I know I often make Mike look like some sort of a Super hero husband in this column, but this is totally legit. For the past year or so, a few mornings each week, Mike brings me a hot cup of coffee while I lie in bed on his way up from his morning workout, at about 7AM, on a normal weekday. Jealous anyone?

While sleep does not come easy to me and I am often up at 4:00 AM,  I often find myself back in bed between 6 AM and 7AM.  At this hour, I generally have the TV tuned to the morning news, while I catch up on Words With Friends (I can kick some serious WWF butt in the morning.)

Lately, at my youngest daughter’s behest, as I lay in bed in the morning hours, I obsessively check Twitter (disclaimer: she works there.) To be honest, I don’t tweet much because I am a little intimidated by everyone else’s brilliance in 140 characters, but I do love it.  I search “explore” on my phone app, check out the latest news on “Todays Moments” and see what’s trending.  It’s news, it’s fast, and it’s generally very, very funny. I am in awe that so many regular people are so clever.

I was in bed doing just that when Mike brought me my coffee one day this week.

“You’re the best,” I told him, as I carefully took the coffee cup from him, barely looking up from the screen, as he headed to the bathroom and commenced brushing his teeth.

“OMG!  You have to see this!” I yelled to him. I could have been referring to the new Rage Yoga trend where they swear, drink beer and give life the middle finger (because this is the kind of yoga I could really get into) or it could have been the Donald’s ridiculously stupid “SEE YOU IN COURT!” tweet after hearing the ruling from the Appeals court on his Immigration ban, or it might have been a cute little meme about “why do I always sneeze when I put on mascara?”  Everything trending on Twitter seems to interest me…but for the purposes of this post, the topic was unimportant.

It was my excitement that was important, because my excitement caused me to raise my arms awkwardly and swiftly, causing me to dump the entire cup of hot coffee all over the bed cover, the sheets, the (new) mattress, the night table, the rug, including a large area of the rug area under the bed.

“Oh Shit!” I yelled out.

Mike looked out from the bathroom, toothbrush in hand.

“That’s going to take you awhile,” he said flatly, referring to the clean up, and then he went into the shower.

And instead of totally losing my shit, that’s when I felt grateful.  Because it could have been worse, and I’m not talking third degree burns here.

The fact is, I could have spilled the coffee when I had kids to get to the school bus. I could have had sandwiches to make.  I could have been late for work. I could easily have just cleaned up a glass of spilled milk.  Or a wet bed. Or a dog’s poop on the dining room rug. But one cup of spilled coffee?  Not a big deal.   I had a few minutes to clean up the mess, and still make it to my exercise class.  And I could not deny that I was still in bed at 7:00 AM on a weekday. Life is generally pretty awesome.

Mike and I find ourselves being grateful for having an empty nest more often now.

When we sit down by ourselves for a weeknight dinner of eggs and a bottle of wine, I look at him and say,  “isn’t it sweet that I don’t have to make a real dinner?”

And then we go on, in violent agreement about one or more of the following question/facts:

“isn’t it sweet that we don’t have to make sure anyone has homework to finish?”

“Isn’t it sweet that we don’t have to read anyone bedtime stories?”

“Isn’t it sweet that we don’t have to give anyone a bath?”

“Isn’t it sweet that it’s raining…and we don’t have to take a dog for a walk?”

“Isn’t it sweet that we don’t have to watch any games this weekend in the freezing cold?”

“Isn’t it sweet we don’t have to take anyone sledding?”

“Isn’t it sweet that we don’t have to go to Disney World ever again?”

And so on.

While we both loved bringing up our children, and I loved having the dog (the same cannot be said for Mike– proving that indeed, he is not perfect) we are both very content that at this stage of our lives, all three kids are independent, off the payroll, the dog is in doggie heaven, and we have this time– this unhurried, less tense–time of our own.  No matter how fondly we look back at the memories of our kids growing up, the old adage that life begins when the dog dies and the kids leave the nest…well, it feels very true right now.

Life is simpler.  Less tense.  There is more time to explore Twitter.  And there is always time for a second cup of coffee.


How Sweet It Is…Being An Empty Nester was last modified: by

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