Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Looking From The Hallway

I’m looking from the hallway into an empty room that I regretted becoming a reality. An empty bedroom, a few scattered items left behind like the bits of our lives easily forgotten. Amid the forgotten things, I manage to find what reminds me of a still very young life filled with good and purpose. A high school yearbook. A University of Texas yearbook. A fraternity handbook.
Music CD’s that entertained him when he was 14.
A collection of comic books from the ‘Batman’ era when he was 8.
A Cobras baseball t-shirt, the select baseball team I managed and he played for most of his first 18 years. Autographs from the Houston Astros, scribbled across a spring training program from the summer he was 11.
A beaten up metal locker plastered with a thousand stickers. I rescued it from a demolition project at a school and brought it home to fill with tools. He wanted it. No problem.
Carpet stained with the Lord knows what. No, I truly don’t want to know, just rip it up and put it by the curb.

So many nights he was banging around the house at 3 am and I wished for quiet.
Always asking “What’s for dinner?” as if he thought we were servants at his beck.
Sprawled across the couch with remote in hand, playing alpha male as if it weren’t actually MY job in this house.
Little irritations.

Looking from the hallway into an empty room that I regretted becoming a reality.

He’s grown. He’s college educated. He’s employed.
Mostly, I sense he’s gone.
He moved to an apartment this weekend.
BEG said to me tonight, “You do understand he won’t ever live with us again don’t you?”
I stare into the empty room at the reminders he left behind.
But more than anything else I see that he is gone.

I confess now to my own mind that I have not dwelled on this until now. Now on a Tuesday night, tears fill my eyes and I have to stop writing to dry them.

Twenty four years ago we walked into the adoption agency and he was placed into our arms on a Christmas Eve. He was six weeks old. We walked out with smiles the size of Christmas morning itself.

I suppose he’s not really gone, but then again that room is empty, and it has never been empty before. He’s strong, competent and willful just like his dad. BEG knows us both like no one else can know us, and she says he won’t live here again.
So, I stand in the hallway looking at the little bits left behind. Tattered fragments of memories left behind as if fate had choreographed a movie scene. And all I can think to tell his room and the aura of my once upon a time young son is……

“Be sure to save a room in your heart for me, and I’ll save this room in mine for you.”



Lynilu said...

It's never easy to see them go, but the joy of my adult children has more than filled that spot so sadly empty at the time. A hug sent your way.

Reach said...

This touched me, as my son just graduated from Basic Military Training to begin his own career in flight. Though my eyes see an empty room, I can still feel his presence. And, who knows, maybe some day when his lay-over brings him this way, the room shall be filled again.


Jenn said...

Aw Seven. Ya done good.

Rick said...

They're never far away. All I have to do is light a barbecue and he'll come runnin'.

Denny Shane said...

I know what you are saying but trust me... they are never gone... especially when they call and ask for $20... what they really mean is $40

Angie said...

I left home at 21 and never returned for more than a visit but...I still consider that bedroom "mine" and always will. The thing is it's never far from my mind. His mind is on his grand new adventure now but eventually you'll see no matter where life takes him "home" is always with Mom & Dad. Big hugs to you & BEG. (and a bit of thanks...I never thought about this from my Mom's perspective.)

Seven said...

Silver L,
Yep I guess he'll be around when he needs something...p)

I saw your post and I bet you are really proud of your son continuing the family tradition. It is really a remarkable tradition!

See what you have to look forward to?....there will be days you wish they would grow faster, days you want then to slow down growing, and a painful few moments when you realize they barely need you anymore.

In my case I just need to upgrade the home theater system. Mine is a a movie and electronics geek.

So funny. When mine said he was moving he also asked for some help-out money. It's OK. Strange as it seems it makes me feel needed.

Thanks for the hug! Hug your mom on my behalf, then hug yourself.

Mayden's Voyage said...

I'm pretty sure my parents never looked twice when I left...

It's nice to know that you are~

Reach said...


Please email me


~Deb said...


You just never know when they’ll come knocking on your door again asking for their room back – so don’t get too ‘happy’ or too ‘sad’. (heh) But, it’s great to see that he is getting out there experiencing new stuff with the way you brought him up. That has to give you some sort of relief that you did something right! And he’ll always remember that. Leaving my parents for the first time was heart wrenching, but I know I always had a place back home if I needed it.

Beautiful post!

Seven said...

I'm confident they did.....:)
Sadly we often miss the opportunity to say meaningful things or we just decide the other person may not be ready to hear what we have to say, in any case I'm betting mom and dad miss you!

You are the best. Always supportive and kind. I bet they miss you a lot and yet, you're right, he always has a place here just as you always have a place at home. Isn't it a wonderful thought in an often trying world?

Rob said...

7, nice post. I have two adopted children. The oldest is now going to school in Malibu! I know she is never coming back, but she calls and tells me what she thinks I want to hear. She's gettin' all grow'd up. Alex is still young enough to be with us and fill his room and others with his special hyjinks and creativity. I don't think he's in a hurry to get out of school, any school. But I know I will miss him terribly when it is his time. I'm trying to make plenty of room for me in his heart.

Seven said...

Beautiful. I connect with all of that. Love that last sentence.

Enemy of the Republic said...

Man, I posted before, but it didn't take. Blogger--grrrr. Seven, you are writing on one of my deepest fears. Tonight my boy was grouchy and sad; I already felt the distancing. But I am so glad to know him, despite all the heartache he may bring, because he to me is love.

kathi said...

This is my first visit here, and it's touched me more than I can put into words for you. I've got 2 sons that are close to grown, and with one graduating high school in May, I think about this sort of thing a lot. Every time I look at him, see him laugh, and when he hugs me g'night I remember that in a few months he'll be at college. I just don't want to take any second of him for granted right now.
The way you've put all of this into words here is simply beautiful and so personal.

Steve said...

Very nice Brother Seven. I am feeling like I am there for you my friend. Your writing touches me again.

Seven said...

Thanks for stopping by over here. I visited your profile and see you are a fellow Texan. I also like your taste in music...you're a soul girl!!
Mine was gone to UT for 4 years and was technically away from home, but I always knew he was coming back. This time felt different. I'll get over to see you.

Thanks Steve. I'm really enjoying the art work lately.

~Deb said...

Ummmm.......well......Seven? .........I live right upstairs from mom and dad in the second level apartment. So basically, I'm back, but made the entire upstairs into my apartment.

Does that give you any hope? Or does that scare you? (ha)

Pat said...

Two down and one still left at home here.

I'm not ready, I suppose we're never ready, for the empty nest. I think maybe I'm afraid that I'll have to see myself as something other than a Mom -- an identity that I've been comfortable with for 30 years.

But, you know what? He knows. He knows how much you love him and, with that knowledge, he can do anything he sets his mind to because he knows you'll be there.

Sending big hugs, and hoping my nest stays occupied just a little longer.

Patti_Cake said...

Beautiful, post Seven. Touched my heart. What a wonderful Christmas present he was for y'all ... a lifetime Christmas present!

Sideways Chica said...

Dear Seven...timely (and sensitive) post for me. Reminds me of one I wrote called "An 'other' mother."

Well done. Currently my office is in my house. It is my youngest boy's room and he is in college, currently in Australia. I keep meaning to change this room around to be more functional for my work, however, I can't seem to do it. It is filled with pictures, trophies and things he loves. I know I get inspiration from these mementos of our lives, and haven't decided if functional trumps inspiration.

He has just one more year in college...perhaps that will be the time for change -- when he has his own place and can take some of these things and spare me the process of packing them away in a box to be forgotten in the attic.

Hope you are well...I've been traveling and meeting deadlines. Stop by this week if you get the chance. You might not agree with me, but as I was just having a little fun with my latest article, I think you'll enjoy a smile or two. ;)

Silent One ~D~ said...


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