THE BLOG
09/23/2015 12:15 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

I Feel Guilty

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For the past four weeks, I have had this never-ending pit in my stomach that I can't seem to describe. At first I attributed it to the end-of-summer blues, but that should have gone away long ago. And it still feels like summer in New York City anyway.

Usually I get all excited for the back-to-school season. It's a time of great preparation, organization, and a fresh start. Every year I love this time of year.

I somehow missed it this year. I guess I should attribute that to being in an empty nest now.

For the first time since my first child had her first year of pre-school, there was no back-to-school preparation for me. No organization; no fresh start.

My daughter started graduate school in San Diego but she didn't need me to help move her in.

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My son started his third year in college and he didn't need me to move him in.

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They both did their shopping pretty much on their own and with friends. They packed their cars themselves and drove off.

I feel guilty.

I didn't do "Dad" this back-to-school season. I'm definitely extremely busy at work these days, but I still have this hollow feeling like I should be doing something else.

Like making school lunches. Like rushing to the school bus. Like checking homework. Like going to "back-to-school" night. Like helping with class schedules. Like buying fall clothes. Like getting the dorm rooms all decorated. Like organizing meal plans.

Like being "Dad."

I feel guilty.

I feel like there is something else I should be doing every day. I feel like there is something missing.

This isn't exactly my first year in the empty nest. Both of my children have been away at college for years now, so I should be used to it.

But I guess I didn't get to experience that "back-to-school" rush like I usually do. All of that preparation would normally give me closure to the summer, so that I too could look forward to what would be new in the fall.

Not this year. I just feel guilty. I guess that's just part of being "Dad" now too!

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