It has been six years since Sean, my youngest, graduated from high school. At that time I was warned by another mom, who had already been an empty nester, about how difficult that time in life can be. I can honestly say, she knew what she was talking about. There were times, in the first year or so that I just sat in a chair, not knowing what to do. It is a weird time for sure, and I still get very sad at times. This is usually after I watch the TV show Bluebloods, where the entire family sits down together for dinner each Sunday. Sure I would love all my birds close to the nest, but life does not always turn out that way.
This year Sean graduates from college (As do my other two, go figure!). About a month ago, when I was having a pity party for myself, I started to reflect on all life has brought me since 2011 because my boys had the confidence to forge their own path, I got to follow along, and how lucky I have been.
Scott, my oldest did not go too far. He landed in Lansing. One nearby at least! I get to see him at MSU tailgates and still follow his music career. He introduced me to Soup Spoon Cafe, Brick Road Pizza in Grand Rapids, and when he comes to town, we eat together at La Marsa or Thai Express. I actually went to Mac’s Bar for the first time (hard to believe isn’t it) to watch his band play. I also have someone to go to IKEA with and have enjoyed transplanting some of my flowers in his yard. Every now and then he shows up with his dog and stays in his old room. He’s staying around Michigan for now, but keeps teasing me with plans to pursue his Ph.D. In another state. I have him for at least 2 more years! Did I mention we finally have a Spartan?
Alex, took a huge jump, and moved to Lubbock, Texas. After a cross country drive in the Envoy pulling a trailer, four hours stranded by the side of the road, and a two hour drive in a tow truck (Bob, Alex, the driver, and myself all crammed in the front seat), he settled in a new city. He is only an hour and a half from his Uncle Jim and Aunt Mary Pat, and his girl cousins. They have taken him under their wing. (Thank you.) Since he has been there Bob visits on business from time to time, we go together, and Scott and I have done two weekend trips together. It is no easy task traveling to and from. Yet, how would I have ever got to visit Roswell without our last trip? Gotta say…it makes you wonder! I have seen cotton in bloom, hiked in a canyon, drove through New Mexico, attended a record breaking Texas Tech football game, and seen my independent son thrive.
Sean of course took us on a whirlwind adventure through junior and college hockey. He went East (the other bookend to my boy in the West). I fell in love with Burlington, Vermont, Portland, Maine, and all things Boston. We met too many great hockey families and players to mention. Saw Sean play all over New England, and of course, to really make my heart happy, I got to cook some meals for his team the last two years. I fell in love with The Freedom Trail, maple syrup, beautiful mountains, The Met Bar, Newbury Street, Walburgers, Suzanne’s Home Furnishing, the North End, small towns around Boston, Cape Cod bracelets, reconnecting with Jill and family, Quincy Market, of course Cappys, and will forever cherish the wonderful Boston accents. I also got to meet Catie, Sean’s girlfriend, a Criminal Justice major, and incredible girl. P.S. Sean is staying out east so I get to still visit!
I must mention some members of our family that have been added over these six years. We have Benny the Beagle Basset, Theo the Bulldog, and recently added Rizzo, who I still need to meet. They make me laugh and grand dogs are pretty awesome.
Bob and I are loving all the places we get to travel to and enjoy some trips of our own. We have been to our old stomping ground of Jackonville, out to San Diego and saw the Rutz family, Ft Lauderdale with friends, hanging out in Orlando with Mom and Dad Nelson (Disney just isn’t the same without the boys), a family trip to Colorado, and an amazing trip to Aruba recently with our long time friends the Ketners. Did I mention how lucky I am?
If I need to fill the gaps, I have Bauer, my house and yard, a new love of hiking, friends, all my busyness, work, and of course Outlander!
I certainly miss having my nest full of boys and activity, but this lucky mom’s life is full!