We have one of those bounce-back kids. Due to Darling Son’s school and now work, he was gone, then back, then gone, and now he’s back. So the effect on us has been: empty nest, kid is home, empty nest, kid is home. The refrain of expletives due to video games wafts from his room once in a while, and we’ve had to buy more beer.

This is not an unfamiliar theme for parents in their 50s, I am sure. But what has happened to us as a couple is predictable: we got comfortable having him gone, but we missed him. Then he came home and it was nice to have him, but we had no privacy. Sayonora, empty nest.

Our intimate life suffers. The time between lusty romps has stretched from 5 days to 1 week to 2 weeks to “how long has it been?” We talk about it once in a while. DH knows I still have desire for him, and I know he has desire for me. The romps will happen, as they always do. 

Meanwhile, we have to find a way to stay close until we adapt to yet another new schedule. So we do what we have always done. We hug and kiss every day. We hold hands. When I’m at the computer, he places his hand on my back and asks if I’m alright. I give him a big smile when I see him outside, just because it makes me happy to see him. He calls me Beautiful and Sweetheart, and I call him a silly name from long ago. We have been talking about the future and about dreaming. He kisses me goodnight every night. 

We have not made huge changes or knock-you-off-your-feet gestures. No sweeping promises to make this relationship work “this time.” No do-or-die resolutions to be better every day. We just do what we do, and that means even if we don’t really feel like it.

This relationship has withstood blizzards, brimstone and hurricanes, and we are not strangers to adversity. Time between those hot sexual encounters is okay if we can maintain the campfire embers.