Leaving Las Vegas

Las Vegas sunset - October 2009

The deed is done.

RockStar son now lives in Las Vegas.

And a part of my heart resides there now as well.

Moving my youngest 1,300 miles away was not exactly in my concept
 of what the future held. I quaintly imagined my whole brood (including but not limited to 2 sons, 1 daughter, their sweethearts, Mr. B, me) always always clustered within a 10-mile-radius of each other. Sunday breakfasts together. Birthday bashes together. Holidays together. Little outings together. Witnessing in person little and big triumphs, life changes, new haircuts. Leaning on each out of silliness or for support. 

What was I thinking?!?!?
Apparently about what I wanted.

Which isn't to say that's a bad thing. But it's just part of the picture.
And I'm beginning to realize that if I keep my vision trained
on that narrow little part that I can imagine,
I will miss what the rest of the picture has to offer.

Truth be told, the choices my children make are far more interesting than ones I'd make for them, because my own vision is limited by my experience. If I think my children are wonderful, wise, delightful, loving human beings today, I can only begin to imagine how the choices they make will add color to their stories and texture to their lives tomorrow.

So while I may get weepy with these partings, I am proud to honor the paths they're taking and privileged to witness their lives unfurl,
whether they're nearby or 1,300 or more miles away.

That's what I'm choosing. 

I do love a good adventure, and I must say this really is one.
Good lord, just seeing the terrain by air between Minneapolis and Las Vegas was a spectacular adventure.
I'm still marveling at how incredibly beautiful this country is,
how fascinating the changes in topography are.
and what a seemingly odd contrivance the dashed lines on a map are.
(Why do we find so many ways to divide ourselves in this country?)

For me, being in Las Vegas itself was an adventure laden with surprises.
And I just so happened to bring along my sweet little camera.
So here are some of the surprises, beauty, and joy I found on my Las Vegas adventure,
--and why I'll keep coming back for more!

Surprise #1: Texture 

Bark on the same palm tree!  

Left: At the base

Right: In the middle


Surprise #2: Delicate beauty

Art glass
in a gift
shop of the 


Surprise #3: Real candy and eye candy

Left: A fraction of the world's

largest chocolate

Right: Dale
Chihuly glass


Surprise #4: Beauty at the Hoover Dam

Left: One of two "Winged Figures of the Republic" by Oskar J.W. Hansen

Right: The architecture above the women's bathroom


Surprise #5: Clouds, both outdoors and indoors

Left: The rare event of clouds in the desert sky

Right: The
painted dome above the Forum shops



And why I'll keep coming back . . .

But of course: 

The sweet hearts


Hilary said…
I love how you thought this out - realizing that your dreams for your kidlets are .. yours. Accepting that theirs are what's helping their lives evolve as they should. And seeing the bright side of enjoying your own new adventures when you go out to visit. You're a model for empty nest moms everywhere. :)
Gaston Studio said…
Wonderful choice of yours Kathleen to allow your children to live their own lives and benefit from their own choices. Hard for a parent, especially a mother, to do, but necessary all the same.

I interviewed Dale Chihuly for one of his exhibitions in Atlanta and, although I'm not crazy about modern art, his glass creations are simply breathtaking.
ellen abbott said…
It's tough when they move so far away. fortunately, mine are close except that I'm the one that moved an hour away. Still close. Letting them go, live their own lives is the only thing you can do. anything else is just pain making. I see parents who won't accept who their kids are or want to be and try to control them and it just makes everybody unhappy.

that top picture is just gorgeous. It could almost be Egypt, the mountain in the background looks so much like a pyramid.

I recognize the bowl with the copperish colored leaves. I know this artist's work but I can't think of his name right off.
Oh My Goddess said…
You capture the most amazing thoughts and visuals!
Gail said…
Very well said, I know it was hard but it has also opened the world to you.

Be glad they grew wings before you had to shove them out of the nest.
Alix said…
Just beautiful, Kathleen...

Your sentiments and photos. You have managed to capture, in only a few words and frames, some deep emotion and universal questions.

Las Vegas is a wonderful, exciting, alive city. Larry and I got married there and have been back to see it grow and change and evolve. Your son and his beloved will come home with unimaginable thrills and stories to share with you and the 1,300 miles might not seem so far away.

Will send along little prayers for health and happiness.
J said…
I love the selection of paired photographs - a good remind that beauty can be found in the most unusual places.

I've always been glad that even when I've wanted to live hundred or thousands of miles away from my family, they've understood that it is just something I have to do for myself, rather than perceiving it as a rejection.
Anonymous said…
Wonderful! Where do I send my "Post of the Year" nomination.
Renee said…
Very beautifully written Kathleen.

Love Renee xoxo
These are stunning photos! And your deep, true, honest, respectful love for your children has always and will always inspired.
Gaston Studio said…
Congrats on being a Mention at Post of the Week!
Derrick said…
WoW Kathleen!

Lots of lovely pics and a newly inspired Mom to go with them. That 'women's rest room' looks pretty impressive! Good to have you back.
Tom Bailey said…
I connected to this site on the advice of hilary.

You have a very deep and wise understand of choices and you articulate your understanding of this area of life in a very clear way.

You are looking at what you would choose and what you want with a sober eye that most people would miss and you are authentic about it.

Great post I can see why you are so highly touted.

Best regards
Julie B. said…
Those pictures are great! I'm so glad you two got to come visit, it was great having you! We're looking forward to the next visit :)
Cheffie-Mom said…
What a super post!!

"If I think my children are wonderful, wise, delightful, loving human beings today, I can only begin to imagine how the choices they make will add color to their stories and texture to their lives tomorrow."

BEAUTIFUL!! Congrats on the POTW Award!!
Brian Miller said…
one day our time will come and i hope we accept their choices witht he grace that you have. beautifully put kathleen. wonderful pics as well. congrats on the pOTW!
Kathleen said…
@Hillary: I am deeply touched by your comments, Hillary. Thank you!

@Jane: Like most things, I simply need to get myself out of the way for good to happen. You MUST post about that interview. He seems quite the character!

@Ellen: It's weird, but so many things in Las Vegas reminded me of Egypt. But this was my favorite, courtesy of Mother Nature. And yes, any thing other than letting go is pain making!

@Derrick: I just knew you find that tower interesting. As I took the picture, I thought, hmmm...how would Derrick frame this? Ever been there?

@OMG: What a love thing to say! It gives me such joy to combine the images with the words. I'm so glad you find the combo pleasing!

@Gail: Such a good point you make!

@Tom: Oh, my, what an astonishing comment! I hope I can live up to those words. Much appreciated

@Julie: What a fantastic visit. Thank you SO much for your hospitality. And taking us to the airport at 4 am is just over the top! We'll try to plan more reasonable comings and goings next time! You're a love!

@Cheffie-Mom: Thank you for your very kind words. And for the congratulations. I am truly honored and hope you'll be back again for a visit!

@Brian: Without a doubt you will bring grace to every transition you and your children experience together.

@J: To know you enjoyed the photos is such a treat! Wonderful what you said about appreciating how your parents did not take your wanderings personally. Look what an amazing daughter they have! And I can guarantee you they missed you deeply AND were incredibly proud.

@Anonymous: WOW!!! I don't know what else to say but WOW!!! Thank you!

@Renee: Thank you for your lovely comment. Means a great deal to me.

@JGW: Thank you, Jen, for walking the path with me. You've been such a wise companion and I learn much from YOU!
Janie said…
I love that first photo of Vegas. The Southwest has its own beauty, different from anywhere else.
Very wise of you to realize that our children must live their own dreams. It's sad to see them leave the nest, though, and fly so far away. I have one son in Seattle and one in Connecticut. Talk about spreading the family around!
Kathleen said…
@Janie: the light is just plain different -- and extraordinary! How do you do it with kids on different coats, Janie. Your life seems so full and advenuresome. Perhaps that's how?
Mimi said…
"the choices my children make are far more interesting than ones I'd make for them" - these are wise words.
Not easy to say them or to live them, though, so I admire you for it.
I love the way you've linked your pics in pairs.
A really lovely, inspiring post, i hope I'll remember it when the time comes!

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