2018-07-18 / Editorial

Our nest seems a bit emptier

My wife and I, technically, became empty-nesters when our youngest daughter went off to college.

It really wasn’t too big an ordeal. We lived in Wake County at the time and both children were in school at N.C. State, so they weren’t too far away.

Both of them came home regularly enough that we saw them every few weeks and we spoke to them or – today’s social media equivalent – texted them even more frequently.

But our oldest daughter, Anna Kate, has graduated now and, on Saturday, we moved her to Charlotte.

She is a super-organized kid and so the move went relatively smoothly.

But a day or two before the move, I started to get a sense that my wife was none too happy.

“Charlotte is a long, long way away from here,” she said.

Well, really it’s not, but it is quite a bit further than Raleigh.

As moving day approached, I heard that sentiment, or a similar one, more frequently.

On Saturday, Becky was fine until we were almost finished unpacking and loading furniture and clothes and all other manner of stuff Anna Kate took with her.

Becky looked at me and said she thought we should go outside and give Pitt, our youngest daughter, a chance to say goodbye to her sister privately.

Pitt, too, has suffered through her sister’s move.

They’ve been roommates for the past year and Anna Kate has been a guiding beacon for Pitt throughout their time in college together. And, of course, they’ve been sisters and confidants for much longer than that.

Becky’s gesture seemed noble, but I think she was looking for a graceful way to leave without breaking out into tears.

Pitt was equally as quick to say her goodbyes and we left Anna Kate behind as we headed home.

Pitt has already expressed her concern for her sister, telling her mother that she was worried about her sister having to be in that big city alone.

Something, though, tells me Anna Kate will be fine. She’ll make friends and learn her way around. She’ll establish her own routines and live her own life.

Becky and Pitt will adjust, too. They will get back into their normal routine and they’ll communicate pretty frequently with our new Charlottean.

I don’t mind admitting I’m sorry, too, to see Anna Kate move three hours away. After all, she’s been my running buddy for a long time now. But I’m comforted by the fact that the weekends come along pretty regulary and our telephones are pretty good two-way conductors.

Besides, I think I might have my hands full helping Becky and Pitt adjust to the new normal.

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