Zack and the Landslide

Tomorrow is the day.

Tomorrow is the day Zack will spread his wings and fly from our nest as he starts his adventure as a college student and as a full-fledged adult, moving three hours away. We’ve been preparing and planning for this day, and we always knew it would come, eventually. But really? So quickly?

The soundtrack of my last few weeks (thanks to Pandora Radio) has been Landslide by Fleetwood Mac. The great thing about music is I can hear a song by Stevie Nicks, telling her own story about a time in her own life, yet somehow it can represent my story, too. It’s all about perspective.

Indeed, from where I sit, this little nest has felt like it’s perched on a landslide lately.

Yesterday was “bedroom clean-out day.” We purged dresser drawers, filled bags for trips to Goodwill, and dusted, dusted, and dusted some more. (How could this kid breathe in here? What kind of mother am I?) He decided which mementos were really treasures, and which ones were simply artifacts he couldn’t even remember discovering. Feeling pretty proud of us, I turned and opened the closet door. “Oh ya, that’s kind of a mess,” he said. Oh ya. But hey, at least we were braving the disaster together and we decided – together – what had to be done now and what could wait.

Well, I’ve been afraid of changing
‘Cause I’ve built my life around you

When he wanted to have one last lunch with the “bro’s,” I sent Zack on his way and took to straightening in a way that a mom can do only when she’s working on her own. Organizing the books he’d be leaving behind; retrieving the stray schoolwork that had slid behind the desk. Darren came in and heard the music playing: “Uh oh, what are you listening to?” Then tears.

“I wish you were a jerk,” I told Zack a few days ago. He looked at me with his soft smile, knowing what I meant. Starting this journey would be so much easier if he were difficult to live with. I’ll miss his “Good morning!” each day, even when he looked like the last rose of summer. And his evening greeting, “How was your day at work?” He really wanted to know…or he faked it really well. And, either way, he listened.

But time makes you bolder
Children get older
I’m getting older too

I’ve been doing some of my own cleaning and organizing lately, too. Kind of like when I was 8-months pregnant with Jake, 22-years ago, on my hands and knees washing the window blinds. This time I call it “empty nesting,” instead of “nesting.” I’ve transformed our dining room into an office for me; a bright spot perfect for writing and daydreaming about what the future can hold.

Can I sail through the changing ocean tides?
Can I handle the seasons of my life?

This is the time we parents look in the mirror and say “now what?” Again, it’s about perspective. For some folks, it’s a day to celebrate…we made it! For some it leads to a feeling of loss and uncertainty. Probably for most, like us, it’s a little of both. We celebrate Zack and the hard work that’s gotten him to this place. We celebrate that he will become a Cal Poly Mustang and will join his brother Jake (a grad-student Mustang) in San Luis Obispo—exactly what they both had hoped for.

And we celebrate that we are blessed with the honor of being the parents of these special young men. That doesn’t end now, just because we will be living separately. Every season of our lives with these boys has been what we called “the best.”

Let’s see what this season will bring.

Listen to Landslide by clicking here.

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