Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Kids all packed up? Now you should, too

That last child has finally been launched into the world.

For Mom and Dad, the realization that they are now empty nesters can be sobering. After a suitable period of serious reflection — let's give it five minutes — it's time to look ahead. So much to do, and now, so much time. Here are a few ways to celebrate that newfound freedom:

Party: Blow off decades of steam with a party, either small and intimate (the kind of soiree the kids used to always interrupt) or big and loud (the kind the kids used to always throw).

Travel: Finally, the dream vacation. A chance to go somewhere romantic (Paris, perhaps). Or maybe a more entertaining destination (the Spam Museum in Austin, Minn., comes to mind). Better yet, kill two birds with one stone, and visit the Sex Machines Museum in Prague.

"Travel is a huge pot at the end of the empty-nester rainbow," says Keith Bellows, editor in chief for National Geographic Traveler magazine and author of 100 Places That Will Change Your Child's Life, due out this fall. "A lot of people have really spent all their lives bringing those kids up, so a lot of the trips they take are built around family vacations, more traditional vacations. This is the time when people say. 'I'm going to take that trip to Cambodia,' or going to take an around-the-world trip, or whatever their means allow."

Redecorate: After you yank down little Jimmy's Slipknot posters, attempt a project small (patching thumbtack holes and repainting), medium (removing and burning the old carpeting) or large (creating an exercise or entertainment space or an office). "We hear all sorts of things," says Jen King, a spokeswoman for Home Depot.

Another trend she sees: redoing the room so a grandparent can move in.

That empty-nest thing was fun while it lasted, no?

Adopt or foster: If you miss the pitter-patter of little feet, you can bring a child into your home. Too involved? Then visit an animal shelter and get a dog or a cat. Yes, they shed more than kids, but they don't talk back, and you won't ever have to go to Parents Night at school.

Most important: Have the locks changed.

Kids all packed up? Now you should, too 08/24/09 [Last modified: Monday, August 24, 2009 4:30am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Chicago Tribune.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Black entrepreneur says city stiffing him on project after he endorsed Rick Baker

    News

    ST. PETERSBURG — A prominent African-American resident says his endorsement of mayoral candidate Rick Baker has led city officials to freeze him out of a major construction project along the historic "Deuces" stretch of 22nd Street S.

  2. Roosevelt Blvd closed at I-275 after truck hauling crane hits overpass

    News

    ST. PETERSBURG — A truck transporting a construction crane hit the Interstate 275 overpass at Roosevelt Boulevard Tuesday.

  3. Pasco students, 12 and 15, faces weapons, threat charges

    Crime

    Two Pasco County students from different schools were arrested Tuesday after one brought weapons onto campus and the other threatened a shooting, according to sheriff's deputies.

  4. It's official: Hillsborough high schools move to 8:30 a.m. start time, elementary schools to go earlier

    K12

    TAMPA — Hillsborough County high schools will start an hour later next year, beginning the day at 8:30 a.m. and ending at 3:25 p.m., the School Board decided Tuesday in a 6-0 vote.

    The Hillsborough County School Board has decided to end a compressed bus schedule that caused an estimated 12,000 children to get to school late every day. Under the new schedule, high schools will start at 8:30 a.m. instead of 7:30 a.m. Elementary schools will start at 7:40 a.m. and middle schools at 9:25 a.m. [Times files]