At the moment I am on a family break in the south of France. My husband and I have been empty nesters for a couple of years now, but we are still fortunate that our kids like to make an appearance on our holiday breaks. They come alone, with their partners or with a friend … or two … or ten. And that is the way we like it.
I’m sure this will resonate with many of you. The empty nest was a shock to begin with, maybe more difficult for me than for my husband, but then you get used to having the house for yourselves. You settle into a routine, enjoy the freedom of organising only two people instead of six. Of feeding only two people (and two dogs) instead of six or more. The empty nest couple has an opportunity to rediscover a freedom to move around, go away for the weekend, rework some rooms in the house for this new lighter lifestyle.
It’s a good moment to take stock and enjoy those moments in life that had been neglected during the rush and turmoil of raising a family, and it feels good.
So when the family joins us on holiday, everyone has to readjust a little. It’s a happy moment. There is a lot of music, a lot of good meals, a fair dose of rosé wine. Swimming in the river, early evening tennis matches, happy dogs, aperitif with games of petanque or boules. The days slip by easily. Books are read, games are played, friends drop by for a meal.
There is a new enjoyment of family life. This is not ‘playing at’ being a young family again, but rather rejoicing in the fact that these children are now grown with their own lives, and that we are all happy to spend some quality time together in the year.
When the world around us seems to be in turmoil for so many reasons, this family time together seems even more important and precious. What do you think? I’d love to know.
I have a little addendum to this post. On the blog on Tuesday I received a large number of comments from readers, who told me how unhappy they were that the blog had morphed from a chatty blog about life in Normandy to a more commercial website.
Some of the comments were pretty frank and outspoken, and I could have been hurt or offended, but actually I was very touched. I find it incredible that readers even care what becomes of the blog, so I am ending this post with a big
Thank you to readers for checking in, for reading my emails, and for being interested in my tales of French living. It is true that my website has evolved from being a simple blog, to a little business, but at the end of the day, all of this is only possible because of the generosity of my readers. I’ll be back to publishing more often here on the blog, and more about everyday life than our box or magazine.
PS. For those of you sending me questions by mail and in the comments, these shots were taken in the village of Tourtour, and the view of the village from afar is Ampus. Hope that helps 🙂