Faux Empty Nesters

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to steal someone else’s life? Maybe not any one person in particular but a lifestyle? Kyle and I felt like we did that very thing a few weeks ago. We stole the “City Living Empty Nesters” lifestyle. Basically we had a staycation in downtown Nashville to celebrate our anniversary. It was mentioned several times over the course of the weekend how weird it is to live in the city. Not weird in a bad way; weird in a “this is totally unlike anything we know” kind of way. It’s not like Kyle and I have never left our kids before and stayed in a hotel. We’ve just never done it in Nashville. It was strange to consider that this could be our life in 12 years if we wanted it to be. Kids move out, we move downtown to do some “urban living.”

The only problem with this scenario is Kyle and I reek of suburbia. It seeps from our pores. Our SUV and Costco membership are dead giveaways. And the fact that we don’t sashay around town outfitted in Lululemon carrying yoga mats. We also eat at chain restaurants. CHAINS! We don’t stand a chance in the big city. We tried our best to fit in–walking everywhere, eating local, shopping at eclectic hipster shops, attending concerts at the new amphitheater. We talked all weekend about how we felt so cool and young. Wanna know one way to know you are most definitely NOT cool and young? When you talk about being cool and young.

As fun as the weekend was we couldn’t help but feel like imposters. It was hard to imagine our lives ever getting to a point where we could do whatever whenever we wanted. The truth is our lives, like many of yours, are consumed by the 3 little people who live in our home. Our weekend in Nashville felt like one of those “Choose Your Own Adventure” books where you choose the ending to your story. We got to experience what it would be like to live in the city once our kids were out of the house. It was a ton of fun but I’m not sure I would choose it for our Empty Nester season. If I’m being honest, it felt sort of selfish. Being footloose and fancy free isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. But that’s the way of life, isn’t it? When we get exactly what we think we want it never quite lives up to our expectation. Because Kyle and I didn’t have much time together as husband and wife before we became mom and dad, I wonder what it will be life when it’s just us again. I think it will be fun because if you know my husband at all you know he brings the fun everywhere he goes. The reality is I’m going to miss those 3 little ones something fierce. I know they won’t be little when they leave but my mind is good at playing tricks on me. For instance, my oldest just started middle school but I swear he’s 5 years old. I’m sure when my daughter goes to college I’ll believe in my heart she’s only 9. Then there’s the youngest. The baby. He keeps promising me he won’t grow up but dadgummit if he doesn’t keep doing it every year. He even told me he wanted to live with us after he gets married but I have a feeling he’ll renege on that too. And if he doesn’t, his wife might kill him.

I’m not ready to leave this season of life yet. The homework and the sports and the school programs and the overall rush that comes with having kids is giving me life and sucking it right back out. It’s a wonderful/awful/crazy/busy/fulfilling/draining/bizarro season and I’m just not ready for it to be over.

It’s fun getting little sneak peeks into what our next chapter might look like but it just confirms that in my heart, I’m not there yet. So bring on the ‘burbs and Costco samples, this girl is staying awhile.

-Courtney

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