Friday, August 26, 2011

Empty nesters? Well, not exactly....

With Youngest Son off at South Janesville College and Younger Daughter packing up the van yesterday to move into her dorm, you might think that Long Suffering Spouse and I were joining the ranks of empty nesters.

I found out yesterday that Younger Daughter's room this year is only on the second floor of her dorm -- only one flight of stairs, a departure from our children's usual practice of lighting on the highest available perch -- but about a mile and a half from the one stairway which we were allowed to use. At least that's what it felt like.

Younger Daughter's plan for yesterday was to pack, then visit with her Abuela (grandmother) for a little while, then load the van and then take the van to school, unpack, and be at her job by 4:00pm when (she thought) she was supposed to start her shift.

Imagine, if you can, the precision timing that would have been involved in this enterprise. Younger Daughter was counting on her mother's assistance in unpacking the van at school; Long Suffering Spouse was to bring the van home. But Long Suffering Spouse can not leave her post before 3:15pm. It takes a half hour in optimal traffic conditions to reach Younger Daughter's nearby school. At best, then, Younger Daughter built in all of 15 minutes to unload, deposit her stuff in her room, and get to her job -- at a satellite campus of the college, a mile or so away.

Surprisingly, things did not work out according to this plan. The first problem arose when the school changed Younger Daughter's work hours -- moving up her start time to noon. Younger Daughter swears no one told her about this. She only found out when she decided that 15 minutes might not be enough time to accomplish all that needed to be accomplished and that she might be a minute or two late by the time she got to work. She called in -- and got called out.

And Younger Daughter's visit with Abuela took longer than planned. Not a single sock had been loaded in the van when Younger Daughter finally returned home, about 2:00pm. I was home, working (no Internet at the Undisclosed Location, remember?) and so I volunteered to use the other car to pick up Long Suffering Spouse at school. That gave Younger Daughter at least 10 more minutes to pack.

Long Suffering Spouse was ready to go at 3:15 -- and she was not entirely surprised to find that Younger Daughter was not.

But we were on the road shortly after 3:30. So, too, however, was an enormous freight train, coming from points unknown in the west, heading directly across our intended path at a rate of speed that was more than glacial, but less than a snail's.

Oh, yes, I was on this expedition. I had no intention of going. I was actually productive yesterday, working on a big project, and anticipating at least an hour or two of additional productivity while Long Suffering Spouse and Younger Daughter enjoyed their special bonding time. They figured things differently, however.

The good news is that, huffing and puffing, we emptied the van and filled Younger Daughter's tiny dorm room from floor to ceiling. I don't know where she'll fit in there, but that's not my problem. We dropped off Younger Daughter at work and by 5:15 or so and at that moment, technically, we might have been considered empty nesters. We arrived at the newly emptied nest about 5:45. Abuela called by 6:00.

It must be very lonely, Abuela said to her daughter, with only you and your husband at home. We haven't had much chance to notice, said Long Suffering Spouse in reply. And Younger Daughter will be home tomorrow. She has a dentist's appointment -- and she plans to pack and somehow squeeze still more stuff into her dorm room. Somehow.


Dave said...

Not on point; but, this is the only way I can reach you. Blogger has eaten my blog for "suspicious activity." I'm in the process of trying to get it back; but, Google isn't being very cooperative.

Lawfrog said...

I don't think you're truly an empty nester until your kids actually have homes/apartments of their own where they prefer to be more often than they prefer to be at your house. Until then, they will come back and forth to your abode often. Seems to be the way of the world. :)