cloud in a blue sky

It was move-in day.
A North Carolina morning.
Where a cool breeze dusted your face.
And a cumulus cloud was chiseled into an otherwise unmarked sky.
The Sun was warming.
Yes, another one of those days in which you know.
You know that this wasn’t all by accident.
Too large. Too complex. Just too big.

We are among other parents and their children getting an early start.
Moving day buzz and jitters.
Hauling printers, pillows, college-ruled paper and milk crates. Setting up bunk beds.

He’s tense.
Momma and Momma’s Boy are tangling over where to put stuff.
PC isn’t working.
I tell him to let me try.
I sit in his desk chair. The chair he will be sitting in for the next 9 months.
And work on setting up his printer.
I feel his disorientation.
The Anxiety.
He’s inherited this from his Dad.  

The previous night.
I was asleep. It was a long drive.
I heard him walk into the room.
He said goodnight to his Mother.
Then approached me.
He kissed me on the forehead and whispered “Good night Dad.”
I lay quietly.
Eyes open. No longer asleep.  Or sleepy.
Melancholy washes over me.
We have an established rhythm.
A to and a fro.
Waves lapping up on the shoreline.
What goes out, will come back in.
It needs to come back in.

We’re in the car heading back.
I see that Susan has her window open.
Her hand out catching gulps of air.
I roll mine down too.
I turn the volume up after catching a few bars.
Fleetwood Mac. Landslide.

Well, I’ve been afraid of changing
‘Cause I’ve built my life around you…
Children get older
I’m getting older too
Yes I’m getting older too


  1. Been there, done that, got the T shirt earlier this week. You, my friend, are a good bit more eloquent than I am.

    For whatever reason, my daughter’s and my response appeared different from the other parents, (including my wife) the students around us…they were teary eyed and we were excited and smiling…it bonded us. We both knew it was the right time and the right place and I give her credit for knowing that.

    You have built a strong foundation. Now, watch the building grow.


    • Thank you Ray. I do believe that the strength of the foundation is there. Both of my children have much more confidence at their age than I ever did. It is fun to watch what life throws in front of them. So, we he can’t get his printer to work, I’m caught off guard – “he’s human. he too doesn’t like change.” I spoke to him last night and he’s already in the groove. Life goes on.


  2. all I can say is it is hard


  3. My memories of this time are irrelevant, for this is your time, your heart outside your body. “Climbed a mountain and I turned around”. In tears – this was achingly gorgeous. Full stop.


  4. Very nicely written. By the way, I love that song.


  5. I was already in tears by the time I got to “He kissed me on the forehead and whispered “Good night Dad.” The love you feel for your children and are able to express in a way that takes us right to the center of your heart is a wonderful thing, David. There is nothing in this world that can compare to what we feel for our children. I still go through all of that with each little change, the comings and goings of my three most precious loved ones. Yes, the tide goes out and the tide comes back in…and our hearts move with the sway of life’s ever changing rhythm. Thank you, David, for your words of love on this Sunday.


    • Thank you Carol. I read your comment a few times and hung on the point of “I still go through all of that with each little change, the comings and goings…” So true. It really is…


  6. As others have said, David, you are at your most achingly eloquent when writing about your family. I don’t have kids, so cannot speak to the emotions of this experience, but do feel as though I’ve been given a window into the plethora of feelings that come crashing in during such times. I remember when my parents took me to college and my dad started crying when it was time for them to go. My dad never cried, so needless to say, it left quite an impression. These bonds are special….


  7. Beautifully written. It’s amazing how quickly your kids have grown up. Thanks for sharing these stories.


  8. Michael Zahaby says:

    heartfelt emotions. Keep on


  9. Lovely and so loving! Been there…everything will be just fine.


  10. Beautifully and poignantly written. A memory to treasure.


  11. Aww man … That’s such an awesome song …


  12. You have so beautifully saved your memories in the form of words 🙂


  13. Wow, David, Wow! So beautiful and full of love.


  14. Excellent writing David. I just returned too from my youngest moving into college. I can not find the words to write about it. Thanks for finding your words and sharing with all of us. Landslide indeed.
    – Michael


  15. so beautifully written dear David, Thanks and Love, nia


  16. David, words from the heart. I relate and am touched by what you have written.

    Liked by 1 person

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