Empty Nest Always Ready to Welcome Wandering Children Home

A Boomer’s Journal

By Tom Anselm   

No matter how old your kids get, you can always take a thrill at their accomplishments. It could be a son getting that job that starts him in a new direction. Or finding out your daughter is expecting another addition to the tax deduction line, at a time of her life when she least expected it. It might be when one of your offspring has labored long and finally reaches a dreampoint as sweet as the soft cool breeze that precedes an August rainfall.

I know I brag on my kids a lot. Sorry. It’s just that they’re all pretty dang braggable. The latest tout I have here is that son Joe is about to experience a moment he’s been driving toward for the last 10 years. He is one of the lead vocalists in a band called Day Above Ground, out of Los Angeles. Theirs is “fresh blend of Rock and Hip Hop,” at least according to their website, www.dayaboveground.com. They have pushed it hard and just started their tour of 13 shows in three weeks.

The best news for good old mom and dad is that they will play the Duck Room at Blueberry Hill in the Delmar Loop tomorrow night. To paraphrase Vice President Joe Biden, “this is a big flippin’ deal.” The lovely Jill and I are hosting the band at our home.

Now this is a house that has become too big for us, something many in our age group are experiencing. Nearly 20 years ago, it was the ideal set up. All our gang fit, and with the two-girl, two -boy, then two-girl delivery sequence, it was eminently workable. However, as Old Man Time inevitably dictates, they all have gone their separate ways. Their wonder for wander has taken a few of them north of here, and then as far to the left of the map as their wheels could carry them, with the aforementioned male offspring taking the Horatio Alger challenge to “go west, young man.”

Sometimes kids can amaze us with their courage to take on this often crazy world. Our oldest Jamie has found an avocation in the world of “Green”. Katie has run several marathons. Mary Pat travels the world in her job. Joanie the younger has had to grab the tiger by the tail, virtually willing herself back to Mizzou and into the program of her choice, overcoming some huge obstacles and setbacks in the process.

These past few years have found Tim and his clan turn homeward, much to our everlasting delight. And now, here comes Joe, at least for a few days, as leader of the band.

They have all learned much of what we hoped they’d learn through their exploits. Hard work and honesty are eventually rewarded. Quality of character will always be recognized. The Big Parent in the Sky never forgets them. They know that “home” is good… solid… safe and welcoming. Still, it seems, great adventure surges and bubbles in their hearts. Much to thrill about, like I said. Much of wonder has occurred. And in the coming years, there promises to be a lot more where that came from.


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