When I started this blog, it was with the express intention of finding my way through the grief of the Empty Nest. My babies left me, and I was bereft, heartbroken, lost. I literally could not imagine a life where my three children were not the center of every single decision.
Since that first post, I have written about my childrens’ growth, and about my own. I have recorded the feelings that I experienced when my kids left for college, and the feelings that I experienced when they came back. It was a thick, smokey stew of emotion; my neediness mixed with theirs, their desire for independence clashing with my desire to be in control of their lives.
I have recorded moves to new houses, painful breakups and moves back home, and the tearing separation of moving away once again. Through it all, my underlying motive and wish/dream was to have my babies back under my roof once again.
I was not a very supportive Momma to these young adults. In some strange and icky way, I sort of wanted them to fail so that they could come back home and need me to take care of them.
Now, though, everything has changed.
It has been just about a year since any of my kids lived here with us. A year since I was the Mommy with the responsibility of cooking dinner.
In that year, I guess I have gotten used to the clean kitchen, the well stocked refrigerator and the chance to walk around in my underwear.
I didn’t notice that I was letting go. I didn’t consciously realize that I no longer felt the burning need to have my babies here beside me. I thought that I was stuck, that I wasn’t evolving at all.
But I was wrong.
My daughter is faced all of a sudden with a need for a new place to live. She wants to live with her boyfriend, and I can only say that I support this wish with my whole heart and soul. They are looking for a place together. A place that is close enough for both to commute, a place that is affordable, and a place that will accept their lively and energetic dog.
As the days tick by, and they are unable to find such a haven, we have offered to have them move in here with us. Of course we did! What else would good parents do?
And if they did move in, we would have fun, we would enjoy our dinners together, we would watch movies, and drink nice wines and have a lot of laughs. It would work out just fine. Or even more than fine!
It might be really fabulous.
It would be a setback, for them, and for us.
At last, at long, long last, I have realized that I am actually at the end of my journey.
My nest is empty, and I am fine.
I miss my children. I love them, and I will always love seeing them. But I realize that I am hoping very fervently that Kate and her Sam can find a place for themselves, and that they won’t need to come here to live with us.
And that is a very good thing to realize.
I think this blog is almost done.
22 thoughts on “The end of the journey?”
Thank you for a lovely post. My only child is 15. I tend to grieve things waaay in advance of them happening, so I’m already anticipating the empty nest. I was glad to read your story about letting go. It’s encouraging!
So glad that you have stumbled upon my blog! I know just what you mean: I grieved for the loss of my babies way before they ever left me. It has been a tough transition, but it was eased by the amused support of my kids, who were well aware of my desire to cling. You’ll do just fine, in the end, but you’ll probably cry an ocean of tears before you get to that point…..
I’ve already started that ocean. Nobody ever tells you about that part when you have your sweet little baby…do they?
Nice….then you can start a new blog!
Aaron, here’s my idea, and I need you to help me!
I have Grandma’s old cookbook from 1949 (originally published in 1929) and I want to try out and adapt some of the really cool recipes. Wouldn’t that make a cool new blog?! And some new recipes for you!
Ooooh, I really like this idea! 🙂
I can’t tell you how happy it makes me to read this, that there is hope and happiness at the end of this emotional ride to the empty nest. But please find something else to blog about. We would miss you!
I guess I could blog about….getting older and fatter? Walking the dogs? Recreating really old recipes from cool old cook books?
I just love that you would miss my craziness. Thank you!
You can still write stories about parenting, looking back, parenting older kids. Something. You’ll find it.
My nest will be empty at the end of this month. I just discovered you! Please don’t leave. I am so scared and about to be so alone.
I sympathize, I surely do! I was a mess that last summer before my boys moved out. I cried at least twice a day. In fact, that’s when I went to a therapist who recommended that I start this blog! You are no alone; I recommend that you read “Grown and Flown” and if you are so inclined, look back on my early, pathetic posts. Good luck!!!
You are so kind to mention us but we must tell you that we have learned and appreciated your wonderful writing from Day 1 when we began Grown and Flown earlier this year. But please, whatever you do, do not stop writing Post Departum Depression. Write about cooking, your dogs, life in midlife, and most of all, your children. We strongly believe in the concept of parenting never ending so blog away!!! We will be here waiting for each new post. Thank you for your inspiring writing and friendship.
Thank you all for your support and for your friendship, too! The very best part of blogging for me is the sense that I am not alone in my journey!
I will absolutely continue to write; thank you for your encouragement! I may just need to change things up a bit.
But you are so right, I think, about parenting; it does go on for our whole lives!
Thank you for your words of encouragement. Crying only twice a day would be an improvement. We returned from IU, without our son (obviously), yesterday. I keep walking into his bedroom, wringing my hands. Where is he? Can he just come home now? Our daughter moves out in two weeks, to a sublet in the city. I don’t know why she can’t live here and commute in for this semester away from her school in MI. I feel like I have outlived my usefulness as a mom, and I simply miss them, because they grew up to be such interesting people. This hurts so much.
I know! It is surprising how much it hurts. It’s grief, pure and simple, but we aren’t supposed to be grieving. We are supposed to be celebrating for our children, and we do that, too. But it still just plain old HURTS. I wish I had some magic words for you! Just remember, you may not be “Mommy”, but you are still “Mom” and “Ma” and “Madre” and any way you say it, they still need and love you!
Good luck, be kind to yourself, and let yourself have some time to grieve.
I promise, it gets better!
Change the name if you want (Post Partum Equilibrium?), but KEEP WRITING!
Man, this is good for the ego…..!! 🙂
If you could see my home office right now, you’d see the stacks of unread books and articles. I am overwhelmed with reading material. But I look forward to reading your work and would miss your voice terribly. I don’t know much, but I know talented writing. You have a gift.
If you stop writing, many people (and one bear) will be very sad…
Aw, thank you! I’m not ready to totally give it up yet (had a dream that one of my boys was a baby again….). Maybe I just need to change my focus.
I could write about my favorite animals, right? You, Lilly the Cat (a great blog) and my doggies.
I’m hoping you don’t go anywhere! You are sooooooooooo good at this!
But don’t you want to help me with a blog about old recipes? You have any of your Mom’s old cookbooks?