The Chick has Flown the Coop!
My eldest daughter left the nest. On Saturday, fifteen months after earning her college degree and struggling in this hellish economy to land a career-track job, Stephanie moved to her own apartment. Her persistence prevailed and she is now on her own. She earned her wings, and I’m very proud of her.
Stephanie’s departure provoked my thinking about the differences between the genders. When my son, Joey, moved out on his own I didn’t worry about him. He’s a big, strong guy who can take care of himself. On the flip side, Steph is five-foot nuttin’. Now, in a verbal battle my diminutive darling could shred Darth Vader into scrap metal with her arsenal of witty sarcasms. Unfortunately, I doubt her worthy one-liners will stave off any bad guys intent on harm.
Is it fair that we sent our son on his merry way armed with reminders to wash behind his ears and eat his veggies, but we’re itching for Stephanie to attend ninja training? Although I spent equal mama tears on my departing children, Joey’s move brought fewer fears than Stephanie’s. Does her smaller stature really mean she is less equipped than her big brother to live alone? Or does it just mean I’m gender biased? I’m not sure.
Stephanie’s move also spotlighted the difference in priorities between my husband and me. We embarked on a shopping excursion to purchase a few things we thought she might need, and boy did we have different ideas about what those might be. Joe opted for a measuring tape, a deadbolt, picture hangers and nails. I collected cute oven mitts, matching dish towels, an African violet and a cheery flower pot. We met at the check-out, eyed the item groupings of tools from daddy, decor from mama, and chuckled. Kids really do need both a mom and a dad, just for balance.
Fortunately for me I have yet one little chick snuggled in the nest. Christy is flexing her wings daily and in just a few years she, too, will take flight. Still, our nest will never be empty. Even with the kids on their own Joe and I will be here warming the roost, planning and dreaming of our future which is, ironically, how we started out thirty years ago. Things do come full circle.
And you know what, buttercup? That sounds like a perfect flight plan to me.
‘Til next time –