Friday, September 05, 2014

Empty Nest

Is it really an empty nest if the baby birds keep tweeting the mama bird?
Although my kids are all gone to college, I hear from them all most everyday. Sometimes they're sharing happy things; sometimes they're complaining; sometimes they're asking for help.
Being home, just me and Earl, certainly doesn't bother me. We're eating whatever and whenever we want. They range from sophisticated adult meals to quick singles food. Salmon burgers and asparagus, brie and raspberry jam, wine, cereal, French toast, pot pies.
We're scheduled to start dance class in a few weeks, and we're spending time with friends, seeing movies.
Still it isn't all smooth sailing.
Tucker got sick the week before he moved to college, and we've been trying to deal with that long distance. First his jaw became sore and swollen where he had his wisdom teeth out in July. The dentist put him on a strong antibiotic.
Then he started dealing with episodes of racing heart, sweating, feeling faint. The possibilities with those symptoms are many.
Tucker on the left with his roommate.
So he went off to school two weeks ago, and he started to feel worse. He became extremely tired. He felt like he was going to pass out when he climbed the stairs to class. He could hardly keep his eyes open during class.
He took the bus home last Thursday evening so he could see the doctor Friday morning then I drove him back to school in time for his Italian class.
But the doctor didn't test him for mono, which I think should always be the first test with tired college students. I wasn't at the appointment, but the doctor debated things like low blood sugar, thyroid, anxiety. Nothing firm was decided, which is the frustrating part. So we just sent him back to school to continue living and going to classes. I wonder if he feels deserted.
This week he called and said his jaw was swollen again. I guess he didn't take his antibiotics the way he was supposed to, even after I warned him about superbacteria and the need to keep the antibiotics in his system.
Now, after two weeks in school, he texted today and asked if he could take a year off from school.
Gulp.
My knee-jerk reaction is, "No! Stay at school." But I've dealt with rough starts before. I know to keep stringing him along week by week until he gets to the end of the semester, like a kitten chasing yarn.
When he called, here were his arguments:
He isn't sure what he wants to do, so his major is undecided.
It feels a lot more like high school than he thought it would.
He just thinks he'd rather get a job and get his own apartment for a year.
I listened to his reasons and then suggested he give it another week and we re-evaluate next Friday.
Spencer in his new dorm room.
I wonder if the girlfriend here at home has anything to do with the wish to come home. And, of course, I'm afraid if he doesn't stick with it that he'll never finish college.
The good news is that Spencer transferred colleges, and he is only an hour and  half away from home. And he's really in his element. His only difficulty so far is the calculus professor who has
such a thick accent Spencer can't understand him. Spencer wrote down the notes the professor put on the board and took them to the math tutor. The math tutor couldn't decipher them either.
One of his fellow students stopped Spencer and thanked him for asking questions in class. Spencer says he tries to repeat back to the professor what he says in hopes that the professor will clarify. It sounds like Spencer is doing all the right things to be successful.
Grace is enjoying her final semester of college. She's living in a house near campus with three theater friends. She's auditioning for shows and spending time with friends.
She has come home the past few weekends, so our nest isn't empty on the weekend, but it's more like a girlfriend sleepover when Grace is here rather than having kids I have to take care of.
So, yes, my nest is technically empty, but my plate is still definitely full.

3 comments:

Just Me said...

Loved this post (and your new novel). Plate and life still very full and humorous.

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

We never stop worrying about them do we? Hope it all works out for the best.

Linda said...

Sounds like Mono to me too. Maurice had it and still hasn't totally recovered.

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