Vail Daily editor’s view: An empty nest looms |

Vail Daily editor’s view: An empty nest looms

Don Rogers
Vail, CO, Colorado

There she is. Red gown, funny tile atop her head. Big grin. Diploma in her hand.

There goes my baby.

Our job is done. She makes her own decisions from here. We’re all support crew now, no real hold. She’s got the wheel.

What am I thinking? Hey, freedom!

No wait. That’s what she’s thinking. I miss her already, and she hasn’t even left. Yet.

She counts who she’ll miss. Spicy (her dog). Tuckles (her cat). Mom.

She looks up, fixes a smile without teeth. Get the point, Dad?

But she will, oh yeah. She loves her irritating, goofy, button-pushing dad. Sure she does. Right?

After all, Mom has no patience for the verbal back and forth. Wit, I call it. Who else to cheat while boxing with well-aimed kicks? And that girl can kick.

Dad last was halfway useful during drivers training: “Dad, Mom screams.” “It’s OK,” I said. “I just close my eyes.”

She turned out to be the best driver in the family. I suppose this one time Mom’s alert vigilance was trumped by Dad’s expression of pure trust.

It all turned out well. Her parents have a lot of confidence in what this one will do in adult life.

She’s one of a handful of newspaper daughters who graduated from Eagle Valley High School on Mother’s Day. The Boyds, the Galls, the Rogers and the Wyricks all dealt with the same pomp and circumstance, helicopter passes loud and low overhead, salutatorian’s rap performance in perfect rhythm, principal’s good-natured ribbing of the valedictorian, who had told his class during his speech that he wished he could turn the podium and face them.

The principal turned the podium and faced the class for his talk. “They’ll teach you this at MIT,” he said. Turns out it was on wheels.

And so life turns, rolls on, whether a father is quite prepared for it or not.

She has no real idea of what lies ahead even if she is going to the same school as her brother.

We’re excited for her. She’s one of those kids who blossom in college, we believe and we’ve seen happen with her older sibling and us, too.

We have a pretty good idea of the adventures ahead for her.

But now, what of us, at the threshold of the empty nest? Guess we’ll learn again how we got through the day without ’em.

Only, now I can’t imagine.

Don Rogers is the editor and publisher of the Vail Daily. He can be reached at or 970-748-2920. He welcomes your comments.

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