Musings From A Musical Mind

Preparing for Absence

Greg and I are on the verge of launching our baby out into the world.  The count down has begun – he leaves for California next month.

And while we have really been “Empty Nesters”  for a while – you know what I mean – daughter Ashlee moved out 3 years ago – and from the moment Shawn had a driver’s license (on his 16th birthday) – we didn’t see much of him after that.  People think I’m kidding when I say that Shawn eats and sleeps here – sometimes.  It’s absolutely true.  It is still going to be an adjustment around here.

We have plans after Shawn leaves next month.  We are going to go into his room with gloves on and several garbage bags and begin the grueling process of fumigation and bringing normal back into chaos – the room of a teenage boy.

My car that Shawn has taken possession of the last 3 years – will once again be MINE!  A little worse for wear – but still paid for and MINE!  Did I mention that the car is MINE?  Just in case you are confused in that matter – I know that I have been.  Oh you know what I mean – you have a conversation with your teenager and you end up leaving the room muttering someone non-coherent like, “I’m right – I KNOW I am” as you feel all reality slipping from your fragile grasp.  So when I say I was confused – I really mean it.

We plan to clean the inside and outside of MY car – and fumigate it – so that it does NOT smell like a boy’s locker room.  My CD’s will finally be right where I left them – there will be no sticky stuff in the cup holder and on the seats – there will not be wrappers and other junk in MY car.  It will be left in pristine condition – just as I always have left it – BEFORE my son got his license and decided to take ownership.

We will have quiet at night when we turn in.  No more yelling or calling Shawn on the phone to get him to TURN DOWN the TV that we can hear in our bedroom.  No more late night cooking food and smelling it wafting upstairs where we are trying to sleep.  No more late showers and running water FOREVER next to our bedroom.  No more talking on the phone in the middle of the night – or hopping up the stairs and slamming doors (because he always forgets) – to wake us up.  None of that – just peaceful, blissful quiet.

Yes – we are preparing for absence – just as much as Shawn is anxious to be out on his own.  We worry just a little about how he will pay his bills – and survive out there – but we also realize that it is a part of his growing up – to be out on his own and figure it out.

I hope we have prepared him.  He is very grounded and mature for almost 20 – and most of all – he is a loving, kind and generous person – full of talent, laughter and fun – has many friends and has always landed on his feet – through rough times and setbacks.  I’m proud of him and can’t wait to see what God has next for him – as he discovers his own place in this world.  God has equipped him with a love for music and a talent that is his special gift – I’m excited to see how God will use that in him.

And so as we prepare – with a little over a month to go – we know we are also ready.

And there’s always iChat and Skype, right?

God Bless

Comments on: "Preparing for Absence" (14)

  1. Cindy,

    Wow, what a big adjustment for you and Greg…I don’t look forward to the day when my kids launch, but I know it will come. I still have a ways to go, though.

    I think that God made teenagers so that you both will be ready someday ; )…

    You and Greg are such wonderful people. You did a fine job raising your children into the adults that they are now. I believe that one of the best gifts that we can give our children is the gift of trusting them to go out on their own. We went through it and they deserve to know that they have the full confidence and support of their parents.

    May God bless you and Greg in all that you do.

    Take Care,


  2. Wow! A kindred spirit! So glad we found each other on the web! Hope you enjoy knowing where all of your stuff is – I’ve had the same hair ties and tweezers since the girls moved out – I didn’t know they could wear out! -Veronica

    • Yes – it’s amazing how I can find my stuff! Well – almost – my son hasn’t left yet and has been known to ‘borrow’ my socks. MY LITTLE SOCKS!! And he’s 6’3″ with HUGE FEET!! I just don’t get it.

  3. I’m an odd duck. I used to read Erma Bombeck when I was 11. Your post reminded me of this little piece she wrote:

    When Mike was three he wanted a sandbox,
    And his father said, “There goes the yard, We’ll have kids over here day and night and they’ll throw sand and it’ll kill the grass for sure.”
    And Mike’s mother said, “It’ll come back.”

    When Mike was five, he wanted a jungle gym
    With swings that would take his breath away
    And bars to take him to the summit,
    And his father said, “Good grief. I’ve seen those things in back yards, and do you know what the yards look like? Mud holes in a pasture! Kids digging their gym shoes in the ground. It’ll kill the grass.”

    Between breaths, when Daddy was blowing up the plastic
    Swimming pool, he warned, “They’ll track water everywhere and they’ll have a million water fights and you won’t be able to take out the garbage without stepping in mud up to your neck and we’ll have the only brown lawn on the block.”
    And Mike’s mother said. “It’ll come back.”

    When Mike was twelve, he volunteered his yard for a camp-out.
    As the boys hoisted the tents and drove in the spikes,
    Mike’s father said, “You know those tents and all those big feet are going to trample down every single blade of grass, don’t you? Don’t bother to answer. I know what you’re going to say—It’ll come back.”

    Just when it looked as if the new seed might take root,
    Winter came and the sled runners beat it into ridges,
    And Mike’s father shook his head and said, “I never asked for much in this life—only a patch of grass.”
    And Mike’s mother said, “It’ll come back.”

    Now Mike is eighteen. The lawn this year is beautiful—
    Green and alive and rolling out like a carpet
    Along the drive where gym shoes had trod,
    Along the garage where bicycles used to fall,
    And around the flower beds where little boys used to dig
    With teaspoons.

    But Mike’s father doesn’t notice.
    He looks anxiously beyond the yard and asks,
    “Mike will come back, won’t he?”

    • It’s funny you should mention Erma Bombeck, Ray. Greg and I are reading a series of her books right now – hilarious! I love what you posted above – good stuff – way more serious – can you say, “Cats in the Cradle”?

  4. Shawn’s a good guy and this will be a great adventure for him and likewise it will be a new adventure for you and Greg. Exciting times!

  5. I feel for you. My dd has been out of the house and living 1800 miles away for three years now. Last semester she was half way around the world (Russia) where she’ll probably settle in ministry. This may be her last summer home. I’m just so glad my son is still young, but one day…

    • It is a little different when they get married too – lots of sharing with the other side of the family. We don’t mind – but lots of people do. I love my daughter’s new family and my son-in-law is really great – but some are not so lucky. Yes – you still have your son at home for a little while longer – enjoy him!

  6. I hear you, Cindy. My almost 20-year-old is getting ready to go into the Coast Guard some time this summer. He moved out over a year ago, though, so it’s not quite the same thing, although I see him at least once or twice a week for talks, meals and such. Yeah, they have to grow up. Sometimes Aaron looks at me and says, “What do you see?” I just tell him, “YOU.” We both laugh. What I neglect to tell him is that I see a tiny little boy with long red curls and huge blue eyes and the face of an angel who everybody thought was a girl. He’s probably smack me now if I did. LOL

  7. This is bittersweet. I know that Shawn will do great in LA. And I know that you and Greg will do great making the transition to true empty nesters. Praying for you guys over the next month.

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