I think I wrote the following a couple of weeks ago. Shortly after my oldest participated in her final dance recital at Santa Susana High School, I was hit by the realization my baby is now an emancipated adult. She just got notification of her registration to vote yesterday. I was a little beside myself but, as you can tell, it passed fairly quickly, in large part due to numerous friends who were willing to listen and allow me to vent, which helped me understand what I was feeling.
As many of you know, the impending graduation and emancipation of my
oldest has hit me kind of hard with a case of “empty nest” syndrome. I
know my grief is unwarranted, especially since she’s not leaving the
house for the foreseeable future, and I know I’ll get over it; already
am. Please don’t worry about me. Two things (among many) I’ve learned so
1. My greatest sense of loss involves time and it’s having passed. “Did I do the right things?” “did I help her enough?”; “did I neglect her by paying too much attention to her younger sister, who desperately needed it (still does)?”
2. Merely talking to Aimee helps for two reasons. The first is she
reassures me I have been a good father and she feels no lack of love or
attention. That feels good. The second is related, because talking to
just about any teen with tude is often enough to make you want to cut
yourself. Doesn’t feel as good, but I’m real familiar with it.
really appreciate everyone who has reacted to, or commented on, my cries
of agony. Special thanks to those whose shoulders I cried on, both
figuratively and literally. Y’all are wonderful therapists.
Last weekend was my oldest daughter Aimee’s final dance recital in High School. Our local paper did a nice little feature, and that’s her in the very front of the line of ballerinas. She’s been doing pointe for at least her Senior year. I can’t believe she’s graduating in about three weeks. Frankly, I’m not handling this transition all that well right now.
grieved over—the relationship we had when we adopted Alyssa, who
required so much attention, and it was exacerbated by Aimee’s quiet
nature. Part of me fears we’ll never be close (typing these words nearly
brings me to tears). I’ll get over it, but there’s a part of me that
worries I haven’t really been a good parent and it’s too late to do
anything about it. Another part of me thinks I’m being silly, but it’s
not helping right now. Hopefully, it’s just the gloomy weather that’s
I posted this on Facebook and got quite a lot of wonderful replies, most of them assuring me that most, if not all, parents feel inadequate and many recounted stories of their own experiences with their children. I’m grateful for the friends I have on Facebook, many of whom are also friends IRL. Quite a few of them were with us when we adopted both our girls, so they have a special connection to us. In responding to some of them, I offered another picture of Aimee, which I think is gorgeous (as is she). I’m including it here as well. Both photos were taken with my iPhone XR, without flash, which was prohibited during the performance. They’re not close to being HiRes, but they’re serviceable.
Since my retirement from Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne in 2010, I have spent quite a bit of energy on developing work as a social media marketer for small business, a business manager for an AI software development firm, and as an editor/proofreader for a number of business books and a couple of novels, as well as a two-year return engagement at Rocketdyne from 2015 to 2017.
I have decided to stop actively pursuing business in these fields and am now positioning myself to be a writer. I have done quite a bit of writing over the years, but I’ve never really attempted to make any money at it; at least not specifically. I’m starting out with a couple of memoirs and, currently, I’m studying the craft, creating a detailed outline and timeline, and honing my skills as a storyteller. Pretty sure I’ll be writing some fiction as well.
The views expressed herein are those of the author. Any opinions regarding the value or worth of particular business processes, tools, or procedures, whether at his former place of employment, at a current client's enterprise, or in general, are his responsibility alone.