Empty Nest

A Morningside mom shares her thoughts on kids leaving for college.

I am silently, internally freaking out, counting down the weeks:  6 weeks...  4 weeks...  3 weeks... 

Then the days:  10 days...  7 days...  3 days... !!  I want to push against these days with both hands, to hold them back, to stop time; but time keeps rolling on inexorably, as it must.

And finally, just one more day.  My last day as a mom with kids at home.  All those days, all those years, over.  Tomorrow I drive my youngest child to college.  How can this be?!  How did we ever arrive at this impossibly distant future point in time?  But here it is, and there's not a darn thing I can do about it.  The clock just keeps on ticking.  I face the rest of my life without the daily job of Mom.

Hardest job I ever had.  Best job I ever had.  I am so grateful to have had it, and to have had the option to be a full-time mom.  Certainly made life less stressful for the whole family.  And what great kids they are!

I was dreading it when my oldest child left for college three years ago; but when the time came, it just felt like it was all part of some cosmic natural clock and the time was right to push him out of the nest and let him fly.  I had some emptying-nest pangs the first week, but they subsided.  It helped that he wasn't far away and that his little brother was still here.  With consecutive kids, at least Nature is kind in easing you into it. 

But now, the hour of reckoning, the truly empty nest.  It's disorienting, but it's also time.  Time for them to fly on their own; time to move on to the next phase.  And of course it won't be bad.  Much will be good.  Lower grocery bills.  More space in the fridge without all those milk cartons and juice cartons.  Fewer dinners to cook -- hallelujah!  Lower water bills: fewer showers, dishwasher loads, loads of laundry.  No more piano lessons to pay for.  No more endless school stuff to deal with:  papers to sign, email to read, meetings to attend, events to schedule, things to volunteer for.  More time for other things.  Time for writing.

But my sweet child, gone.  No more piano music filling the house.  No more air kisses as he passes by.  No more kids coming over to play Magic or hang out.  No kids to take on forest adventures.  No kids to accompany me to the pool and rub sunscreen on my back.  No tall, strong young men to help me lift something or reach something when my husband's not around.


Where does the time go.....?

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Dana Persons August 28, 2012 at 08:20 PM
Sometimes the cure for an empty nest is to make another student's dream come true! If you want to fill that void with an international exchange student, let CIEE know. www.ciee.org/host


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