Just five more days and my summer vacation begins! A sweet nine week break in the action. No phone calls, appointments, attendance issues, paperwork or conferencing with students. Yeah, I can hardly wait. Not that summer is going to be a picnic, I’ve got a slew of projects to get done around the house, all those little things homeowners are always putting off until they have more time. Well, I’ll have plenty of time. Now all I need is the stamina.
For the first time in the fifteen years that I haven’t had a part time job during the summer, I’m on my own. I’m use to having at least one of my two sons around to help me out. Well those days are now history. With my youngest son graduating from college this past December and recently entering the work force, I’m left to man the fort alone. I can hardly wait. Not! It’s going to be a whole new ballgame. I mean who will fetch tools when I need them? Who’s going to pick up the cuttings or run to Home Depot for me? Who’s going to be there to help me move things? Who indeed? This summer I’m on my own. I guess I’ll just have to learn to pace myself. I’m sure that shouldn’t be too difficult. What’s the old saying?”The Lord helps those who help themselves. We’ll see.
I’ve known this day was coming for a long time. My youngest has come of age. He’s working full time now, not the career job he’s looking for, but a way to gain the experience he needs to get his dream job. In no time at all I’m sure he’ll be ready to move out on his own. The last of my three children leaving the nest, flying the coop! Sort of bittersweet you know. You want to see your kids go out on their own and forge their way in the world and make a name for themselves, but at the same time you hate to see them leave. When the eldest left, our daughter, it was very tough, but she didn’t move far and we still saw a lot of her, besides we still had two left. When our first son left a few years later it wasn’t as bad because men are supposed to move out on their own and we still had one left at home.
For the last four years my youngest and his girlfriend have made our house a pretty lively place. But now with her working in Paris and him on the verge of departure I find it a bit frightening. It’s not like he’s leaving tomorrow, it could be six months, a year, maybe two, all I know is not having him around during the day this summer is the first step in learning to adjust to life without Alan in the house.
Wow, is this what they mean by the empty nest syndrome? I thought only mom’s were supposed to feel that sense of loneliness. He hasn’t even left yet and I’m already anticipating how different it’s going to be not having that extra pair of hands to help me around the house this summer. Definitely gonna take some getting use to. Just thinking about it makes me realize how much I rely on his assistance. Not only is he a big help, but he’s also great at encouraging me to continue working long after I have made a decision to call it a day. When these old bones have had enough, he’s somehow able to coax an extra hour or two out of me. I’m sure I won’t get nearly as much accomplished as I have in past summers, but I’ll do what I can, for as long as I can, I’ve got no other choice.
On second thought, maybe there is an alternative. Maybe I can get my wife to come out and help me. Yeah, that’s it! She can be my gofer, running back and forth bringing me the tools I need to get the job done. She can be my extra set of hands. Just the two of us, side by side tackling shrubs and pulling out weeds, building, repairing and ………….. Wait a minute. Who the hell am I kidding! Like that would ever happen!