When I was a kid, I thought pretty much what every kid still thinks. Namely that "when I'm grown up and can do what I please..."
It did not take very long at all for that lie to rear its ugly head. About two minutes after I became grown up, I started taking on responsibilities.
First it was a job. I had to get myself to and from work. And pay taxes for Pete's sake. That sure never figured in my blueprint.
Next thing I knew, I had to buy my own shampoo and toothpaste. I never saw that coming either.
Pretty soon it was a husband. So much for doing what I please.
Then kidlets. The ultimate (though voluntary) slavery. I not only couldn't do what I wanted, my entire existence seemed to twist itself around to focus on doing everything they wanted. Day after day, I gave my life over not to what I pleased, but to what I must: the nurture and development of four marvelous creatures.
And one day...Enter the Empty Nest. Now there is no one prying my eyelids open if I happen to sleep past 7am. Now I am free to go to bed any time I want, without having to wait on the last kidlet to come home. We can have milkshakes for dinner if we want to. If I suddenly get a notion to take off someplace, I am off without having to find four jackets and prod four reluctant kidlets to visit the bathroom before we leave the house.
It's true, there is a lot of freedom in the Empty Nest. The trouble is that now it just seems like a lot more trouble than it's worth. We no longer need or even want all that freedom. Like so many things, it came around too late. The reality is, that now that we can run around the house naked, we forgot why we wanted to.