It was only when Rohan started class 11 that I began thinking about empty nest. He would leave for college in 2 years and being the only child, my husband and I would be empty nesters.
I had an arranged marriage. Our parents picked the significant other from Statesman matrimonial column. We married quite early; he 26, I 23. Curly top was born fairly quick too. When two Virgos marry, they plan, execute things and get it done! As a dear friend often teases me, KB you popped a kid even before Shopper’s Stop opened the first outlet. That’s true. So long story short, Rohan went off to college while my husband and I were in our 40s and we became empty nesters. And it worried us, me more than him I guess.
Our younger days had been spent juggling work and Rohan. My world was Curly top; what he would eat, his classes, his studies, his exams and etc. While Sandeep was busy at work, I did a bit of freelance work but mothering Rohan was my principal job. And I enjoyed it thoroughly. Reading to him, taking him from one activity class to another, watching reruns of Finding Nemo, Harry Potter, Castle and so many other things.
So when he was about to leave for college I was apprehensive about how I would manage myself and more importantly the other man in my life. My husband. I’d been so busy being a mom, I suspect I was often less of a wife.
Rohan was worried about me too, so he pushed us to get another dog. That’s how Casper came into our family.
But life is really a box of chocolates and you never know what’s in it till you open the box.
Empty nest proved to be very unlike what I thought it would be. Sandeep and I travelled a lot, focused on wellness and got fitter. I learned tennis, he learned golf. We both lost weight and for once we were racing with each other to be the one who lost…more kgs.
I also got myself a new tele-buddy. My husband. Together we watched TV series, movies and had a blast. We went for movie dates without having to worry about school next day. We met up with friends and partied like there’s no tomorrow. We travelled. On a scooty in Goa; meandering through sleepy lanes. In the double decker bus in London watching a rain splashed city go by. Trying out kulcha and lassi in Amritsar. Tiger spotting in Ranthambor and many other places. And we also discovered there’s a lot you can do in an empty house when there aren’t kids. Do things loud, really loud. You gutter minds!! I’m talking about singing and playing music really loud. You have very dirty minds!!
So now Rohan is graduating. Yes three years just flew by and while I’m thrilled that he will be home and work for a few years but I’m going to miss the empty nest. I’m just so used to having the whole house to just us, it’s going to need some changing of ways at our end. He left as an 18 year old and will be coming home as a grown 21 year old; used to his freedom and so am I. No longer are my mornings about yelling at him to get ready for school and packing his tiffin. My mornings are about tennis lessons and fitness class.
A new phase in life often fills us with anxiety, even apprehension but sometimes new exciting things lie waiting for us. Having an empty nest was nowhere near as difficult as I’d imagined it to be. It was actually a great phase in my married life.
Today, I waiting for my 21 year old to come back home, watch the next phase in his life begin and see how the days unfold. His room, now neat and tidy is going to once again look like a hurricane hit his closet. He’ll be playing drums and I wouldn’t be able to hear myself. He’s going to gobble up food; father and son will fight over chocolates. One thing is for sure, I’m going to need to keep my cool when he isn’t back home by 11.
For starters he told me some of his college friends are going to come over and stay with us for few days. All girls. Only girls. I stopped myself in time before blurting out, what will the sleeping arrangements be? I’m trying very hard to wipe the surprised look from my face and lower the raised eyebrows.
When lil birdies grow up and come back home it’s time for mommy to take a Chill pill or may be just reach out for the bottle of chilled wine.