquet, that kid remembered to bring the balls!

So what's ironic is that practially every Sat. night I have plans--and this Sat. that he was going to be gone, I had no plans and only watched a movie at home!  I did go out with a friend yesterday for the day but it's not like really any different from usual.  I mean, he's almost 18 and drives so I no longer have to be home when he's home.  It really would have had a lot more impact when he was younger.  I think the big difference will be that I won't have to worry about making dinner or getting home from work at a certain time.  I will have to figure out how to eat just by myself--normally if he's at his dad's I won't even cook but I don't want to have frozen dinners or sandwiches for 4 nights in a row.

Community Leader
Registered: 12-16-2003
Mon, 06-24-2013 - 12:21pm
Enjoy your me time! Go to dinner at place you know ds won't like. Make a dinner that you would enjoy without hearing the complaints that go with it. Dh was in the hospital for a few days and both kids are out of town. I relish the quiet, because I know it is temporary. Dh is home again, re-couping. Dd will be home next week after a month on the road, she is heading back to college on Aug 17th. Ds will be home for a few days in July before heading off to camp and then another camp. Dh and I miss them, but can't wait for the stories of their adventures!!!

Ramona  Mom to 2 great kids and wife to one wonderful hubby since 1990!

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Mon, 06-24-2013 - 10:40am

Ds had a good time.  He said that the guys in his group all promised to stay in touch (that will probably last a few weeks, but whatever).  He took a law class and another one about the Muslim religion so I'm sure it was a good learning experience.  What I thought was funny is that he was showing me some pictures and he took pictures of his food!  The campus of the college it was held at was a very pretty suburban small school too, so that was nice.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-14-2000
Sun, 06-23-2013 - 3:25pm

I have a friend whose ds went to Boys State last week here in IL! He got elected 'governor' of their mock town. Like your ds - he'd never been away to camp or anything - in fact he'd never even been to a sleep over - so my friend was kind of nervous for him. I guess he's kind of shy in 'real life' but ironically loves theater (acting) and does fine with public speaking!

Avatar for mahopac
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-24-1997
Tue, 06-18-2013 - 12:34pm

My DH says the same thing all the time - "Just think, honey, when the kids leave home..."  I'm pretty sure they know that he's mostly joking.  He's a good Polish daddy and LOVES having his kids at home.  They can tell by the fact that he will always be happy to go get DS from college 2.5 hours away and that DD will be going to college only an hour away.

I am almost never home alone, as I am the WOH parent and DH is the SAH parent.  Two years ago, my family went on a camping trip, leaving me alone, and my business partner's family went to the beach, leaving him home alone for the same two days.  Neither of us wanted to be at our own homes alone, so one night he came over to my house and we ate sandwiches for dinner, and the next day we scheduled meetings in NYC and stayed for dinner.  After that, we were gratefully reunited with our families.  But mine sure gets a kick out of knowing how much I don't want to be home alone!

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Mon, 06-17-2013 - 8:42pm

oH I forgot--I got a text from him today saying the food is great, everybody is nice and the classes are interesting.

What's funny too is I got a phone call from the school today--did you know your son is not in school?  Duh!  When they are absent, the parents are supposed to call the attendance desk but I thought someone would have informed them since it's a school thing.  I guess I'll have to call tomorrow so they won't call me 4 more times--and he won't have unexcused absences.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Mon, 06-17-2013 - 8:25pm

You know it's funny--when I was married to 2nd exH it used to annoy me to no end when he talked about how he couldn't wait til the kids left home.  I felt like I really liked my kids (and still do) esp. as adults when you don't have to be constantly running around after them and you can relate to them as people.  My DD went away for college (came home on summers) and then was home for 7 mos. or so after graduation until she got a full time job.  I am sad that she had to leave home to get a job--I haven't seen her since around St. Pat's day and she won't be home until July and then I'll be lucky to see her for a day--I'll have to do something about that.  

So same for DS--I think he should go away to college & get the experience of being on his own but I surely don't mind having him home.  Now it's 8:30 and I'm bored--I might even be forced to clean the house or something.  I was going to go out after work but right when I was getting near home we had a huge thunderstorm and I thought I was going to get trapped in the grocery store.  I did have a good salad for dinner--spinach, chicken, cranberries, apples & chicken. I went to the gourmet grocery store so that was a mistake--I got good food but it was expensive.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-08-2009
Mon, 06-17-2013 - 8:18pm

LOL, Musiclover,

Hubby and I have actually BTDT when the girls went off with the other two sets of parents on family vacations, which were for the week of Thanksgiving and the week after Christmas. You come home and WOW it’s different. We actually missed all the craziness.

Jokingly, hubby and I wondered if our marriage could survive without them. Seriously, we missed them, but don’t ever let the teen know that. LOL

After all those years of cooking a turkey with dressing, the question became Ryan’s or Hometown Buffet, which are actually owned by the same company? We only did that once. We even joked about going down to where the Salvation Army provides a Thanksgiving meal for the down and out.

An older friend told me years ago something that I have never forgotten: “Enjoy them while you have them: they are only with you a very short time.” Looking back, it seems like only a few months ago that we brought our girls home from the delivery room and all those Kinderphoto and school pictures that hung on our hall walls before we started replacing them with the grandsons’ pictures, seem so recent. (I’m beginning to sound like the Mama and the Papa in FIDDLER ON THE ROOF. LOL As a side note, I think the reason that movies like FIDDLER and FORREST GUMP have staying power is that they touch our hearts on these tender moments of life.)

Back in college, I lived off PATIO brand TV DINNERS on several occasions. During one of those weeks when the kids were gone, I bought a couple of them just to remember the good old days. YUCK!!!!!

Have you talked to your son about never leaving home? LOL



Community Leader
Registered: 07-26-1999
Mon, 06-17-2013 - 11:48am

I hope he has a good time!!  No advice on dinners, some days I wish I had that issue.  Can you make something one night that you can "recycle" into things the next few nights?  The very few times I am on my own for dinners I end up not eating or doing omelettes.