November 4, 2016
I don’t know exactly what came over me this morning as I walked toward our apartment with a bag of groceries and Regina Spektor singing “Better” on my new wireless headphones for city dwelling. I was filled with this huge wave of gratitude and transported into the beginning of some fictional television show as the theme song played and the credits rolled. An intersection of That Girl, Friends, and How I Met Your Mother converging on Longwood Avenue with me and my paper towels and half and half. There is something exciting about becoming a daily pedestrian after many years of getting in and out of your car to go EVERYWHERE you go. You know, the butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker places. I am very excited even after almost a year and a half to get on the train with my laminated train map and a loaded t card. A little bit of adventure and freedom, WHERE SHALL I EXPLORE declaration coupled with I need to get there and back in time to let the dog out. Or I could call for back up. Enter the helpful services of dog walker A, B, or very kind neighbor.
Being an empty nester mirrors the student’s academic journey for me. Jack is a sophomore, therefore I am a sophomore empty nester/resident of my new city, Boston, MA. I’ve got a decent lay of the land, rhythms, routines, and the roots of new friendships and connections taking hold. His absence less of a glaring billboard each morning and evening. The work of cutting the cord and finding the push and pull balance of days without communication and at some point I’d love to hear your voice. And now there is also this hmmm…what do I want to be when I grow up that I too am exploring…and no pressure, Jack, although the webinar I sat in on for parents of sophomores and juniors SUGGESTS….yeah, we won’t go there.
So back to my theme song full of something moment. Before we go any further (and I may have lost a few of you already), I will get the very obvious detail out into the light that I am a little corny. I like Adele and Celine Dion and sing along campfire songs. My best friend from growing up insists that I need not admit or promote any of these avoidable details. And thank you God for satellite radio featuring music channels by the decade so I can transport myself right back to the lunch table or freedom of working summers on the Jersey shore (NO, the NICE Jersey shore!) And my cell phone rings as that same friend says, “can you hear it?….that Phil Collins, or Rick Springfield, or my man Jerry….do you remember the dinner before the dance junior year…(was I THERE????) followed by her narrative and signature laugh that IS one of the most delicious and familiar sounds on this earth. Always on Bluetooth, I might add.
And in the midst of t minus 4 days until the election (or two days afterwards as I post this) and some really difficult things going on in the world which cannot be and should not be overlooked or ignored, pause and listen. Play your own playlist and soundtrack. Dance like no one is watching. As young Jack reminded me late one December weeknight when I was cuckoo crazy stressed out by the unimportant details, “find your inner song, Mom. Play the music, it makes you happy”. And that it does. Which I apparently remembered with a red light, crosswalk, and a bag of groceries this morning. Send some positive energy through your own temple and use it to show up in this world and be the tender hearted badass compassionate lead singer, back up, or symphony thread that CAN AND WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE. “Life I love you, all is groooooovy”.