Given that Sam has now been at University since the end of August and I’ve only had the opportunity to see her once since then…which is clearly not enough!

So I took matters into my own hands and asked her if she’d be okay with me coming out and picking her up to go for breakfast on a regular basis. I had to put myself out there, cos to be fair, unless you ask, what 18 year old wants to hang out with their parent?

Not many!

Anyway the upshot was that I was on the road bright eyed and bushy tailed at 6:30 am Sunday morning two weeks ago. It only took me about an hour and a half each way. The hour we spent together was priceless!

Nothing fancy, just breakfast at Mel’s diner near campus. It was great to spend time chatting about nothing in particular, but everything if you know what I mean. đŸ™‚

I also visited Zach this past weekend in MontrĂ©al as its been two months since I’ve seen him, although as you know with traffic it’s closer to a six hour drive to go visit so much more difficult to visit on the spur of the moment.

We did dinner at a local steak place and caught up over braised lamb shank… It was awesome!

They’ll both be home for Christmas for a few days before they head off to do their respective things with friends. Sam is spending a week in Florida with my ex, and grandparents at their new condo on Longboat Key (near Sarasota), while Zach is headed back to MontrĂ©al to spend New Year’s with his friends from school.

Trust me, as a parent you wouldn’t want it any other way. To see them happy, independent and confident are seriously the most satisfying things ever.

Leading into Sam going to University and me becoming an empty nester I must admit I was apprehensive as to how I would handle it personally. Especially given that over the last seven years we’d spent quite a lot of time together.

I suppose change is good… đŸ™‚

I wasn’t something that I spent a lot of contemplating leading up to her leaving, mainly because I’d had similar feelings when Zach first went to University but then, at least I had Sam, but clearly it was a whole new ball game when she then left as well…

As a parent I don’t think anything can quite prepare you for your children growing up and becoming adults, well for me at least.

On the one hand it’s awesome, as you can have adult conversations with them, but on the other you’ll never have the feeling of totally being wanted, needed and loved unconditionally like they did when they were little.

I still remember coming home from being away (during my consulting years) and both Sam and Zach upon hearing the door open would run headlong into my outstretched arms for the most incredible hugs.

Now that’s the feeling of being totally loved! It still makes my heart sing when I think about those moments in time…even to this day I can feel them snuggling into me and holding me tight.

Ahhh – treasured memories indeed!

Until recently I thought I was just a big softie and a little overly sentimental with the kids leaving, but apparently I’m not alone and that this is quite a common phenomenon amongst us newly minted empty nesters.

There’s no question that them growing up and going to University has given me is greater freedom.

As an example I can now travel whenever I wish, and for as long as I want without having to worry, other than cash flow that is. Definitely a big plus for someone like me with an adventurous spirit. đŸ™‚

So what to do with this new found freedom? As usual I have my list of places that I want to explore, but to be honest that’s just par for the course as I always have a long list of places that I want to explore… Perhaps I’ll just lengthen the amount of time I spend in each place. More slow travel is on the cards for sure.

Strangely my list never seems to get any shorter! đŸ™‚ .

Until next week

Ciao!