Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Don't be afraid of then empty nest


I was reading at Mick and Lynda’s Place yesterday as Mick discussed his feeling about his son heading back to college and I realized it was that time of year again. Kids are heading back to school and whether they are starting preschool or heading to college it does give parents a little catch in the heart.

I dreaded the empty nest like a toothache. But as it worked out I came out to Nick only about a month before LJ headed to college. The closeness I suddenly felt for Nick really eased the pain of my son leaving. Those four years flew by in a wink and he was off to the big city. And one short year after that my baby heads to college. Neither LJ nor Mollie  came home for even a summer once they left for school. .

And what are things like now? Fantastic! LJ calls me ever week and we usually talk for nearly an hour about everything, his job, who he’s meeting, the auditions he goes on, and of course the wedding. It’s wonderful to have him share so much of his life with me. Now he is totally confident making his own decisions and rarely ask me for advice. The main mothering I do now is insisting that he and Collin get their flu shots ever year and keep pestering them until they do. Really I’m just happy that he’s happy.

Mollie has enjoyed her second summer as a camp counselor and even thought she doesn’t really live at home any more I think she pays more attention to what I say than when she did. When Nick and I went to the beach in June, I got a call from her at three in the morning. No one want’s a call from your kid at three in the morning. But she quickly told me she was fine, she had just called for my advice because one of her little campers had an earache. The conversation went something like this.

Mollie: She says it hurts and I know that they can come on suddenly and be really painful.

Me: Is she crying?

Mollie: No and that makes me wonder if its really that bad or if she just woke up and is home sick. I left her with the other counselor and I’m walking down to the main building, but I don’t know whether to wake up the director or the nurse.

Me: Well, maybe…

Mollie: I think I’ll wake the nurse first. She’ll be able to give her something for the pain. And then if it’s still bad in an hour I’ll tell the director and he can decide whether or not to call her mom.

Me: That might work…

Mollie: I’m there now. I’ll get the nurse.  Thanks Mom, love you!

She was serious! I hung up laughing I hadn’t said anything! It was like one of those comedies where the psychiatrist only says ‘What do you think’ and the patient cures themselves. Now how on earth did Mollie’s going to college make me so much smarter in her eyes? It doesn’t matter, I’ll take it.

Really I just wanted to tell anyone who is sending a baby to college, that it’s going to be okay. They are still your babies and they still want to talk to you and tell you about their lives and some will even come back for advice. You need to remember two things.  First, your job when you began this parenting thing was to equip them to leave home and be self-sufficient and second, realize that when the last one leaves you can spank and have sex in any room at any time – nothing to sneeze at.

Written by PK at 5:00 PM

24 comments

24 Comments:

At 1:25 AM, Blogger sunnygirl said...

Have to laugh at your last line. That's why our "kids" are always so anxious for us to take the grands.

 
At 5:50 AM, Blogger Mona Lisa said...

I'm in the situation that one moment I yearn over being alone with Leo and the next moment, I want the kids live with us forever.
I often say that there must be some "parents hormone" to be mature and when it is high enough, we are able to let go of our children so that they spread their wings.

 
At 8:14 AM, Blogger Roz said...

Love this PK, thank you for sharing. I especially love the last paragraph LoL :)

Hugs,
Roz

 
At 8:21 AM, Blogger Paul said...

PK,
just be happy that your fledglings can fly right, that is really all any parent can do.
Love and warm hugs,
Paul.

 
At 11:56 AM, Blogger Patty said...

Our job is to enable our children to become self sufficient,productive members of society. We wish and hope that they will be kind,loving,generous and compassionate. It's always hard to let them go.

 
At 2:07 PM, Blogger an English Rose said...

Hi PK, I love my kids more than life itself but.... I am loving our empty nest. how any one can do dd with kids at home is a mystery to me. I appreciate having time and space to ourselves. Yay.
love Jan.xx
P.S. The washing still makes it home and the fridge still gets emptied. so...

 
At 5:22 PM, Blogger Terpsichore said...

remind me in about nine more years when my oldest baby heads off on his own... :-)

 
At 8:28 PM, Blogger Kady said...

Yes, it's hard, but like you said when you realize you can focus more on your marriage, it eases the pain of empty nest. However, I must caution you.........

THEY COME BACK HOME!!!!!!!!

I've got a couple that I can't get rid of, lol. They go away to school, other countries, get their own place, etc then suddenly need their old room back. My kids know they are ALWAYS welcome, and return when they need to. I still have a couple of teens at home, so we're not TOTAL empty nesters, just in the home stretch.

Enjoy the season of life you're in.

Thanks for sharing, it is a time of our lives that we need encouragement.

Kady

 
At 9:52 PM, Blogger PK said...

Sunny,
Wait, that's what grandkids do to you?

 
At 9:55 PM, Blogger PK said...

Mona Lisa,
It must be something like that. When they were little I thought I'd die when they left, but it's really not been hard at all. Seeing them happy and excited about what they're doing really helps.

 
At 9:55 PM, Blogger PK said...

Roz,
Well that is the best part!

 
At 9:56 PM, Blogger PK said...

Paul,
And I didn't even have to push them out of the nest, they jumped.

 
At 9:58 PM, Blogger PK said...

Patty,
It is hard, but they turned out great. The world should be pleased to have them.

 
At 10:01 PM, Blogger PK said...

Jan,
It was nearly impossible when they were both home - I swear they worked as a tag team making sure we'd never be alone. The wash sometime makes it home, but they took over the laundry when they were very young so it's no problem to me!

 
At 10:05 PM, Blogger Sarah said...

It's so far away for me, I can't even comprehend.
Empty nest is the reward for all the problems they give us! Looking foreword to it and dreading it at the same time.

 
At 10:07 PM, Blogger PK said...

Terps,
I'll try, but by then I hope to be singing the praises of grandkids staying over.

 
At 10:13 PM, Blogger PK said...

Kady,
Like you and your kids, mine will always be welcomed. But my son has been in NYC for 3 years now. He tells me he loved that he was raised in a small southern town, but I'd bet he'd live on the sheets of NY before he'd come back.

We shall see about the baby.

 
At 10:20 PM, Blogger PK said...

Sarah,
Really we all do that. And it'd the dread that last year before college that is the very worst. After they actually leave it's not nearly as bad as you feared.

 
At 12:11 AM, Blogger Minelle Labraun said...

You know I am sending mine off. I am conflicted because I know she is ready. I am happy for her...but sad too. So many changes. However I did inherit another ADULT person soooo spanking and sex in every room? Only if we steal her glasses.

 
At 11:02 AM, Blogger maryanne said...

PK i loved this. my oldest is a sophomore but will be finished a yearly and off to college. the whole thing stresses me out because i love him so much, just love it when he's around. time flies too fast.
hugs to you,
m.

 
At 11:29 AM, Blogger Daisy Christian said...

Lol love your story with Mollie!! You know you did help you just listened. And sometimes that's what we need is someone to listen. No advice Just listen.

I should make the rule with my kids when they move out that a friend and I had.

If we wanted advice we would call and say "Ok I need to vent but I want advise too."

If we didn't want advise we would say "Only Venting"
That meant stay clear of advise or I'm gonna beat ya lol!!

Anyway My oldest is A Jr this yr so One more yr!!

 
At 10:42 PM, Blogger PK said...

Minelle,
I don't think you understand the concept of EMPTY nest - oh well, we all do what we have to do.

 
At 10:44 PM, Blogger PK said...

Maryanne,
I adored, and of course, still adore my son. I just couldn't imagine life without him around, but I did survive and you will too.

 
At 10:50 PM, Blogger PK said...

Daisy,
I was really pleased that Mollie was willing to call me that time of night even if she just needed to know I was there.

I'm pretty good at letting them vent and just agreeing that 'whatever' would have annoyed me too. Nick would rather encourage them to see the other point of view - so they talk to me, LOL!

 

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