Monday, May 3, 2010


My younger son, Andrew, posed an interesting question at brunch yesterday. He wanted to know what seemed stranger, that his older brother, Erik, was going to be a junior in college next year or that he himself was going to be a sophomore in high school in the fall.

After mulling for a minute, I told him what freaks me out most is his going off to college in three years. I vividly remember sending him off to the first day of kindergarten on Bus 209 piloted by Crazy Louie. I still miss Louie.

Yesterday afternoon I went to an honors recital at the university with my neighborhood walking buddy. On the way home she was lamenting the end of the elementary school years. Her son heads to middle school in August and her daughter enters high school.

In 2013, Andrew will graduate from high school… 35 years after I did. Erik, as I may have mentioned before, took the unconventional route: foreign exchange student, ‘dropping out’ senior year, getting accepted to college a year early, earning a GED, going to college a year early…whew.

Andrew is following the conventional route. My two sons are very different from each other, but they do share a common trait. Years ago their Aunt Mette, my husband’s younger-by-seven-years sister, was visiting.

“They certainly are relentless!” she said, exhausted after spending a couple days with her nephews.

They are indeed relentless, and goal-oriented…and the loves of my life.

Me, who is so good at letting go, is having a hard time envisioning the day when they both leave the nest…for good.

This week Erik heads out to spend the summer working and doing an internship in Morgantown, WV…where he ‘grew up.’ He’ll get to spend time with his wonderful girlfriend, Morgan, home from college. And he’ll be back to being on his own, something he excels at. It has been kind of nice to have him home for awhile.

In August, Erik will be home for that junior year of college. Andrew will start his sophomore year of high school the day after he turns 15.

As for me, I’m going to spend the summer writing, sitting on my deck sipping sugar-free lemonade, and wondering if I own a copy of Gail Sheehy’s book.


  1. Just remember that it isn't long after the fly the next for the final time that papa bird comes home with mama bird and a whole tribe of little birds.
    Now when ours come home I have to figure out where everyone is going to sleep in our small retirement home in the country. Of course I love it and usually four little kids, one girl and three boys, pile into our bed for a sleep/gab fest. I love it. Unless it's 3 am which they also do!
    You'll be find when they're gone because they never fully gone. Love ya, B

  2. I can't write or spell today. That's supposed to say it isn't long after "they fly the nest"

  3. Thanks for those encouraging words, Barb!

  4. Barb is right; they never leave "for good," at least mine haven't and I'm sure yours won't either. They leave and come back, leave and come back. It's not really an empty nest, it's a waiting nest . . just waiting for the next visit.

    But you do eventually get used to them being gone most of the time, when they are finally gone most of the time.

    Last night our dearest daughter was in a car wreck, luckily suffering only very minor injuries. She called before going to the ER to get checked out, then called again after the ER visit.

    In between those two calls, we went to sleep. We knew the injury was minor and that she would be OK, we were tired, and so . . we went to sleep. That's letting go.

  5. Beautiful post, beautiful comments. Tears (again), looking into the future with my own two young men...