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The Empty Bedroom, five years on.

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Graduates ( Fujifilm XE-2 XF 55-200 f3.5-4.5)

 I am re-posting this article I wrote almost 5 years ago, about the life event of having your first child leave the nest, and attend college.
Now my daughter Brigid has been graduated from Penn State University with a Master’s degree in Computer Engineering.
In a week or so she will head to Seattle for her new career with Amazon.
Two summers ago, she was an intern there, and loved the company, and the city. She already has an apartment, and three friends for roommates. 
Cathy and I could  not be more proud and happy for her.
Seattle though, is a long way from home.
Never been there.
You know what… it looks pretty photogenic. 
From  5 years ago

 

Brigid’s Room (Nikon D-700, Nikkor 50mm f 1.8)

I have been remiss in posting for a little while.

A lot has been going on.

For one thing, a week ago, my wife Cathy and I dropped my daughter off at college for her freshman year.

This went well; the unloading day was very well run, she has a big dorm room and a lovely roommate. They seem to be getting along well, which I am told can be problematic for first year students picked to be “roomies” by the school.

I’m proud of her. She’s quickly landed a job at the school’s computer help desk and seems to be adapting well to college life. I think she is savoring her independence, an attitude which can be slightly nerve racking for college newbie parents. She doesn’t call as much as I would like. Much of what we know comes from texts to her brother.

My wife and I, like innumerable couples before us, are adjusting slowly to the change. It’s a little sad to go into her bedroom at home. Before she left it was an unorganizable mess, jammed with an accumulation of mementoes of her childhood, and more recent artifacts reflecting the “garbage brain” approach to life that I think she inherited from me. My wife always pushed for her to keep it neat, but never recently was that truly accomplished.

Like most teen bedrooms, it was usually a complete mess.

Posters covered the walls, and the carcasses of old computers she had cannibalized for parts, or salvaged when abandoned, were everywhere.  Along with computer gear,  there were piles of CDs and DVDs without sleeves(that drove me nuts) on her desk along  with generations of IPods which she had collected and filled with music. The bed was rarely made. The floor was covered in clothes. Parents, does this sound familiar?

The bookshelves overflowed with diverse reading, some from school, some of her own choosing.  She had a penchant for changing the room layout including the furniture, about every three weeks, an obsession which I never really understood.

Now, with most of the debris gone, her mother’s organizational skills are winning the day. The bed is made and the room is becoming a tidy space. Eventually, it would make a very a nice guest bedroom.

Except I already have one of those.

Happily, Brigid will return for a summer or three, and the room will temporarily devolve once again.

We obviously understand that ultimately, for her as well as her brother to succeed, they will have to leave us permanently… except of course for holidays, and hopefully, visits someday with their spouses and our grandchildren.

I’m cool with this.

I just wasn’t quite ready for it to start happening so soon.



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