My Scrambled Nest

An Almost-Empty Nest Journey of "Letting Go" With Laughter and Love, By Cathy Free

Now that spring break is over and my daughter is back in high school and my son has returned to college, I’m adjusting again to a silent house this morning. It’s just me, the cat and the light clickety-clack of my keyboard as I type faster than the computer can process my words (something my mother once told me is the sign of a restless mind).

Unlike years past, we didn’t go anywhere during the break this year and instead spent our time reading, going to matinee movies, baking (OK — I did all of the baking), visiting my mom at her care center to watch Hitchcock movies and making summer plans. My son said he’s had enough of the dorm life and wants to move back home in June while he takes a couple of summer classes at the University of Utah. “Would you mind much?” he asked politely.

Would I mind?

“Only if I get to borrow your Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds” CDs,’ I told him. “And only if you promise to watch ‘Seinfeld’ and ‘John Oliver’ with me and laugh a lot.”

My boy has the most wonderful, genuine laugh, and I’ve missed it.

At the end of the summer, he and three friends plan to find a house near the university to rent together, so I hope to enjoy the upcoming months with him, knowing that once he’s moved in with his pals, and eventually moves into an apartment of his own, he won’t be spending much time — if any — cranking the tunes and piling up dirty dishes in his old Sugarhouse bedroom.

It’s a bittersweet realization to know that this August I’ll be claiming his old digs as a music room or a larger office to handle all of my files and book-writing notes, while he hauls away the last of his mystery novels and CDs. I’m going to leave my son’s artwork on the walls, though, and the futon sofa at the ready, on the chance that I can talk him into staying for an overnighter once in a while. “The cat will insist on it,” I’ve already told him, “and so will I. It’s been decided. So there.”

With just one more year of high school to go, my daughter won’t be far behind with her own apartment search. She’s already looking through Pottery Barn catalogs for decorating ideas and she’s trying to decide which college to attend. Because she loves everything from music, dance and the theater to foreign languages, poetry and women’s studies, she isn’t sure yet what her major will be.

“Perhaps a tap-dancing, poetic United Nations interpreter?” I’ve suggested.

After listening to her argue with her brother (thankfully, their disagreements have now evolved into serious and thoughtful debates), I actually think that she’d make a terrific lawyer. But don’t tell her that.

“Whenever you and Dad tell me that I should do something,” she told me last week with a sweet smile, “you can guarantee it won’t happen.”

I was tempted to say, “Okay — would that also apply to demanding that you move out?”

But of course, I kept my mouth shut. 😉


2 thoughts on “Blossom Time

  1. Karen Jackovich Goldstein says:

    Cathy, I just love your posts!

    1. Cathy Free says:

      Thanks so much, Karen! 😊

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