the kids are alright

On Saturday, we took our younger child to college.  On Sunday, we helped our older child move into an apartment.

In one weekend, we went from a houseful to a house empty. An empty nest, I think they call it.

I suppose that is true, technically. The baby birds have flown. But I’m not sure I like the image.

There is a nest on the ladder hanging by our back door. It was used twice this summer by robins. Eggs were laid, babies were fed, and then birds fell out. One got lost in our garage. Another sat on the garbage can. And then everyone was gone, parents and children alike.

We aren’t going anywhere, Nancy and I. And Andrew and Hope are not left alone to fend for themselves. The closest we will come to being like robins is continuing to use the free birthday burgers at Red Robin, a family tradition.

Instead, I think, we are (mostly) feeling grateful. Grateful for two great children. Grateful for positive memories that have not ceased being produced. Grateful for technologies that have us looking at facebook and flickr and text messages and (you knew it was coming) tweets. Grateful that we can talk with God about our kids.

Yep, the kids are alright.

And so are Andrew and Hope.

(And this blog will now return to less personal stories. Thank you for your support.)


5 responses to “the kids are alright

  1. Big times in the Swanson household, I see.

    “Empty nest,” I agree, is an awkward image. More like “down time at the hangar.” Having lived as an Air Force spouse for a good while, I think parenting is often like the crazy, frenetic prepping and checking that an air crew goes through before a mission. After the planes have taken off, the flight crew gets to enjoy some well-earned down time. Before the next mission starts.

    So, mission accomplished, Swanson parents. I for one salute you both. 🙂

  2. Just to encourage you, Jon, I gave the link to your previous empty nest story to friends who just experienced their first child to leave the next.

    They appreciated your reflections.

  3. I’m so far from this part of my life, but reading your take is good by me. Gives me strength.

  4. Less personal stories? Come on. I love this stuff.

  5. Kat, Paul, Chris, Bryan:

    Thanks, friends, who have been along for the ride for the part or all of the past three years. You are at four different points in this same journey, part of a community of sharing life.

    Interestingly, even as the two birds leave the house, they are still visible online, along with you all.