Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Empty Nest

Now, it all comes back--that first instant after we returned home. Our house had never known the sort of quiet, which awaited us once we stepped inside, after our son  moved out. We had carried his boxes of stuff from the car, settled him into his dorm room, met his roomate, and were immediately dismissed, as he eagerly waved goodbye, ready to embark upon his new life: AWAY from home--and us! I have 2 friends, facing the 'empty nest' as their sons are leaving home right now. Wanting to reach out to them, I wrote these words...

". . . Mostly I'm imagining the moment when you both got back and walked into the empty house. And How it will grab you--over and over, when you least expect it. And I want to take your coats & make you both a big salad and a glass of wine and and hear all about your adventures and laugh hard at the stories you tell, and cry at the moments of parting, and of parenting--light or heavy--but all part of a much bigger package that has been SO VERY WORTH-WHILE..."
  ~ ~ ~

While we delve through details and enjoy the memories, it activates a deeper vortex. As this passage rekindles each transition of love and loss we've ever faced; we recognize the 2 sided coin that it is. There is more to be faced in that first empty hole we stare into, than merely missing our son or daughter.  Our hearts break open to the entire realm of joy and grief within the precious impermanence of it all. 

We celebrate the steps our kids take, into the life that is ONLY theirs. We appreciate their excitement along with the underbelly of risk and uncertainty we know they also face.  

We take comfort in knowing that our kids embark upon a path, which will intersect with ours forever--even though we would not say this out loud quite yet! As moms & dads who cherished those demanding, intoxicating childhood years together, our aching hearts are soothed by the promise of a well-deserved, brand new relationship with the individuals--whom we will discover them to be--as they grow and mature. We know this BECAUSE we know that Life gave them the best  nourishment and support, possible, through the 'trial and error journey' of their unfoldment, within the custody of OUR constant care.

So we smile and text them and say "have a good life!" And after we've sent the text, with tears in our eyes, there is lightness in our heart because we know that we will always be a significant part of their world. So we pat ourselves on the back because we know we 'did good' !!!!!

And as we let this in--we also know that they know this, too--and somehow that is enough . . ."

~   For Lori & Brad. For Deb and Curt. For each mom & dad embracing an Empty Nest   ~


  1. Sighhhhhh....thank you Stephanie. Beautifully put. Xoxoxoxxoxoxoxo

  2. I wish you's left you name so I'd know who left such a sweet comment! But thank you. I am glad you visited!

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  4. Sometimes we have to go through more than just one Empty Nest! Even with the same baby bird--because sometimes they come back to the nest for extended visits. And when they eventually take off, it is not one bit easier waving good bye and facing the hole in your heart all over again! Even when you are tremendously happy for the life they are about to embrace on their own! Yes, I am facing the empty nest once again having done this repeatedly over the last decade... just saying!


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