Wednesday, January 25, 2012


So, a couple of days ago I was sitting around with my nineteen year old and two of his friends. We're in Montana for the week, and since where we stay is within sight of Big Mountain, the three of them made the drive north for the weekend to get some time in on their boards. After sharing cool stories about a great day spent taking advantage of fresh, deep powder, and right in front of his friends, he very coolly said, "Hey Mom...if an old band comes to Seattle, you and dad should let me know and I can come home so we can all go together."

I  looked up from my knitting......which may or may not be interpreted as a cool activity by this crowd......and said, "Like how old?"

He answered without hesitation. "Bruce Springsteen or James Taylor. You know....someone that you and dad would want to go see."

Did you catch that, too?? My son just offered to go see The Boss with me?! And later on that day, I overheard him mention the same thing to his dad.  And all with a smile on his face. Not an ounce of holding back for the benefit of his

This empty nest thing....this having kids leave home thing: I sure hope I haven't made it seem any easier than it really is. I sure hope that because I've enjoyed sharing the good parts....the parts that make my eyes tear up with pride and my heart nearly burst with love, that I have in any way sugar-coated the experiences involved. Because it IS difficult.  Even when I know without a doubt that each of my boys are doing exactly what it is that they should be doing......whatever it is that they NEED to do be become the autonomous, self reliant, independently functioning adults that they are supposed to become, it is still sometimes difficult.

Put simply: No matter how logically I understand that life is moving forward as it should......and that this moving forward is all normal, right and still kind of sucks (I actually don't LIKE that word, but sometimes it just fits) when your kids grow up and leave home. When they now live far away and you pretty much know they aren't thinking about you even one one-millionth of the number of times you are thinking about them. And worrying about them. And of course, they shouldn't be.

And it makes you wonder: Will we stay close? Become close again? Even closer? What will our relationship be like now? What will it evolve into in the future? To what extent will I, his dad, his family, remain a part of his life? Will any of them ever think I know what I'm talking about? That some of my advice is actually pretty good?

At my most patient, I quietly stand back, observe and feel proud. I allow and encourage the process to unfold as the universe intends. At my most anxious, I want to call or text or give helpful suggestions or ask helpful questions in order to grasp hold of just how this 'growing up-and-becoming-an-adult-thing' is progressing so far.  Sometimes I want up to the minutes details. Personally, I think I'm doing great at remaining on the 'patient observer' side of the line. I'm pretty sure, however, that each of my boys thinks I ask far too many questions.

So back to Bruce.......

"Hmmmm, " I nodded.

"Sounds great.........." I said, while attempting to still remain somewhere within the boundaries of cool. While forcing a too-big smile from escaping and ruining the moment. While holding myself back from running up the stairs and spilling to Marc that 'if an acceptably good concert comes to Seattle, our kid just offered in front of his friends to come all the way home and go rock out with his parents!! And if an acceptably good concert DOES come to Seattle, should we have him drive home or fly? Oh and by the way...... he's been wearing the hat I knit for him for Christmas and even told his friends that I made

But I managed to stay there.....within those boundaries.....

Sometimes this empty nest's not so bad. As it turns out, they still want to be  a part of the nest, they just need some time and space in order to figure that out.
Wishing you a wonderful week in your own nest....wherever that may be.




Donna said...

I hear you. I get it. It is so hard. The things you have mentioned sound so very familiar and I know the feeling.

Hoping for a really cool concert to come your way!

thisfriendlyvillage said...

Thank you, Donna. M

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