Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Empty Nest Syndrome

Yesterday we moved our youngest child into her dorm room at Texas A&M. We are now officially Empty Nesters!


I'm okay with that. Sure, there's some sadness and melancholy as you watch your little girl spread her wings and leave the nest, but I view it as an inevitable step in her - and our - life's journey. Her mother, however, sees it much differently.
When mothers talk about the depression of the empty nest, they're not mourning the passing of all those wet towels on the floor, or the music that numbs your teeth, or even the bottle of capless shampoo dribbling down the shower drain. They're upset because they've gone from supervisor of a child's life to a spectator. It's like being the vice president of the United States.

  --  Erma Bombeck
It was interesting comparing our daughter's departure with her older brother's. When we moved him in last year we parked, made one trip with his things to his dorm room, dropped them on the floor, and were shooed out shortly thereafter. It was a different story with the girl.

First of all, it required three trips to lug all her possessions from the truck to the room. Second, her mother (and her roommates mother) stayed there for several hours helping the girls unpack and get settled. Finally, the good-bye hugs were longer and tighter, and there were many more tears from both mother and child.

As an aside, our son moved into an apartment this year. The first day he could move in was Aug. 15 at noon. He left our house at 8:30 a.m. on Aug. 15 - the earliest he'd gotten up all summer. Our daughter delayed her move until the last possible moment (classes start next week, but this is Gig 'Em Week for Aggies).

As part of the 'spreading her wings' process, I had her drive from our home to College Station (home of the Fightin' Texas Aggies - Whoop!) by herself. We followed in the truck. I wanted to make sure she knew how to get from Point A to Point B on her own.

We live out in the country. College Station is also located out in the country. To get from here to there requires a 200 mile trip on back roads. When I drive it takes around three hours. She took four hours to cover the same distance. She steadily drove five MPH under the speed limit.

She's a very conscientious young lady. She takes after her mother, in that she believes rules are meant to be followed. That's all well and good, but this is rural Texas, where speed limits are considered at best suggestions, and at worst challenges. I am very glad (and relieved) that the worst thing I can say about her driving habits is that she obeys the law, but still ... the trip seemed endless.

Anyway, she's moved in, and we're back home. My wife is quiet, and every so often heaves a long, forlorn sigh, but we'll get through it. Both wife and daughter are tough and resilient.

As I type this, I am working on my third beer. Funny, but it seems to be making my vision a little blurry...

4 comments:

Old NFO said...

True, and they also never leave the pocketbook... sigh Congrats on getting them both in school! :-)

3boxesofbs said...

Don't get to used to it - in the words of a certain Admiral "It's a Trap!"

We had all of ours out of the house; but the middle one is back.
Keep your guard up :)

Bob S.

3boxesofbs said...

Don't get to used to it - in the words of a certain Admiral "It's a Trap!"

We had all of ours out of the house; but the middle one is back.
Keep your guard up :)

Bob S.

CenTexTim said...

NFO - Thanks for giving me something to look forward to... :-)

Bob S - I'm not worried about the girl moving back home. The boy, however, is another story...