There are many perks of being older. The older I get, the more I notice.
One of the best perks of being my age is that my children are grown and are making their own path through life. I never had definite wishes for my children. I just wanted each of them to be happy. I wanted them to discover their own talents and make their own marks on the world.
None of them have taken straight paths. None of them have taken the same path. They keep me feeling young and they keep life interesting.
All of my sons have gone to college. One went to Western Carolina University. Although I’d lived in North Carolina my whole life, I had never been to the NC mountains until I drove him to Western. I made several trips back over the next four years. Another son went to NC State University. He went because he wanted to be an Engineer and NC State was said to have the best engineering program in the state. He graduated and while there also picked up a degree in Psychology. My third son went to Western Carolina University, East Carolina University and Hiroshima University. He has spent much of his adult life in Asia. I’ve gotten to see Asian countries through his eyes. Yesterday was the first day of the Chinese New Year. I have more appreciation for the celebration as he has shared with me over the years what an important and special celebration this two week long festival is for Chinese people.
Now my sons are in their late twenties/early thirties and they are looking at where they are, where they have been and where they want to go. None are married or have children and they can focus on themselves.
I am in the same situation. I’m no longer married (thank you, God!) and I have no small children to take care of. My teaching career, as it was, has ended. I am free to explore whatever interests me. I’m looking at writing, making youtube videos, and traveling. As I try to work on all my interests, I also often go to my adult children for their help and advice. I’ve been told that for my age, I am very computer savvy. This comes in part, I know, from working in a Magnet School of Technology in Durham NC for seven years, but it also comes from having sons who grew up in the new, scary technological environment, and who took time to teach Mom along the way about how technology works and how to use it.
So, if your nest is emptying and your tears are threatening, just remember that the best is yet to come. When your children “leave the nest”, they return with very interesting experiences and ideas to share. It’s one of the perks of being older. All the time and energy you poured into your children pays off and you get to see the rewards.