Home > conversations, Family, Life > Why it’s good for the baby bird to leave the nest.

Why it’s good for the baby bird to leave the nest.

We Latimers began as four, but now we stand as two. It’s just me and Mr. Latimer, and it’s been this way for the last few years. Whether we like it or not, this has made us a little closer. For about 10 years, I lived away from home in different states. I probably came home to visit 1-3 times a year, but dutifully called home every 7-10 days. The year that I turned 25, I noticed that Mr. Latimer and I started to have conversations that didn’t revolve around him updating me on the Philadelphia Eagles’ progress  for the current/upcoming season. It was like he thought of me as an adult and could actually tell me things. This allowed me to feel comfortable to do the same.

Sample conversation:

Me: Hey, dad. What’s up?

Mr. Latimer: Oh, you know, I’m trying to deal with all this bulls*** with work/insurance company/grandmom’s health and living situation. I keep trying to (insert small task), but they keep (insert annoying bureaucratic roadblock).

Me: Well, that blows.

ML:  Yeah, I know. What’s up with you?

Me: Oh, I’m just trying sort out stuff with work/school/faceless corporation or institution.

ML: What, are they trying to screw you? Tell them to go f*** themselves.

Me: Hmm. Maybe.

Two years ago, however, I moved back to PA and back in with Mr. Latimer for practical, money saving reasons. All those meaningful father-daughter conversations rapidly vanished because Mr. Latimer forgot that I lived on my own, without parental supervision, for a decade. Suddenly, I was nine years old again. Well, maybe I was 12 because I was allowed to use the stove. This past past spring, I decided that it would be best for both me and Mr. Latimer if  I moved out. He was not keen on the idea since I would have to increase the amount I borrowed for my student loans, but I assured him there were magical, intangible benefits to my pending debt.

Two months after moving out from my dad’s, I noticed some of those magical, intangible benefits were coming to fruition. I spoke with my dad briefly on Friday and as a sidenote to a conversation, I mentioned that I re-hurt my hip, but I didn’t want to talk about it because I’d probably start crying. Mr. Latimer played it cool and we wrapped up our chat. Then on Saturday, Mr. Latimer called and said he knew I didn’t want to talk yesterday, but maybe I wanted to talk about what I was upset about now. I was floored. And touched. And really happy.

When I was gone all those years, I missed my dad a lot and I’m really glad that I got stay with him for the last two years. Even though I think my dad would have been happy to have me stay at home for another two years, I think it was the right decision to move out. With a little space between us, we can go back to seeing each as real people and even be better family members to each other.

Hmm. I wonder what will happen when Mr. Latimer turns 80 and then moves in with me?



Categories: conversations, Family, Life
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