The Sound of Silence

It’s finally happened. He’s graduated. In a couple of months he’ll be leaving home. After decades of parenting, my youngest baby bird will be leaving the nest.

And things will never be the same.

When our oldest left for college, I’d like to say I adjusted well. I did not. I was a mess! It was strange and sad, and it took me months to be able to listen to Owl City’s "Vanilla Twilight" without sobbing.

But eventually…

Life went on, and I established a new normal. At least I still had Josh—and the whole high school routine—to keep me grounded. But now what? High school is over for this household. Forever! The change in routine will be really weird. What I’m most afraid of, though…is the coming sound of silence.

Don’t misunderstand. I’m not one of those people who can’t stand being alone. I enjoy a little peace and quiet. For example, right now I’m working outside on our deck. (Love this part of freelancing soooo much!) I close my eyes and the only sounds I hear are the birds calling to each other, the soft breeze whispering in the leaves overhead, and the distant hum of traffic. That’s it. And I love it.

But the other night, Josh had one of his infamous gatherings. The evening began with a surprise party for one of his buddies. As I worked in our home office, I was serenaded by talking and laughter as the group hung streamers, decorated a cake, and created a scavenger hunt. At 11:00 p.m., the girls were formally kicked out by the boys, and “Guys’ Night” commenced. More talking and laughing, broken up by Seven-Eleven Slurpee runs, and shouts from X-Box victors. The sweet, sweet music of teenage bonding.

That’s the stuff I’m going to miss most.  

What will I do with the silence? Will I be able to embrace it? Will I try to fill it with the artificial sounds of the television or radio playing in the background? I don’t want to fear it. But I think I do a little bit.

As parents, when our child climbed onto that school bus on their first day of kindergarten, so did we.

When they made the team, scored the winning goal, got the part in the play, finally aced that test, so did we.

When they got cut from the team, hurt by a friend, failed that test, struggled in school, so did we.

And then…suddenly…they’re gone.

And I’m left wondering, will I be able to handle the silence?

Image by: Nosha

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