There and Back Again

We are in Wellfleet this evening, having arrived late last night on an important mission. No, I’m not talking about plucking oysters from the bay, though this afternoon did find me splashing about at low tide as usual. This weekend, however, the task before us is to take our son Nick off to college. He was accepted as a midterm admission at a well-known university in the Boston area, and the moment is at hand; we drop him off tomorrow.

Nick is the younger of our two children, and so by tomorrow evening my lovely wife Nina and I will have become what is known as “empty nesters”. This is actually quite an enormous moment; for the last 21 years our lives have revolved around the care and feeding of the two of them, and while they will of course be back for various breaks and vacations, the default configuration of our household from now on will consist of just Nina and me — the same as it was when we began our life together as newlyweds, though we ourselves are hardly the same two people that set out upon that journey so many years ago.

Things will now tend to stay where we put them. Water, grocery, and electric bills will fall off sharply. Lights will be off much of the night, and music and television will blare into the wee hours no more. I will no longer have to scurry from room to room to find a peaceful place to read, think, and write, and I’ll probably end up getting more sleep too, because it will now be nice and quiet.

Mighty quiet.

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  1. Andrew says


    Best of luck to your son. As a BU grad I can say that Boston is a great place to go to school. With a 2 1/2 year old daughter and a second girl due in March my wife and I are about as far away as we could be from the empty nest.


    Posted January 14, 2007 at 5:38 pm | Permalink
  2. Malcolm says

    Thanks Andrew! I remember those days well – so demanding, and so joyful. At the risk of sounding trite, enjoy every moment of it, because it really is over before you can get your eyes focused.

    Posted January 14, 2007 at 11:00 pm | Permalink