The Not So Empty Nest, Music & Stepping Into the Future

My first year as an empty-nester has proven to be not so empty after all. It began in late September with a rash of fires and earthquakes and evacuations. The evacuations put me for days in the guest rooms of my friends. Then my daughter came home for two conferences and a wedding.

Then a series of trips for parent weekends in October and November to see the ones that had seamingly just flown the nest, but they had been home the week before. As soon as I left them, and returned home they were home again for Thanksgiving, and two weeks later Christmas. I packed them both off in early January and I looked forward to turning my attention to Ocean SF.

My older daughter went back to school for one day and then decided to do her January term online and came home for the next three weeks. She flew out on a Monday and her sister flew in from Portland three days later.

I’ve been alone for about 5 minutes. Maybe this is a good way to provide a soft landing for me.

I’ve not been lonely yet.

I’ve not really been alone.

When the girls were in high school I could always determine their moods by the music they would play in the car. I would listen carefully to the lyrics and could determine their state of mind. Happy love songs indicated they were falling in love. Songs with lyrics like “I just want to make a grown man cry” indicated the reverse. Now that they are away at college I am even more interested in what is played on my car stereo and listen attentively from the airport to our home.

The most recent visit from my Freshman daughter had a number of songs with a letting go theme. This daughter had one of those rare idyllic high school experiences. She had a very tight knit friend group and an extended family of teammates from all the sports she played. She was good at math and never had to struggle with her school work. Watching her say goodbye to her close friends at the end of the summer was torture.

Listening to the music she was playing indicated to me that she was ready to let go of her past and step fully into her future. She returned to school last week and I’ve hardly heard from her.

Maybe I should queue up her playlist and step into mine. Happy Valentines Day.

Love and blessings to all.


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