Our son makes his first return appearance tonight since heading west in mid-August for the halcyon days of college. Giddy with the impending arrival, I have snapped out of my empty nest malaise to start fluffing it. I had wanted to join this fall’s edition of the One Room Challenge over at Calling It Home and redo his room, but he made it clear when he left that the room was to remain the same. He granted permission only to have it repainted but in the same harvest gold color that has gotten him through the last 12 years.
While hoping to persuade him to let me make a more drastic change, I’ve spent the last week or so finally cleaning out the detritus left in his packing for college wake and zhushing up his room. Thank goodness for Target’s large selection of trays and water hyacinth baskets that now corral all those things that didn’t make the move to the dorm room, including more electronic cords and headphones than one person could ever possibly use. After two months of living with two other guys, a clean and organized room should be just the welcome he needs as he crawls into his queen-sized bed.
Though sleep will be high on his agenda this Fall Break weekend, food will be a close second. His main request, Meaty Cheesy Manicotti, will be followed by our favorite Tiramisu in honor of this summer’s Italian Odyssey. As we sit down to share this meal, I’ll try my hand (hopefully subtly) at Speed Parenting.
Not wanting to overwhelm him with my empty nest issues, I vow to watch my tongue and just try to enjoy the time together. If the conversation gets too heavy, we can count on our Christmas puppy, Palmer, for some comic relief.
Our son dubbed the Westie his replacement, and though he won’t understand why that could never be until he sends his own children off to college, this demanding and endearing pup does fill up some of the void in our otherwise quiet nest.
Palmer has become a link to our children, and he will always be a reason for them to come home. He has become my sounding board in the echoing house and ensures that I get outside regularly throughout the day. My advice to all parents facing the empty nest: be sure to have a dog before the last one heads off! The dog won’t leave you to go back to school.
October 15, 2014