The past few days have been very strange indeed! I had planned a couple of short posts about the myriad of changes that have been taking place in our household, but it seems I got caught up in the vortex that was the GUCI reunion. As such, I haven't been able to concentrate on ANYTHING of substance since we walked back into reality, and believe me I really needed to pay attention. I have massive amounts of preparation to do to get ready for the holidays, but instead I am nursing a camp voice. You all remember how that sounds? Sort of a cross between Demi Moore and Yosemite Sam! The thing is, I don't really care all that much. The longer it lasts, the longer last weekend stays with me. (My choir director and rabbi may have other ideas, so I guess I should start taking the remedies a bit more seriously!) Not only that, the other women that I am working with for my concert may not look too favourably on their alto sounding like Kermit the Frog.
I barely had a chance to breathe after walking through the door, when less than 12 hours later, we moved Younger Son into his university dorm. Having been through this situation once before, I thought I was prepared for all of the mixed emotions. Excitement, pride, terror, nausea! (And that was from Mom!) Son, he acted like a pro. Of course, he did! They know that this is the natural order of things and move on into the world like they own it. (or at least will soon!) The difference this time from the last, is that this is the LAST! The husband and I are now officially empty nesters. Oh sure, they will come home often, (usually to raid my fridge and pantry and do their laundry free of charge!) but a new norm has landed in our laps like a massive pigeon dropping!! At camp last week, an old friend asked us what does one do as empty nesters after "doing it" in every room gets old. I looked him straight in the eye and answered: "Anything we want, as long as it is legal, affordable and doesn't hurt anybody!!" The truth is, as much as I miss them and their noise, commotion and odours, we had our children young so that we could enjoy ourselves on this end while we were still relatively non-creaky enough to experience all that life has to offer. That doesn't mean that dropping him off and saying goodbye wasn't painful. I am telling you, I had physical pain. (The husband believes that some of that was from the effects of the camp food!) Then I came home and saw the tornado he left in his room. Some things will never change.
Finally, I need to give a very big shout out to my Older Son today. 21 years ago on this very day, the boy ripped me to shreds inside and out, put me through a labour that really defined the word, and surprised us all with an extra digit on his right hand!! (We have often joked about how he should have been a major league pitcher. Imagine the possibilities of his split-fingered pitch!! Awesome!) I should have realized right then and there that this was not going to be some ordinary kid, and believe me he didn't disappoint. His birth was the emotional high of a very difficult week, and he has continued to be that emotional high for the past 21 years. Oh sure!! He can be trying, exasperating, frustratingly stubborn, sarcastic as hell and at times emotionally cloistered. (What do you want--he is a man!!) But, he is also brilliantly funny, sweet-natured, loving, fiercely independent, and extraordinarily talented. I have done my shared of screaming at him over the years, (in the name of full disclosure, he has screamed back just as loudly) but I hope he knows how proud I am of the man he has become and how I envy the possibilities he has before him. Go get 'em, pal!! Happy 21st!