Thursday, September 1, 2011

Goodbye Danny Tanner, Hello Dr. Weston

Our house
(From The Parenting Weblog)
Shh!! Listen… Hear that? That’s the sound of house devoid of children. No stereos/iPods/MP3 players, no Xbox noises emanating from bedrooms, no refrigerator doors being opened, no milk being poured, no cats trapped in the bathroom for “company” while showering. No cries of “(S)he started it”, “Do I hafta?”, “What’s for supper?”, or “Can I go to ...?” That silence is also the sound of the electric meter not spinning like a top.

But, there’s also no sounds of “Hey Dad, watch this”, “Love ya”, smooches, hugs (they can be real noisy, you know), no satisfying sounds of life imparting from their rooms, either. Those are the sounds that are being missed.

We got the youngest moved into his dorm room a week ago Thursday. Surprisingly, there were no tears from any of us. We went through the same exercise two weeks today with his sister, but it’s old hat with her, so there wasn’t any expectation of trauma that day.

I keep expecting a big emotional surge to overwhelm me at the most inopportune time, but so far, I’m like the guy who fell out of the skyscraper. As he passed the 40th floor someone yelled out, “How’s it going?” He replied, “So far, so good.”

If Empty Nest is supposed to be processed like Grief, I feel like I must have used an “Advance to Go” card and skipped right to Acceptance. They’re gone – ok. Time to make supper – better set out two pounds of hamburger – oh wait, we only need one. Wow, that gallon of milk has lasted four days. I hope it doesn’t go bad. Now that there’s no one here during the day, I can adjust the programmable thermostat to not run the air conditioner in the morning. I’m a dad – I think it's genetic for me to think in terms of money.

I know what will happen.  One day I'll pull the couch away from the wall to retrieve the remote, I'll find an errant sock behind there, and I'll have to wash it again after I've soaked it with tears.

 (Oh, and as their mother read the work in process, I brought her to tears. Mission accomplished?)

And the title?  Everyone probably remembers Danny Tanner was the dad on Full House; Dr. Weston is from Empty Nest. (Don't go beyond the titles - the analogy falls apart really quick.)