With the youngest moving out, everyone is asking us if we are suffering from empty nest syndrome. I wish! We may be empty of kids, but their stuff is still here. It's hard to tell if the child is gone when you still can't see the floor in their room and the only real evidence is that they aren't coming home at weird hours of the night. At least we can get into their bathroom now, although it probably needs to be professionally cleaned, and possibly fumigated. They say that while your children may grow up and leave, they will always be your babies. What they don't tell you is that you will always have custody of their stuff. Who knew kids collected so much over the years, all of it sacred memorabilia? Every piece of artwork and every fast-food toy must be saved and cherished, apparently. We are keeping the box-selling stores in business right now and my bride has made numerous trips to the storage facility. I guess that's what happens when you get to live in one place for a number of years. When we were getting transferred on a regular basis, we had to purge regularly. Now we seem to have retained every piece of crap the kids ever touched! Yep, looking forward to that empty nest. ~Michael S. Pauley
Michael S. Pauley is a Navy brat and an old soldier who served in all three components of the United States Army. Living in Lexington, South Carolina, Michael is now a practicing attorney and member of the United States Naval Institute and the American Legion, Post 154, Tybee Island, Georgia.