Kate and I have just finished Week One of our Empty Nest era. Kate said today that sometimes when she hears the front door open and close here, she finds herself thinking it might be Thom. The other day, when it got to be 4 o’clock, she had the impulse to call home from school and check in with him.
Me, every once in a while — just looking at Thom’s car or his room or sometimes out of nowhere at all — I’ll have a sudden "he’s not here" moment that fits right in with other times I’ve really missed people; it’s like a blow to the solar plexus that comes with no real weight behind it; I can feel my breath catch for an instant, just enough to get my attention and register the sensation. Then it’s back to picking up my underwear or taking out the coffee grounds to the compost.
So. That’s our first week. We talked to Thom tonight. What was his take?
Beyond details like classes (there’s a heavy emphasis on grammar, of all things, in his Journalism 101 class), how he managed his meal-plan points for the first week (he bought a pack of Nutter Butters at one point because "every once in a while, you just need to have some peanut buttery goodness"), and the fact the floor he’s living on is fairly tolerant of a wide selection of musical tastes and volumes, he offered this summary: "I’m making a bomb-ass transition to college." (For the uninitiated, that is a good thing.)
So: a little perspective on our parental drama. (And, I can’t help thinking: Man, am I glad I’m keeping track of what my kid’s doing in Oregon, as opposed, say, to al Anbar Province).