Jana and I spent the summer and early fall at Mount Carmel Family Camp and Retreat Center in Alexandra, MN. I have been the Interim Director of Programming there the last two years and Jana has been working as their Director of Development.
As a result of being away from our home in Cedar Rapids until just a few days ago, we are aware that our empty-nesting phase had not really begun until now. It was easy to feel like both our daughters were just “away at camp” this summer … or like we were were all on some sort of “extended leave of absence” from normal life.
So this past Thursday was our first full day back in Cedar Rapids… and thus, the first official day of Jana and I being empty-nesters in our actual home…. and under “normal” conditions. We did enjoy the six weeks of early fall quite a bit … going on several long walks, dating more than we have been able to do… talking and dreaming about the future … but we also realized we were not yet fully experiencing life, emotionally, without the girls around. Now that we are home, it is feeling more real. The days of watching those two little blondies, loaded down with backpacks, heading off to school… are now a thing of the past. Good… no…. GREAT memories, but memories nonetheless.
And so, a new chapter begins…
Thoughts at the two month mark of empty-nesting? Though it is less crazy-fun and more quiet, I do like getting to know my wife again. I feel like we are EACH getting an old friend back. Not that that person ever left, but the reality is… one’s attention is divided the from the moment the first baby is born, and this is as it should be. But, truth be told, I DO like getting my friend back. (I THINK Jana does too.)
So, here’s to the new phase… and whatever life will bring. This much I know… though we drive each other crazy at times… the truth is… I love my wife.
I do miss those Blondies somethin’ fierce.. but this is okay. I’ve got a good roommate to keep me company.
So, here we go, Jana Swenson. Let’s do this thing…