Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Emptying the Nest...


By Robin 'Red Hot' Kaye



Last weekend my son, Tony went to his Senior Prom. I was at Starbucks working with my critique partners at Starbucks when my husband and one of our daughters joined us to meet up with my son and his date so I could see them and take pictures before they left for dinner and the prom.

Tony’s date looked beautiful, and my son looked so handsome and grown up, it almost made me cry. We waved goodbye to the kids and my husband took out his phone and started scrolling through Tony’s baby pictures he’d recently downloaded. Tony is almost nineteen and when I saw the pictures of him at a day old, I couldn’t believe he’d grown up so fast. I remembered when people would tell me he’d be grown and gone in a blink-of-an-eye. I didn’t believe it, but it’s true. How did that happen? Tony will graduate high school next month, and in early August we’ll make the trip from Maryland to Boise, Idaho where he’s going to college at Boise State. Go Broncos! Knowing Tony, except for a few holiday visits, he’ll never be back—not really.

I feel as if I’m living in a whirlwind and the summer that has yet to begin is already flying by. Between my writing deadlines—revisions, a graduation party to plan with family coming in from out-of-town, a book due a month from today, planning a family cross-country trip/vacation to Boise, and the thought of my oldest living 2,800 miles away from home, I’ve been feeling as grounded as a fart in the wind. There is too much to do, too much to plan, too much to worry about, and too much to savor before it ends.

I never thought I’d be one of those women with empty nest syndrome. I’d swear I’d be that mom on the commercial who tearfully waves her kid goodbye, goes back into the house, and is dancing for joy and redecorating his bedroom within minutes. Now I’m beginning to wonder. I guess it’s a good thing I still have two hormonal teenage girls to drop kick out of the nest. After dealing with them for the next three years, by the time my youngest goes, I’m sure my husband and I will be doing the Macarena and packing for a trip to somewhere spectacular just in case they decide to come back!

How about you? If you’ve already launched your children, was it difficult? And if you haven’t, how do you think you’ll react when it’s time to cut the apron strings? Any advice, words of comfort, encouragement?  


7 comments:

krisgils33 said...

My daughter just turned 10 and while I celebrate her growing independence, I wish the days she truly needed me had been longer.

TerriOsburn said...

Hugs on watching the boy become a man. My daughter will be 13 this summer and I'm still wondering when the heck that happened.

She goes to her dad's every summer for 10 weeks (shorter this year) so I have an empty nest once a year. I used to drop her off and cry for the first hour of the drive home. Still miss her like crazy, but less water works now.

I don't like thinking about the day she moves out for good.

catslady said...

It is extremely hard. What helped me the most was I have had at least one daughter (of two) living nearby. They are 28 and 25 now. Both had gone away to college (but different times). One moved even farther away for a while but came back and got married. Unfortunately it didn't last. She is in the process of selling her house which is nearby and after thinking this is where she was going to stay, it's all up in the air again. I can only hope!

Brandy said...

My oldest is seventeen, but has two more years of H.S.. left. I have no idea what I'll do when the time comes for her to leave. Probably freak out. Luckily, I'll still have her brother at home who is younger by seven years. *g*

Robin Kaye said...

@ Krisgils--I know how you feel, when my youngest got independent, I had a hard time figuring out who I was again. I'd spent so many years with three kids, taking care of all of them, I forgot Robin :) That's when I started writing.

@ Terri-I'm excited for him and I know he'll love Idaho but I hate that he's going to be so far. Sigh...

@ Catslady - Good luck--I hope for your sake your daughter sticks close to home. At least I have the other two home for a few more years.

@ Brandy--Wow, you have them spread out. My eldest and youngest are 4 years apart with one in the middle. What was I thinking?

Jacki Kelly said...

Robin, I launched my children a few years ago and it was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. I remember thinking I couldn't wait for them to grow up. And it seem to happen overnight. Now I can't wait for them to come home for visits. I guess one day I'll get use to the idea of being an empty nester.

JackieKelly.com

Jacki Kelly said...

Robin, I launched my children a few years ago and it was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. I remember thinking I couldn't wait for them to grow up. And it seem to happen overnight. Now I can't wait for them to come home for visits. I guess one day I'll get use to the idea of being an empty nester.

JackieKelly.com