Spada Law - September 2019


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When the Kids Leave Home for Good

What Does It Mean to Be an Empty Nester?

never again live with us on a permanent basis is evoking all types of emotions that I am having trouble sorting out. There will be pros and cons to our new living situation. Liz and I will

This September marks the last back-to- school season where I will have a child living at home. My son Jake is already a senior in college and applying to graduate school, and my youngest child, Jessie, has started her senior year of high school. In less than a year, Jessie will be moving out to attend college herself, and when she’s gone, my wife and I will be empty nesters. I’ve always been aware of the concept of “empty nesters,” but over the last few weeks, the fact that this concept will soon become my reality has me reeling and a bit sad. “Being an empty nester will be a bittersweet experience.” For the last 22 years, my wife, Liz, and I have enjoyed having at least one of our two children living at home with us. Like any family, we’ve had our ups and downs, but I’m so grateful to say the ups have far outnumbered any downs. Now, as Liz and I plan for the next chapter in our lives, the realization that my children may

confident young adults who are ready to go out into the world and start their own lives. I am so proud of my children and know they will go on to do great things. But, on the other hand, as our children start their own lives, Liz and I find ourselves looking at each other and thinking, “What do we do now?” Thankfully Liz and I share many interests, and I am sure we’ll be fine, but it is a weird feeling to be sure. One thing I know that I will do is move. Liz and I raised our children in Middleton, Massachusetts, a quiet, sleepy suburb of Boston. Great place to raise kids but not enough going on for us older folks. Once Jessie moves out to start college, we intend to put our house on the market and move to a town that has a little more activity, possibly Newburyport, Beverly, or Salem. I think living within walking distance of the ocean and good restaurants might help ease the sting of not having my kids around. We shall see. -Len Spada

have more freedom to do as we please. We can go out to dinner whenever we choose; we can travel more; we can get away for the weekend on the spur of the moment; we can work late without concern about getting the kids dinner or missing a sporting event; or we can get to the office early to beat traffic. We can do what we want. This newfound freedom should have me giddy with excitement, but I’m not. When my son left for college, I had my daughter (who I adore!) as a buffer. Now she is leaving too! Just writing this article is causing me anxiety. I will miss the conversations during our meals and the laughter our children contributed to our home on a daily basis for so many years. There will be no soccer games to attend or school activities to participate in. Damn it, the house might even be neat and quiet. Too neat and too quiet! The reality is that I’m saddened by the prospect of becoming an empty nester. I really am. Being an empty nester will be a bittersweet experience. On one hand, it’s a sign that I did my job as a father. My wife and I fulfilled our responsibility and raised two intelligent,

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