Thursday, March 15, 2012

The real empty nest syndrome

My oldest son has started a new phase in his life
and by default, so have I.

He got himself a job in a construction camp
in Fort McMurray Alberta
5 hours or so norther and 5 hours easter from here.
In another province altogether
Manufacturing screw pilings
(Not quite sure yet how that works)

He'll be working 12 hour shifts, 14 days in a row, then 7 days off
in which he can come home, flight paid, if he chooses
So he's not gone for good

But it's a big step for him
A step up and away

We took him to the airport in Kamloops,
the nearest city to here, 2 hours drive.
To the teetsy tiny airport with one arrival gate and two departure gates

He checked his bags in, went through the security arbour
and was gone
There was another flight boarding just before his
and I watched the passengers walking single file out to the tarmac,
Worried that he'd be in the wrong lineup for the wrong plane.

I watched out the window as he boarded the little baby plane
(I'm not a hero when it comes to flying
and when the pilot walked by me out to the tarmac, I told him to fly safe,
cause he had my boy in there)

I took a picutre as he boarded the plane,
He's just stepping in
The sun was shining right off the plane and through the window
And I only had my cell phone camera
So it was point with your eyes shut and click
And hope for the best,
Didn't quite work out so well.

The worker in front of the plane gave the thumbs up to shut the door
Then waved his orange light sabers to direct the pilot.
He made a sharp turn
Went to the end of the runway,
Turned around again,
And quickly gathered speed
But not as quickly as my eyes gathered tears.

One minute he was there,
The next he was gone

Off into the horizon
To build a nest of his own.

My boy.


  1. I have a hunch when he does come home, he'll sleep! (I'd hate to have one of my girls that far away.) Hang in there, Mom!!

  2. Joyce I found it tough when my children left home as well, and they are all in the same city. My life changed immensely each time one of my children spread their wings.

    I'm going to guess that the 14 days will fly by and he's going to be home in no time at all. Fort Mac is home away from home for so many people, I know a lot of people who make their living spending their time working out there and they say it's not all that bad, eat, work and sleep is pretty much what their lives consist of until they can return home to those they love. Hang in there! Cheers.

  3. Hello sweetie....gosh. I know. But remember you did the excact same thing 20 some years ago. And he will be back. It will be so good for him. And hey, now you have an extra bed free.....can I claim it???? When can you have me? Looking out for some Tim Hortons and donuts on my way to ya.
    Oh and love the last two shots. You're phone got a life of it's own and took pretty ones without you looking. Tears uh? And you never cry my girl. Well remember he'll be fine.
    Softest hugs ever. Dagmar

  4. I know the feeling ... and the tears.

  5. A very warm and sensitive description of a farewell I fear so much. I know that the day will come, it must come.... they cant stay forever, but i know I'm going to cry.

  6. Spannend he
    als kleine kinderen groot worden ;)
    Ik weet precies hoe jeje voelt !!!

    (Betsie lag gewoon op een design verwarming
    in de badkamer )

    groetjes van ons allemaal

  7. A bittersweet moment that comes for all parents - too soon it seems. Nicely captured and written.