My bride and I are childless for the first time in our marriage of twenty-eight years (she brought a daughter into the marriage). I announced this to friends and family by posting the following on facebook:
BOOM! Empty nest. Call before you come by. ;-)
The responses have been interesting, from those who gave their own empty nest countdown to those who don’t want to even think about their children leaving home.
I read a while back that the second highest period of divorce for couples is the year after the last child leaves home. Some of this is couples who “stayed together for the kids”, but that’s not the primary reason. All too often, when the kids leave the couple discovers the kids were the only thing they had in common!
I can’t say we’ve been chomping at the bit to have an empty nest. Our son has been a very well-mannered young man. For the last couple of years he has been covering his own bills, and has been more help around the house than he has been extra work. Still, having the children all grow up and move away is a natural part of life. We’ve looked forward to this, and we’ve built a relationship that will not just survive, but thrive without children.
What about you and your wife? Regardless of how old your children may be, are you intentionally building a relationship that will thrive when they eventually leave?
A parent’s brag: We are very proud of our son. He’s made great decisions and planned his moving out well. He is far better prepared to “be on his own” than either his mother or I were when we left the nest. If children as adults were nothing more than the result of the parenting they received, we could claim to be brilliant parents. In truth, I feel I managed not making too many messes, pointed him in the right direction, and rarely got in the way of him hearing and following God.