Empty Nest – ready or not?


We hear a lot these days about how much older children are before heading out of their homes and into the wide blue yonder.  Boomers’ parents were married and had children by 21.  Their children were gone as early as 15 years of age.

Boomers stretched it out to about mid-twenties before their first born.  Now the “Y” generation are looking at thirty- something to start or even later because they are remaining home far longer than we did.  This means we have them in our lives for much longer and perhaps this is why it is much harder when the time comes to let them go.

No matter when they leave the event is never easy.  I’ve only had one fly at the age of 27 but I was a mess. At first it was all very exciting and we were all on a high as my son and his now fiancee announced the purchase of their first home.  In a whirlwind, cupboards were emptied, boxes packed, cars loaded up and the move completed.

Then there I stood in the empty room looking around at what once was my sons room. I was overwhelmed with emotion fighting back  tears as memories flooded in.  So this I realised was the beginning of the tale of the empty nest.  A term I never understood but much like life, until we experience it we can only imagine it.

My dear friends first born flew his coop recently and she admitted to shedding many a tear.  Even felt a little embarrassed by it.  Why do we feel we shouldn’t be sad on seeing a child leave the family home? And I am talking both parents.  Here we have a child we have loved from the moment they entered our lives.  We have fed them, read to them, protected them, guided them, educated them, cried with them, laughed with them, nutured them, all ready for this moment.  Yet when the time comes we are the ones not ready.

Its been three years now.  Do I still miss not seeing him every day?  You bet your bottom dollar I do.  As I reassured my friend, it does get easier with time. Each visit, each conversation, every interchange is treasured.

I’m one of the lucky ones, I only have to go through this again two more times!! Or should I say my poor children, as they have to cope with me going through it two more times!!


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