August 20, 2009

Time For The Empty Nest

Today we took Brandon to the University of Colorado. He and I agree that though CU is about 40 minutes away, it can be as far away as Brandon wants it to be. It's important to me that Brandon take advantage of this time in his life. He needs to meet people and have FUN! He needs to get a job that will allow him to work about 15 hours a week so he can pay for his cell phone and car insurance. Other than these two things, his number one job is to get good grades, and grow into the man we both know he can be.

The move today went better than expected. It didn't take long to get all his stuff up to his dorm room. He and I moved all the furniture around so the room was more open. Everything he brought fit in the drawers and closet provided by the school. His roommate seemed very cool and his parents were very nice. The other kids on his floor and in the dorm also appeared to be very nice as they stopped by and introduced themselves. Many of the girls we saw, in Brandon's words were very "HOT." There is certainly some potential for him having an incredible experience this year. I really hope so!

I'm going to miss Brandon. A lot. I'm going to miss him sitting next to me at Colorado College Hockey games, Nuggets games, Rockies games, and Avalanche games. I'm going to miss him ridiculing me on the golf course and at the bowling alley. I'm going to miss playing ping pong with him at night and watching his face light up every time he wins a point. I'm going to miss playing Tiger Woods golf and Madden Football on the PS3. I might even miss the poking, punching and bruising caused by a growing teenager who enjoys poking, punching, and bruising his father.

Most of all I'm going to miss Brandon. I'm going to miss his smile, his laugh, and the way his eyes still light up when I come home from work. I'm just plain going to miss Brandon. With both kids out of the house now, I think what I'm going to miss most of all is being a father. I know, I'll always be Lauren and Brandon's father. But it will never be the same. Much of my identity for the past 22 years has been as a Father. For the past twenty-two years I've been Lauren's and Brandon's father. Now, I'm an "Empty-Nester."

In the world of time management one would say I should take advantage of the beginning of the next chapter in my life. Take advantage of the time I won't be spending with the kids. Maybe even, God forbid, do something for myself. With that in mind, I must say I'm looking forward to the opportunity to get to know my wife again. Not that I don't know Laurie, but, I'm looking forward to getting to know her all over again. I'm looking forward to seeing if she can sit through an entire sporting event without falling asleep. We're going to bowl together in a league this fall. Tiger Woods golf and Madden football will be a solo activity. Ping pong is probably not going to happen, but pool is a possibility. I'm looking forward to quiet nights sitting on the deck talking, and going to the movies together. I'm looking forward to my time on the computer while she's watching Dancing With The Stars, CSI Every City, and whatever Reality Television show is in fashion this week. I'm looking forward to the unknown, the getaway weekends, the new experiences I can't even imagine right now. I'm looking forward to whatever comes next. And, most of all, I'm looking forward to all this helping me forget how much I miss my kids, and how much I am going to miss being a father on a day-to-day basis.

Do you have a tip to help deal with the "Empty Nest?" If so, leave a comment!
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TheBAFSignal by Bradley A. Friedman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
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