Today we moved our youngest son, Alex, into his new digs at Temple University for his freshman year of college. A great step forward for him, another exercise in letting go for us.
We’re not empty-nesters yet. There’s always one who seems to hang around. But that’s just fine by me. I have realized I’m not quite ready for The Vacant Inn.
You hear it a lot from people our age. How great it would be to have an empty nest. How carefree life would become with no kids. The freedom that’s enjoyed after nudging that last chick out of the nest. Funny thing is, I don’t recall very many Mr. and Mrs. New Empty Nesters extolling the virtues of their hollow home. No, it’s usually those whose lives seem way beyond full that enjoy the Empty Nest Vision that’s still way off in the distance.
You wonder how many feel the same way about it when they finally arrive at the bridge between The Vision and The Reality.
Alex and I have had this little “good night” ritual of high-fives and fist bumps. Heck, we’re just guys trying to avoid the awkwardness of adult male displays of affection. Mom still gets the kiss ‘n hug. We give the fist bump.
Last night, the ritual was different. Still a male salute for certain. But this time the handshake, one that lingered a bit longer. And for some reason I flashed back to Alex as child. Nothing elaborate, just the size of his hands as an adolescent … then as a child.
In an instant you realize how much has changed. It’s all good though … or so you tell yourself. More so to prevent that newfound hole from growing larger.
Empty nest? Nah … I’m not really ready for that yet.