Normally, couples may have professional photos taken when they’re expecting. But one couple who have been married for 34 years has turned that tradition on its ear.
Juan and Dalila Perez of Pharr, Texas, decided to celebrate being empty-nesters after their youngest daughter got married in August.
After raising four children, their home and their lives are now their own, so they wanted to document it for posterity.
Melyssa Anne Moreno, a Texas photographer, staged the empty nest shoot, Insider reported.
The couple had signs similar to the new baby ones seen in more traditional photos but with more appropriate messages like “Expecting 0 kids August 2020” or holding an actual empty nest with a sign that read “So Sad!” but then revealed the real message: “Ha Ha Ha Ha Just Kidding!”
The Perezes have big plans for their now-empty house. Delila Perez will make one of the now-vacant rooms into a craft room.
She’s also going to clean out the closets of all the childhood memorabilia and pack it up, giving it all back to the kids.
Delila said that while they’re smiling now and planning for their couples-only future, the changes weren’t that easy to start.
“The hardest part was seeing the first one leave because we weren’t ready for the detachment and it hurts. By the time the last one left, we were ready for it because we knew that our children can have great and productive lives away from home. It gets easier as life goes on," Delila Perez told Insider.
But that has all changed now. They also said they’re proud of the people their children have become.
“All our children are independent, educated, responsible and confident. We see them as productive to society, all are public servants. Our eldest, John is a major in the Air Force. Jacob is a sergeant int he Dallas police department. Jonas is an assistant principal and Joy is a teacher,” Dalila Perez told the HuffPost.
Now, the solo couple have plans to hit the road.
“Our dream is to RV our way to [our children] and spoil our grandchildren, visit national sites, and ride our Harley Davidson down the hills of Texas and meet other ‘empty nesters’ like us,” Delila Perez told Insider.
And they have a lot of spoiling to do. The couple already have seven grandkids with an eighth on the way, WRC reported.
They also have started a podcast about their travels to help others who will find themselves with children flying the nest.