My wife and I are in the midst of making some exciting changes in our lives (no, we are not getting a divorce!). Our daughter Ashley is halfway through her Masters degree for Occupational Therapy and living on The Lower Eastside. Our 6’2” baby, Jonathan, is entering his senior year at the University at Buffalo. That means Ann and I are EMPTY-NESTERS!!!
Now, for all of you young parents, (I mean those of you with young children because I certainly don’t think of myself as old, far from it!), the thought of being in a house without your kids might seem a bit daunting. Just realize, we are not sending 6 year olds out on their own: they grew-up on us! Life inches by, day to day, but the years do fly.
So, I say again with a sense of the bittersweet and a whole bunch of excitement, WE ARE EMPTY-NESTERS!!!
This past spring, we put our Westchester home on the market and began the search for a new abode in Manhattan. It’s hard to believe that eighteen years of child rearing with memories of many milestones have passed (first day of school, first time bicycling without training wheels, first basketball game, first time giving a driving lesson, first car accident….second car accident , first boyfriend, first girlfriend, nursery school, middle school, high school graduations, etc, etc.) Yes, lots of wonderful times! And here we are about to begin a new chapter in our personal history and embark on a new adventure in the Big Apple! (Let the record show that our children are neither sad nor indifferent-which would be much worse. They are actually psyched for us!)
Eastside, Westside, all around the town …we searched…Uptown, Downtown….almost landed in the West Village. Home selling and house hunting is quite a process with lots of drama, characters and emotions (hmm, maybe the makings of a reality TV show).
About four weeks ago, everything fell into place. We nailed down the sale of our house and were able negotiate and sign contracts for an Upper Westside apartment in a prewar building on West End Avenue (love those 10 foot ceilings!) Even in this “depressed real estate market”, we managed to get into a last minute bidding war (where do these mysterious out-of-the-blue all cash offers come from anyway?). One last hurdle to clear: we need co-op board approval. (Was it Groucho Marx who, said, “I wouldn’t want to join a club that would have me as a member). In the meantime, we are busy packing.
Ann and I are “over the top” excited, nervous and ready to take on Manhattan. The first time we saw the “almost-ours” apartment, we each encountered respective patients of ours in the building. We took it as a welcoming sign.
Our time is now. We are ready to become a couple again and go out on dates and rediscover the wonders of the city as we did in our formative years. We are singularly in a New York State of Mind.