Friday, October 25, 2013

The downside of children growing up

I have mentioned before how little an empty nest is going to bother me.
Left overs in the fridge – oh no. Actual hot water for a shower – oh the horror. More than an eighth of a tank of gas in the car when I need to go to work – say it isn't so.
Yes there will be many benefits when the youngsters fly the coop.
My oldest will be moving out any day now (he just doesn't know it yet.) My middle one is in Grade 12 and he is looking at university and my youngest just entered the hallowed halls of high school, so the light at the end of the tunnel is still a few years off, but it is growing brighter.
Even now as my kids get older and more independent, my wife and I find we have more time for ourselves. We can actually go to a movie and not have to re-mortgage the home just to get the entire family in. Going out for dinner no longer involves clowns, grease burgers or a play area.
When the children were really young, going to a movie or anywhere else for that matter, was quite a process. We would have to book a baby sitter a week or so in advance, pick up the rented child watcher, leave a list of what is to be done, make  formula, write down contact information, blood types, next of kin, genetic DNA codes and all sorts of information.
Following the evening out, I drove the baby sitter home which, depending on the sitter we were blessed enough to get that night, either took a few minutes, or more than a half hour for a round trip.
Of course when we did get home, the dog would bark, which would wake up the children which would mean we had to get them to go back to sleep which meant any relaxation gained from the evening out was somewhat diminished by the immediate return to parental duties.
As they grew older, it was a little easier to go out as not as much preparation and planning was required. Eventually the oldest one reached an age where he could look after his siblings and whole new world opened up.
Now, my children are all in their teens so they can pretty much fend for themselves. Going out consists of telling the kids, “Hey, your mom and I are going out. There's food in the fridge. Bye.”
And off we go, simple as that.
However, in a stunning development, a problem with aging children and their independence has arisen that I did not foresee: Halloween.
For the first time in roughly 17 years there will be no one trick or treating in my home.
But if no one solicits strangers for candy, and if I am not required to escort them around the neighbourhood to gather said candy, how am I supposed to collect my 20 per cent service fee?
OK, now we have a problem.
I have always loved Halloween and long believed it should be some sort of national holiday, but this year things will not be the same.
The two oldest have not wandered the streets begging for sugary treats for a few years now, and this year my youngest is not going door to door, but to a friend's Halloween party, meaning I will be without my allotted portion of sugary treats.
I could just go buy some I suppose, but where is the fun in that? Where's the thrill of looking through the loot bag to see what all 'we' collected?
It just won't be the same.
My middle-aged waist line does not need the candy influx so I guess this is one of nature's ways of keeping me from getting flabby, well flabby-er anyway.

No comments: