Discover more from The Daly Grind
The Nest Begins to Empty
Mixed emotions as my oldest child goes off to college.
Over the last few weeks, it’s finally started to hit home that our son — our oldest child — is leaving home. His freshman year of college begins next week, and it will be a new chapter in all of our lives.
Our family is very proud of him, of course, and we’re excited about his future. But I must say that, at least for me, a bit of panic and concern has also set it.
It’s not as though I haven’t had time to prepare for this change. In a sense, I’ve had nearly 18 years. But more specific to 2022, we’ve all known for several months where my son was headed, and what it would entail. We went through the academic discussions, university tour, registration, orientation, selection of classes, and of course the financial stuff. Heck, my wife and I are even quite familiar with the college, being that we both graduated from there.
But despite that framework, and even the close proximity of the school, things have felt… unsettled for me.
I’ve spent a fair amount of time wondering if I’ve done a sufficient enough job, as his father, of helping to prepare my son… not just for higher education, but life outside of the nest. At times I feel like I have (at least on the most important things), but other times, an unexpected decision, thought process, or tendency will come along and give me pause. I realize that a lot of this is regular parental sentiment, but that hasn’t stopped me from dwelling on some imperative discussions I didn’t have with my son, or perhaps more accurately haven’t dedicated enough time to.
A few weeks ago, I sought to play a little catch-up. I wrote and presented my son with a two and a half page letter (the details of which will remain between the two of us), expressing and affirming everything from my pride and joy in him, to the importance of work ethic and responsibility, to life’s pitfalls best avoided. Going the letter route (rather than an eleventh-hour discussion) might sound like a cop-out to some, but I actually think it was a good call.
Beyond the pesky fact that I’m a much better writer than a talker, I feel that the details of conversations are often forgotten, or remembered unclearly (especially in this era of distractions and low-attention spans). A letter leaves one with something of candor and sentiment, with less sense of confrontation, that they can refer back to if needed.
But here’s the kicker: I don’t see it as an either-or. I believe the written word, including in this context, helps facilitate face-to-face engagement and openness. It’s not entirely different than a novel at the center of a book-club discussion, or love notes exchanged in a romantic relationship. And I’ve seen strong evidence of such from my son, in the time we’ve spent together since handing him the letter. It’s been meaningful, and I’ve decided to do the same for my daughter when it comes time for her to leave the nest.
Now, as we work through final preparations (like going to Target and buying my son a crap-load of housewares, snacks, and other dorm-type items), I’ve decided to focus more on the fun and positive stuff… you know, like living vicariously through him as he meets his roommates, strolls around campus, and discovers his first real taste of independence.
But I know some anxiety will remain, and I’ll feel a little empty too — maybe more than a little. Even though he won’t be that far away, I’ll miss him… a lot.
Have any good advice for coping with the nest beginning to empty? Let me know in an email or in the comment section below.
Celebrate Good Times, Come On!
I’m excited to announce that Restitution has been named a finalist in the 2022 CIPA EVVY Awards (Thriller category). My previous book, Safeguard, went on to take first place, in this same program and category, back in 2020.
The awards banquet will be down in Denver on August 29. I looking forward to getting back to the event in person (2020’s ceremony was online-only, due to the pandemic).
Wish me luck!
Obligatory Dog Shot
Uncle Rusty was over and could barely contain himself.
Have you picked up your copy of RESTITUTION?
Interested in a signed copy? You can order one (or five) here.
Already read and enjoyed it? I’d love if you could leave a review for the book on Amazon.
I have an email list of old albums to keep an eye out for when I visit used record stores. 1991’s We Can’t Dance by Genesis has been on it for quite some time, despite me not knowing for sure if it was even released on vinyl back then. I just kind of figured it had been, since I occasionally stumble across the band’s Live / The Way We Walk record, on vinyl, that came out a year later. I guess I could have always just Googled the answer.
Anyway, my wife and I were at Barnes & Noble the other day, and I spotted a new re-released version on vinyl, so I figured I should probably pick it up.
I never owned this album back in the day, for whatever reason. Though it was quite a departure from the band’s previous album, Invisible Touch (which I liked quite a bit), I thought it had some solid (and slightly funky) radio tunes, specifically “Jesus He Knows Me” and “I Can't Dance”.
I was glad to be able to check it off my list.
That’s all for now. Thanks for reading today’s Daly Grind.
Want to drop me a line? You can email me at email@example.com, and also follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. If you haven’t subscribed to this newsletter yet, please click on the “Subscribe now” button below. Doing so will get these posts emailed directly to you.
Also, if you’re not caught up on my Sean Coleman Thrillers, you can pick the entire series up at a great price on Amazon. And if you’re interested in signed, personalized copies of my books, you can order them directly from my website.
Take care. And I’ll talk to you soon!