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NOT FOR NUTHIN’ - Empty nesting and not liking it

It started on Thursday.

My daughter Bri had a dinner with the students and teacher of her homeroom. She had to be at the restaurant at 6 p.m. and wasn’t due to be picked up until 9 p.m. I had volunteered to drop off her along with a friend, and her friend’s mom was set to pick them up.

Having nothing else to do, I went shopping. I killed about an hour and spent about 30 bucks. Not bad for an impromptu spree.

When Friday night arrived, I was informed that my darling daughter and her friend were going to see a movie — “Later,” after a dip in the pool. “Later?” I asked, “How late is later?” The movie started at 8:30 p.m. After she pleaded for about 15 minutes, I was too tired to fight and gave in.

They ate dinner, got dressed, and off they went. The movie was over at 10:30 p.m. I picked them up, brought them home and dragged myself into bed at around 11.

Saturday she was scheduled to attend an all day biology review class from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. I had plans of my own: vacuum the pool, do the laundry, go shopping. There I was all by myself yet again.

I picked her up at 4:30 from the class and she excitedly jumped into the car, these words on her lips: “I’m going to Amanda’s house! She's having a barbecue and pool party.”

I made arrangements to pick her up no later than 9 p.m. “Don’t call me and ask to be picked up later,” I told her. “It’s nine or nothing.”

I went to the stores (three in fact) and headed home. I brought in all the loot, made dinner for my husband and myself, cleaned up the kitchen and threw myself on the couch to watch TV. My daughter’s social life was not only exhausting me, but draining my bank account, too.

Before I knew it, I was fast asleep. When the phone rang at 9:10 I jumped off the couch running frantically around looking for the phone. Mind you, we have three cordless phones, none of which are ever available when I need one, and by the time I found the phone, it of course had stopped ringing. Luckily we have caller ID and I recognized my daughter’s cell number. I called her back and she answered on the first ring. “Where are you? She asked, “It’s after 9 and you said you would be here at 9.” Sure enough I had slept through her curfew.

By the time Sunday had arrived I had had enough, “No more. Don’t even think of going out again.” I said. “I’m so exhausted from your social life that I need a rest.”

Not for nuthin', but shouldn’t the empty-nest portion of parenthood be restful and relaxing? So far I haven’t had the time to rest or relax with all the taking, dropping and picking up of my little chick as she flies further from the coop.

E-mail “Not for Nuthin’” at JoannaD@courierlife.net. All letters become the property of Courier-Life Publications and are subject to publication unless otherwise specified; please include your name, address and daytime telephone number for verification.

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