18 More Nights

My youngest one, Michelle, the one who is headed to college in approximately 18 nights including this one which is about over, and I ate dinner at the Players Retreat tonight over by NC State.  The PR is an old Raleigh haunt – I went there in college.  Great food.  Good service.  Sort of a know you by your name hangout.  The atmosphere makes the summer flies bearable. 

We had a great dinner with an appropriately attentive waitress.  Our conversation ranged from spring rods and curtains for the college dorm “closet” to recanting old day camp cheers that she might be able to recycle tomorrow at work as a youth counselor at the downtown YMCA.

When we got home, I plunked out the melody of a few tunes, and she casually sang along.  She has a beautiful voice.  At one point, I moved to the den to pay the VISA bill, and she practiced a song we’re trying to convince her to sing at our wedding later this year.  I held it together when she walked through the room, but had she checked the credit card statement, it would have been damp.  I sure am going to miss that voice in the house.

I’m not sure which of us has the most angst about her going away, the kid who is headed to UNC or the parent who is watching her grow up.

It seems so surreal.  Poof.  All three of them are grown. 

I saw a commercial yesterday with a father holding his kid on his shoulder.  For some reason the baby’s onesie caught my eye.  I have held that same child, in that same outfit, in that same position, and in my mind not so long ago.

I try to convince myself it won’t be different – she’s only 30 minutes away.  I don’t see her that much when she lives here full time.  Things won’t change.

They will to some extent.  They are supposed to.  They are supposed to for her.  They are supposed to for me.

I am happy in my soul for Michelle.  I am excited for her.  The world is her oyster!  The future is bright for us all.

But for the next three weeks, I think I might just lament a bit.

Leave a comment


  1. Jean B Ham

     /  July 28, 2021

    It will be different but it will bearable bearable
    She will bounce back often and that will give you time to adjust a little at the time. Bailey and Lucy come home pretty often and holidays will make those visits a little longer.. If your Mom can handle it you can. I missed you and Chad when you left but It was necessary for you to be able to handle life while I was still here so that you could bounce back when you wanted or needed to. You are still there for support and that will be necessary to some extent through the years. We all need a connection to someone in our family to whom we can turn. The tie remains as you and Chad have proven and I surely did want my parents at times just to know they were still there. BUT…You have a wonderful wife and those children who have needed you in their lives this long will still want and need you there. Each of the girls have their own special connection to you and will want it to be there. I always loved talking to my Mom as did you boys. Dad was fun and I loved his wit but Mom was necessary because she knew what to do and say always.
    I am a little sad that AnnieT. will be leaving but there is always a time for the daughter or son to check in just to be sure the parents haven’t run away but are still there when needed. The phone comes in handy and so do summer vacations. In no time flat you will adjust to the new schedule. Note the use of the word schedule. Look at it as her schedule at school this year.
    I will miss seeing her with you. You are not alone but we are going to be so proud of that daughter as she grows gradually into the young lady she was meant to be. She needs to tackle the world and learn to conquer it all by herself. I know Miss T can do it! We will encourage each other until we adjust. Us old people have to adjust to change but we can do it. After all, you and Chad did it and I had to adjust. I think I’ve done pretty well. My goal was that you and Chad were free to live your lives in your own way and I think you have both done a very good job of it without me telling you what to do. Parents need to be there to catch you when you fall. Just think… your have a new job! Make the most of it. One day there will be grandchildren to hold.
    I love you, Mom

  2. Rosemary York

     /  July 28, 2021

    Congratulations to all of you for navigating the difficult times with honest, good humor. I have learned a new version of courage from you and your girls. All the best, Rosemary York

    Sent from my iPhone



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