Tag Archives: Throwback Thursday

Feathers A-Flying

The brothers (ages 4 and a half and almost 8)

The brothers (ages 4 and a half and almost 8)

Throwback Thursday has me thinking about life as an empty nester. It’s been almost 12 weeks since both of our sons flew the coop, the older one to finish his senior year at the University of Texas at San Antonio and the younger one to start his college journey at Sam Houston State.

So how has it been for dear, old mom, who is home alone during the day for the first time in almost 22 years? Lonely, my friends. Maytag man lonely. Oh, how I miss my sons!

The boys on their play cottage in 1999 with their  Pokémon collection

The boys on their backyard play cottage in 1999 with part of their Pokémon collection

What’s been hardest for me is that my younger son usually ignores me unless he needs homework help or someone to talk to while he drives through McDonald’s at night. Yes, my little sweetie who I’ve always been so close to! Before he left for SHSU, he told me straight out that he would not be like his older brother, who at least texts me good morning and good night every day (and usually quite a bit more).

I understand that he wants to assert his independence and become his own man, but, as I’ve told him many times this fall, caring is not a crime. There’s no off switch to your emotions when you’re a parent.

I hate the news blackout after 18 years of being in the loop. It stinks, and it hurts my heart.

Older brother helps his younger sibling with his homework 10 years ago.

Older brother helps his younger sibling with his homework 10 years ago.

My strategy has been to be patient and relish the communication opportunities that I do get. The kid does call and Skype more often than his older brother. Plus I listen intently while he and his father chat (he talks to him more), while throwing helpful suggestions for questions to ask (which the Mister usually fails to use . . . frustrating! Guys!!).

Fortunately for me, we’ve gotten to see our sons this semester, our younger son more often because he’s closer. My older son hasn’t returned home since he left in late August. That’s about to change, though, because he’s driving in from San Antonio tonight (he has no classes tomorrow)! When little bro heard about it, he also decided to come visit the old folks at home.

I’ll try not to make the grill too hot for him!

Throwback Thursday

Young and innocent!

Young and innocent!

I recently found this photo of myself from back in the good, old days. Specifically, October of 1976.

I was a year removed from the University of Illinois, working at my third newspaper job, the “Suburban Trib” (the “Chicago Tribune’s” multi-weekly suburban supplements). I was a sportswriter who, of course, specialized in girls’ sports. In fact, back then I covered all of them in all the Chicago-area suburbs, north, south, and west (east, of course, is Lake Michigan). By the time I left in 1981, my clip drawers were overflowing.

See the typewriter behind me? I banged out a bunch of copy on it . . . in triplicate. We didn’t get computers until almost the end of my tenure. I was (and still am) a fast typist whose fingers could keep up with my thoughts. But I sure wish we had the ability to copy and paste back then! Writing life would’ve been so much easier.

I must admit that I don’t remember that day 37 years ago when staff photographer Carl Wagner snapped my photo. But I do recall that he was cute . . . and that I really liked that sweater!

Throwback Thursday

Kindergarten graduation: Tyler and the kid

Kindergarten graduation: Tyler and the kid

Looks like this is a sentimental week for me.

Together at the kid's sixth birthday party

Together at the kid’s sixth birthday party

I guess that’s what happens when you’re on the verge of being an empty-nester. You can’t help but remember the good, old days.

For some reason they used the bathtub as their clubhouse.

For some reason they used the bathtub as their clubhouse.

Especially when old friends stop by. This week it was Tyler, who came over to sell us fundraising cards for our high school’s football team (he’s a senior linebacker).

Possibly the cutest youth football players ever!

Possibly the cutest football players ever!

Tyler and my younger son were inseparable in elementary school. They met in kindergarten, were in the same second-grade class, and played youth football together for four years (Tyler’s dad was the coach). They really clicked as best buddies.

However, they went their separate ways when Tyler switched to private schools for several years.

Sidebar: Tyler’s mom, Diane, and I also instantly clicked as friends. When the boys were young, we vowed that even if their friendship didn’t stand the test of time, that ours would. And it has!

All growed up!

All growed up!

When Tyler walked into our house, he went straight into reminiscing mode. It was fun to listen to him and my son remember the good times and talk about what they’re looking forward to in the future.

Hopefully, that includes keeping in touch with each other! Hope you have a great season, Tyler!!