Before and after

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How the living room in their apartment looked last Sunday….

A few days before my last post, my daughters signed a lease on an apartment just outside Boston. The younger begins her Ph.D. in physics this fall and will move in once her second summer stint at [insert name of national laboratory here] concludes. As soon as the older completed the extended year program at her elementary school, though, she headed to the new place to conduct a job search.

I served as move coordinator, which explains the gap between posts, and may I just say? I did an awesome job; at least that’s what my three closest friends tell me.

With the appointment to have cable/internet installed tonight, my older daughter and I will have largely completed the mental checklist “Create a home away from home,” so we have begun to relax a bit. Yesterday I finally unpacked my flute and practiced for the first time in much too long; and today before it got too hot, we walked in a nearby preserve. This summer may, in fact, end up looking a lot like last summer: Because her job did not begin until August, my older daughter and I spent several weekdays in June and July 2018 alternating adventures in Chicago with reading, music, and other pursuits. Once she accepts an offer here, we are hoping to do the same in Boston.

What makes this July so much different than last (or any other, for that matter) is that we are separated from the rest of our group by a seventeen-hour drive. Depending on how everyone’s schedule sorts out, I will have been away from my younger daughter for twice as long as I have ever been by the time I can hug her again. And for the first time since the eighties, Mr. Nerdishly and I are apart for something other than business or a funeral. I miss them both more than I miss central air (and let me tell you, I have definitely been missing central air).

In all earnestness, though, as I’ve written before, our family prefers to be together — or at least not too far apart — and eleven hundred miles is too far apart. We are all focused on the moments we are in, however — acknowledging the distance but making it work.

And I guess we will need to get used to it, won’t we? When I return home, it will be just Mr. Nerdishly and I — and the cats. And our daughters will be in their new home — together, which gives me so much comfort — but far from the forever home.

In a Captain Obvious moment, our neighbor advised us that after this summer we will be empty-nesters. Thank you, neighbor. We never heard that before. Then again, if we are still living in the nest, Mr. Nerdishly and I, how is it empty? We’re the original birds, aren’t we? It will be a less full nest but not an empty one. And while we have already reclaimed the “Girl Cave,” we have left their bedroom intact.

Because you will always be welcome, my tiny birds. Always.

And always.

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… and how it looks a week later.

One thought on “Before and after

  1. Oh my. A shift of epic proportions …. I am blessed with two teens yet at home with me, but there is the elder baby bird, long flown … sigh. Oh the years, how they tumble … Wishing you all peace and steady hearts during the transition and adjustment.

    Liked by 1 person

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