What to do and say when you’re facing an empty nest, or Is there life after kids? Part 1.

openwaterfinish“What are you going to do after Kat leaves?” I’ve been asked more than a few times. Yes, I’m facing an empty nest, with a soon to be senior at UCSB and my youngest going off to Utah to swim in college.

christmas cardI asked a friend the same thing last year when her youngest left for college. She said it’s unbelievable how many people ask that. She’s a busy person and didn’t think that was going to stop because her kids were living away from home. She liked to answer the question with, “I’ll be taking up underwater, upside down yoga basket-weaving.”

piano lessonsI remember when this friend and I carried our youngest on our hips, and watched our first graders begin their day with an assembly in a courtyard lined with fragrant rosemary bushes. Our babies would wriggle off our hips and run to the playground. I won’t forget the day they were escorted back to us by a horrified teacher that told us they had called their older siblings “poop heads.” Oh my! Those were the days!

friendsatbeachFor the past 25 years I have been serving as a volunteer in one form or another — and the majority of my time has been caring for others. I’ve served on boards of Ad Club and Junior League — in my life before kids. Then the preschool and elementary school boards, room mom for years, National Charity League, the swim team board, etc. It’s been a busy life, filled with great memories and friendships.

katyawnI’ve been changing diapers, wiping noses, making late night trips to the ER with sick or hurt kids, and cooking, cleaning, and driving.

It’s now going to be time for me! Isn’t that an exciting thought?

So, what am I going to do? I’ll let you know at a later date.katandrobertPhotos are from the past 21 years of being a mom. From the top: Kat at June 2014 Open Water National Championships, Robert and Kat at sunset sailing in Santa Barbara, one of 12 years of piano lessons for Robert, at the beach with friends, baby Kat yawning, and a 1997 Christmas card photo.

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