|(Photo credit: Robert S. Donovan)|
Today our youngest child left for college. Although the tuition costs will be daunting, I half expect our finances to improve on balance. Our grocery bill and electric bill should be a fraction of their former selves.
With our older child already living in an apartment and going to grad school, we are officially in the empty nest stage. There's a lot written about the pros and cons of this period of life. The consensus seems to be that once you get over the shock, it can be a very enjoyable phase. I expect that to be the case, but of course MS will throw a wrench in the works.
Kim is my primary caregiver. She does 95% of what I need done. But Zach was our 5% backup, and that was an important 5%. For example, in May Kim was able to attend an out of town conference because Zach was here to help me out. I'm afraid that may have been her last overnight business trip. At the same time that we’re experiencing a decrease in caregiver availability, the need for caregiving continues to go up a little each day, as MS continues to work its magic on my central nervous system.
One way that we are compensating for this imbalance is to relocate from the suburbs into the city, much closer to where Kim works. In a pinch she can zip home and extricate me from whatever dilemma I’ve gotten myself into. Also, I plan to come out of my introverted shell, to charm and enchant any number of unsuspecting neighbors for the express purpose of being able to call on them if I can't reach something on a high shelf, for example. Who knows, maybe I'll discover that getting to know people and making new friends might be enjoyable as well as utilitarian. I'll report back later and let you know.
We’ll be leaving our suburban nest for our urban one over the next couple of days. Wish us luck.