Mild empty nest

WISE UP: Let's face it, you never really owned them, and just because you set them free doesn't mean it's going to be free.
WISE UP: Let's face it, you never really owned them, and just because you set them free doesn't mean it's going to be free.

I love a good motivational quote, and they come in waves at end-of-year 12 school presentations.

For an imminent empty-nester, that’s a good thing, because it takes your mind off crying.

Whether that be with joy or despair is a little hard to determine at the time.

Like motivational quotes and end-of-year 12 school presentations, kids come in waves too.

Before you know it, having navigated the breeding cycle, the empty nester is waving their kids goodbye.

If the biologists are right, as a parent they have achieved their primary purpose in life and can now move on to senescence.

If the poets are right, they have modelled to their children everything their children hope they will never  become. 

And if the economists are right, it’s time to start spending the  inheritance. (Hah, as if!)

There is the temptation to assume in the moment that it’s over,  but the reality is it’s only just the begun. Cue Karen Carpenter.

Someone’s got to pay for uni next year.

No wonder things get a bit misty at end-of-year 12 school prezzos, which is why I  welcome the motivational quotes.

They offer the imminent empty nester a chance to reflect on what has passed.

To suck up   what is to come.

And to wonder what the hell ever happened to their life in relation to such motivational quotes as:

“Remember the three Ps – Purpose, Passion and Persistence.”

(Yet again “Procrastination” gets a bad rap.)

“A leader knows the way, goes the way and shows the way.”

(Anyone got a compass that works?)

And that sweetest of all sentiments:

“Life is like a rocky road – but a good rocky road: when it gets tough, bite down on those cherries, nuts and chocolate.”

To be fair, the teachers were coming from a long way back in the stirring speech stakes compared to what the students delivered.

So eloquent, so encompassing, so deftly put – with a unifying gravity that had lumps to the fore in the back of many throats.

Marking the moment, acknowledging the milestones and triggering throughout the crowd a few dignified sniffles.  

Not to mention some cheeky eye wipes.

Everyone loves a good catharsis.

Trouble is, once one person cracks, it’s hard to stop the dam busting.

And the tears surely flowed as the class of 2017 filed out one final time.

Back in my day there were no mobile phones to capture the rapture.

But I was glad I had mine running this year. My phone I mean.

There was hugs, there was blubbering, but most of all there was pride and joy, and possibly a little concern that it wouldn’t be too hot down at the beach that arvo to work out what they were going to do with the rest of their lives. 

Focus on the HSC, one would hope, motivational quotes  ringing in their ears as waves of emotion carried them away from the nest and into the future.