It occurs to me that there are many misconceptions about the notion of empty nesting. People honestly believe that all the fuss is about that sense of loss that comes with the vacated bedrooms; the vacuum created by the departure of those people you have loved and nurtured for so many years.
Well, I suppose that may be a small part of it, but I wonder if it doesn’t mostly centre around the loss of access to the never-ending soap opera that is the life of a teenager.
You hear people wailing about missing their ‘stories’, but until you’ve lived with a high school student, you really don’t know drama.
How could anyone be bored when they can look forward to daily updates on the incessant stream of crises and traumas? No scriptwriter could match the excitement generated in the teenage mind over withering looks, sarcastic comments and blatant spite; the triumph of recognition and the tragedy when ignorant teachers inexplicably fail to acknowledge the brilliance simmering beneath the surface.
The unrequited love and torrid love affairs are stuff that Danielle Steel could only dream of. I mean, really, when Jenny is caught kissing Bobby behind the kiln in the ceramics room, even though we all know that actually Sarah likes Bobby and Mark likes Jenny – well no wonder it rocks the very foundation of the school and shakes our belief in human nature.
Of course all this does depend somewhat on having a teenager in the house who is willing to share the horrors that happen in school on a daily basis. I seem to have two out of three, which apparently ain’t bad. Goodness knows what goes on in the life or mind of the third.
That is why I need to find other distractions before my nest empties – I’m terrified I may be forced to resort to daytime television.