THE EMPTY NEST SYNDROME
There is the quiet time between the last young one leaving the nest and the first returning, either alone or with a family in tow. Parents have several choices on how to spend the time between departure and arrival. The woman has time to learn and knit. This will help her pass the time of day and prepare for the arrival of grandchildren. These young children shall require baby blankets, knit hats, sweaters, and other products produced by knitting. This need shall grow exponentially as the grand child continues to grow and grow and grow with an ever increasing need for larger sizes. This need stretches into teen and college years; scarves to attend football games, warmer clothing as the go off to college; all with particular colors and shapes in mind. The woman has now become a captive of her growing skills!
The man on the other hand, has different objectives. First and foremost is the need to improve his golf game. In addition to that he needs to get back in shape before the first grandchild returns. This return is intended to test his patience, endurance, and memory. The memory part is remembering all the things he had learned raising the first family! While the woman shall remember all the nursery rhymes, the male needs to learn them for the first time as he was off at work when all this stuff was going on. He needs to learn how to change a diaper, prepare formula and learn PATIENCE! The grandchild must be spoiled as this is a form of vengeance for all the negative things their child did while growing up!
Fortunately, there is help for both of them. The woman shall have no trouble finding people willing to help with learning how to knit. There are knit shops with skilled people to help select yarn, magazines to open up the big world of material available and there are groups that meet and exchange tips. All of this will help fill the countless empty hours caused be the nest now being empty. There are other pursuits: baking, reading, volunteering to fill empty hours. But what woman does not wish to see her afghan keeping the precious grandchild warm?
While his children were growing up many men were able to escape, at least most of the time, the arduous work of raising children. However, this changes with the coming grandchild. Men who never changed a diaper in their lives now leap at the opportunity (that is a stretch, but they do try). They learn how to warm up milk, feed the baby, and even actually play and spoil it.
The empty nest has now been filled. Free time is gone! Now it is time to plan a retirement at a point just far enough away to give free time an opportunity. However, remember that with the invention of the airplane no grandchild is too far away!
John Lustig, Senior Editor
Contribution: Jaclyn Kraft, Reporter (Intern)