After 33 years of marriage we had our first “bayit reik,” as our kids would refer to an empty home. Not that we left them home alone, but rather they all seemed to have left us. We didn’t know this would happen when we invited several other couples for Shabbat dinner, but they kindly helped us deal with our otherwise very quiet house. They also politely asked about our children and sincerely appeared to miss them.Truth be told, so did we – at least for a short while. Imagine having no children’s heads to put our hands on and bless before the meal. Shabbat lunch came around and it was just Hubby and me; How weird that was. But quiet and the chance to reconnect and even relax over a leisurely lunch are not so bad. “Sans kids” will soon become a new phase in our lives.While somewhat sad in that we can’t turn the clock back and relive many of those happy years, it is indeed wonderful to see our children test out their values, skills and independence as they head off to the army, National Service, university or travel. We may not agree with all of their choices, and giving them space to grow isn’t always easy as we struggle with no longer feeling needed, but it is actually exciting to see how they arrive at their decisions. When your kids leave the nest, both you and they have adjustments to make.