My husband Russ is thrilled that we’re empty nesters now, wants to change the locks, and doesn’t understand why I’m sad the kids are gone. Fine, I’ll tell him I know how he can fill the void the kids have left. Let’s relive some old memories so I won’t miss them so much. We’re going to all the carnivals like we did when the kids were little, and now HE’S going to go on the kids’ favorite super steep sky-high slide with me on the same burlap bag together like we had to when the kids were too small to go alone. I’m sure the carnival workers will let us do that. He’s afraid of heights, but he’s got to take one for the team now. When I make a huge dinner, I’ll make sure he says, “I’m not eating that,” just like the kids always did. Probably the kids’ all-time favorite thing to do growing up was to build forts out of all the pillows and blankets and then run hard the full length of the house and jump over them. I’m totally making Russ do that with me, he’ll be so excited! We’re going to go to hilarious cartoon movies where he can do that funny giggle laugh the kids used to do when they were small and he’s going to get genuinely excited about going no matter how many weird looks we get, just so I won’t miss the kids as much. I’ll let him binge watch Netflix for hours like the kids did when they were older. We’re going to go sleigh riding in the winter until he can’t feel his fingers and toes from frostbite, or his hip and tailbone from hitting the bumps so hard at our age actually. Guess who’s going to have to pose for our Christmas card now that the kids are gone? I’m also going to make him take me to the biggest pumpkin patches all around and hit all the wagon rides the kids loved so much; I’m sure he’ll be beside himself so excited like the kids always were. I’m going to sign him up for football and soccer somewhere so I won’t miss going to the kids’ games; that should be fun to watch and see what happens. We’re going to throw rocks in our pond for hours for no other reason then it’s a great time, just like we did with the kids when they were little. We’re going to hold hands and chase butterflies and bubbles from a wand like we did with the kids. I can see him now; just how enthusiastic he’ll be about that right there. He’ll be begging for the kids to come home then! That’s my plan. Or he’ll have my head examined. One or the other. Truth be told, he’s as sad as I am.
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