Help–My Parents are Retiring!

The happy retirees!

My parents are the hardest-working people I know. My mother has put in 39 years with the same company, and my father has dedicated his life to working tirelessly at work and at home to ensure we could make ends meet. The two of them scraped and scrounged enough to send all four of their kids to private schools, all while managing to go on vacations, send us to summer camp, and pay for whatever sports and extracurricular activities that interested us kids. They have more than earned this awesome season of their lives. But I gotta admit, I’m a little uncomfortable.

Raising parents these days is more difficult than it used to be. Once upon a time, parents would work until they collapsed, and you’d simply put them into a caring facility. But NOW! Now they want to flaunt their vivacity, gallivanting around the country! My parents had the audacity to both shop for and purchase their own RV without notifying any of the four of us kids! Did they send pictures to get our opinions of the color options or outdoor grilling sets? No! They simply took a picture of themselves *after* buying it with a homemade sign to surprise us. I’m gonna need them to slow down a bit.

So smug. So cheeky.

I feel like an empty-nester. I’m so used to having these birdies in one place, and now they’re flying from the nest! I’m not sure I’m ready for them to have this type of freedom. I have a number of questions to put to my parents.

First of all, where on earth do you think you’re going, young lady? Who’s going to be there? Do I know their children? What time will you be arriving/leaving? What is the itinerary? Who’s going to be in charge? Where will you be going next?  

Settle down before you break a hip. Shouldn’t this be physically impossible? Aren’t you supposed to be feeble?

Second, what is a good number to reach you? Your work phone number is one of the few that I actually have memorized. I can even recite the melody with which you answer your work phone, spouting the company’s and your own name. Now how am I going to get in touch with you? What if you don’t answer immediately? What if Dad has his phone turned to silent so he can fish in peace? Unacceptable!

Third, how dare you plan a Disney World vacation for two?! You’ll probably be snapping pics with Mickey Mouse and sipping champagne at Downtown Disney while wearing matching pins that read “We’re Retired!” and getting the star treatment. How do I explain to the kids why your house is empty or why we can’t go visit? “Don’t cry, honey. Nana and Poppy are just getting their kicks on Route 66!” 

I’m going to need a detailed list of plans, routes, guests, and updates or changes. I would also appreciate details concerning but not limited to number of fish caught, sizes of fish (fictional or non-fictional), friends met at campsites, their backstories, and all of the incredible sights you’ve seen. At some point I fully expect a reflective presentation complete with pictures and accompanying stories–Dad grilling at the RV, Mom mixing drinks for guests, diners stopped at along the way… 

I’m hoping that they’ll get their rebellious thirst for freedom out of their system and take up their posts on the front porch. But in the meantime, “Happy trails to you!” 

(but seriously, check in every once in a while…)

Megan Southall
Megan is “Mommy! Mom! Mom-Mommy!” to four: Carson (9), Atticus (7), Evangeline (4), and Bo (8 months). She is from Port Allen and went to high school and college in Baton Rouge, getting her Bachelor’s Degree in English with a concentration in Secondary Education from LSU. Megan then moved to the ‘burbs in Zachary. She and her husband of 9 years, Ryan, are teachers, Ryan at Zachary High School and Megan at West Feliciana High School in St. Francisville, where she is also the Instructional Specialist. Megan is Nationally Board Certified in English Language Arts and has a Master's in Educational Leadership. She adores her job, as it gives her awesome opportunities: working with teenagers, gaining perspective on parenting them, and getting to pretend she’s a SAHM over the summer. When she’s not learning piano or reading, Megan can be found on the couch, talking to episodes of “Real Housewives of New York.”


  1. Hahahaha! This is so my story with my parents too! They have just wrapped up theie second year of full-timing with their motor home! It was a complete shock when they bought the first one, but they love it so much (they’ve now upgraded twice and are on a 1.5-bath model that is amazing).

    If they haven’t already, have them look into caravans. If either of your parents served in the military and has an honorable discharge, tell them to look into SMART. My parents discovered this group and LOVE it. I feel better knowing they are with a bigger group most days. No man left behind!

    A shared Google calendar is essential to know where they are, where they are going and when they can be home to babysit. FaceTime is also amazing for phone calls with the grand kiddos. It’s like being there!

    I hope your parents have as much fun as mine are having on their adventures. They’ve been to the southwest, up to western Canada, through the American West, all through the south, just got back from the cherry blossoms in D.C. and are heading to Alaska this summer. They’ve never been happier!

    • Awesome! Sounds like your parents and mine are kindred spirits! Thank you so much for the feedback–I’ll be sure to pass it along to them!


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