I had the extreme good fortune of being able to spend some quality time alone with Jim this weekend. Much of Saturday was spent just taking care of things around the house, and in the evening we went out for dinner and a movie.
I think it was over steaks at Texas Roadhouse when Jim said, “You realize, don’t you, that in a year it will be like this almost all the time…just us?”
And while I knew that already–we’ve talked about it for years, how we’d be in our mid-forties when the kids stopped living at home full time–at that moment the realization truly hit me like a ton of bricks. It was the difference between having the information in my brain and then taking it to heart. I was neither sad nor happy about it: I was more amazed that the beginning of the next stage is suddenly almost upon us.
Having two kids in college means that next year is going to be an expensive one when it comes to tuition, but less so when it comes to utilities and the grocery bill here at home. It’s going to be odd for me to not have to have J’s high school homework and activities in the back of my mind, and definitely strange to get up in the morning with a whole day in front of me that will only consist of whatever is on my own calendar, without thinking about whether J will get home at 2:30 (after school) or 5:30 (after work). There won’t be guitar lessons on Tuesday nights.
On the other hand, I’ll be able to tag along with Jim on some of his business trips, and there will be less laundry to do. When J comes home for the occasional weekend or Thanksgiving holiday, the time will be less in quantity but more in quality, just like it is now when D comes home. The thought of it all is actually pretty exciting, mainly because what it all boils down to is that J’s leaving for college is not only the end of one stage and the beginning of another, but the realization of the dream that was born when Jim and I got married: to successfully raise a couple of kids to fabulous young adulthood.
We’re almost there.