Half Empty Nest

Life sure tugs at our hearts, doesn’t it? I’m thinking as I type and don’t have time to edit, so please bear with anything that may not make sense. 

Some changes are good, positive events that push us in a better direction. They help us grow. Some aren’t so good, in fact, they’re tragic and very painful. Fortunately, right now, the change about to take place on Saturday is a great one. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t tug, though.

I just feel like talking and I hope not to bore you. Many of you have experienced this already and many will in the near or distant future…Our daughter is moving out for the first time, as a Junior transfer student in her new university. It’s awesome; we jumped for joy when she was accepted. And now that time is no longer down the road a few months…it’s here. Very surreal in so many ways. The good thing is she’ll only be less than two hours away. She won’t be across the country or in another country (I’m consoling myself), so this is good. 

Sibling support

With her bro at her Community College Graduation.

Our living room is full of her boxes. Her belongings because she’ll be in an apartment and not a dorm room. We have had fun shopping for new stuff; that’s always a joy, especially spending time with her…my son has even teased her about having more room in the bathroom, once she leaves and wanting to turn her bedroom into whatever! He keeps this whole thing light-hearted! Well, she’s not out completely; the apartment is furnished, so her furniture will remain with us and she is welcome home anytime. Even after she graduates, who knows if she’ll need to come back home to live. We leave that option open, always. So we won’t make any drastic changes in her room, just yet. But, someday, it will make a great office! Just sayin’! 🙂

It’s our job as parents to raise our children in the best way we know..to lay the foundation, a solid one from where they can grow. My husband and I have done that. And now it’s her job to begin a new chapter, make her own path and continue growing into a beautiful, responsible adult.

Now we have a new job; to let go. I’ve had a few nights this week where I’ve become teary right when my head hits the pillow (thus, my prior post to this one). Yes, it’ll be sad to not have her here with us, in our house. But I tend to worry; we just want her to be safe. (I know, move on, right?) That’s the tough part of letting go because events like this are out of our control. But the tears also fall for joy and excitement for her. We’re so happy for the opportunities she’ll have, the people she’ll meet, as well as, her accomplishments when she graduates.

In a nutshell, LIFE IS GOOD! (but keep the tissue handy) 

Steph COM Graduation May 2013   2
Our Graduate.

  I will end with a little something I wrote:

“We have prepared for this moment,
it would come we have known.
It’s time now for her
to chase dreams of her own.”

I apologize for “talking your ear off”
but I thank you for taking the time to “listen”

and if you have any reassuring feedback,
I would love to read it!
Hugs, Lauren ♥

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60 thoughts on “Half Empty Nest

  1. I understand it’s difficult to let go… But as you said already yourself: she can always come home, and she’ll have so many opportunities out there 😉 You just have to get used to this new situation, all of you… But you’ll be fine, don’t worry ^^

  2. Ah, Lauren, I understand how hard this can be. I don’t have children but I was once in your daughter’s place when I left my family home and country to study abroad for 4 years! A life changing experience for which I am eternally grateful to my parents! I learned to stand on my own two feet and I know now, it made me a better person. I hope this helps you a little! Congratulations are in order (and a few tissues!! 🙂

    • Your words definitely helped, Marina, and I know she will be a better person, gaining more independence and learning her way. It’ll all be good and thank you so much for your wishes and for the tissues! 🙂

  3. I am totally blown away at such an awesome post…….and am balling my head off.  God Bless my family and we wish Stephanie nothing but the best………

  4. I understand how you feel, I remembered the time I left home to study and work at the same time my mom cried hardly but told me it’s okay, she trusted me and go on and carry on to fulfill my dreams. And you are right, she’ll be fine dear, I’m pretty sure of that.

    • What a lovely memory to share, Lane, thank you and I feel better already! I know she’ll be fine and this is what we want for her…we all just have to make it through the initial first week or two! 🙂 Hugs!

  5. Since she’s only about 2 hours away, I’m sure you’ll see her often… along with a ton of dirty laundry! Keep in touch via phone as often as possible, especially at first, and that might help both of you with this transition.

    • Well, she’ll be doing her own laundry at her apt. complex and I’m sure we’ll visit her in the fall, but we also want to “let go” and let her find her way around, meet people, etc…we don’t want to be “pesty” parents, either! 🙂 But, yes, phone, texting, facetime, facebook, technology will keep us in the loop! Thanks so much for your encouraging comment, Glenda! xx

  6. Oh my goodness! I understand the tears of joy with that sense of ‘it’s over now’. I can remember my first time balling my eyes out the night that I watched my daughter sleeping (at the time 6 years old) and realized that she was no longer a baby. I am dealing with it a little better with my boys, but believe me – I get it! ) (Moving on before I start crying too, hehe) – congrats to your daughter for her accomplishments and her new chapter in life. That being said, I can SO feel what you’re saying despite the fact that none of my kids are anywhere near college age. However, each time that our children move on to a new stage in their lives as they grow older, WE the parents still have a tendency to feel as if they are entering their first day of kindergarten. I think that it is just awesome that your son is there to keep your spirits up, knowing that you will be just as proud of him when his time comes. The worries come naturally, but rest well knowing that you have raised them to where whatever happens – they will make a V-line to mom and dad. I must also congratulate you and your hub for being such rockin’ parents! ❤

    • Wow, Charlene, everything you said…about our kids growing up, their new stages, our son’s sense of humor, us being rockin’ parents, did I miss anything? Well, all of your thoughts brought more tears. I’m so weak! 🙂 Anyway, thank you for your support and lovely comment. All went well and we just have to pray that her life will continue moving in that same direction, now that she’s on her own…♥

  7. Hi Lauren,

    I know exactly how you are feeling; it is a huge wrench letting go of our “little ones”, especially when you are all so close to each other. And the tears are normal, and a good release, both joyful and sad. But you already know this Im sure. Steph is embarking on a new era of her wonderful life and I am sure she will enjoy every minute of her new adventure.

    Our three children have left home and come back and left again several times between them, whether it be home from University after qualifying and waiting to see where their work would take them, or between relationships when things went a little askew, or even when they haven’t settled in the place they were living. It takes time for them to adjust and finally work out where they want and need to be. And even though now they have all left permanently (so far!) they are always in touch, and often stay for different reasons. We still refer to their bedrooms by their names even though one is now an office/guest room, its still called Ruth’s room!

    Maybe we should think of our nests as half full!

    Good luck to all of you during this wonderful but scary transition.

    HBL ❤ XX

    • Chris, your words are so true and encouraging…knowing you endured! Our door will always be revolving, but it’s very exciting with all the new possibilities for her! I also know we’ll feel more comfortable next week after she’s started classes, knowing she’s feeling more comfortable. Oh, the joys of parenting…crying is a good release, but today, my eyes are feelin’ it! lol
      Anyway, thanks for all your insight on this new chapter in all of our lives and for your love and support! HBL ♥ xoxo

  8. It’s always nice to read what you have to say when you speak your heart and mind, Lauren. I truly understand how you must be feeling.
    Congrats to you and to your lovely daughter!
    Sending you much love and hugs xxx

  9. Transitions…a season for everything… I understand what you’re feeling, Lauren. I’ve just been where you’re going to. It’ll be difficult at first, but you will learn to adjust knowing it’s now about your daughter–her life, dreams, future.
    I wish lovely Stephanie the best in her academic and social life, and may she do her parents proud in her future achıevements!
    Loving hugs, Cynthia

    • Aww..thanks, Cynthia, for your lovely and reassuring words…I’ve already talked to her and she’s doing fine; many new changes, but all is good…and thanks so much for your wishes for her, as well! Love and hugs to you, too!

  10. Very sweet post, dear Lauren. You sound so much like my Mom, who continues to worry about me all these years later. Trust in all that you have taught your daughter and know she will be safe. Congrats to her for reaching out for her academic goals too! Hugs to you and know I am always here x

  11. Love mean letting go, the greatest difficulty for loving parents, trumps all the pain of birth, wet diapers, terrible two’s, spilled milk, broken friendships & going steady teenage years…

  12. big step for both of you, dear Lauren, but I’m sure she will be fine for she flies out a warm and lovely nest 🙂
    lots of love and hugs from across the creek, my friend xoxox.

  13. I miss my Mum too, even though your daughter and I have flown the nest it’s always good to have Mum on the end of a phone, FaceTime or visit and to have the nest there to welcome us back 🙂
    I think I’ll send Mum a quick text after reading this, she’s at work so she can pick it up later 🙂
    Charlotte

    • Aww..thanks, Charlotte, for your reassuring comment and it’s nice to know that we’re not forgotten! I’ve already talked to her via texting and phone, so it’s all good. It’s just a little more quiet in the house, which is what I need to get used to! Take care and I hope you had a good talk with your Mum, too! 🙂 Lauren

  14. Aw Lauren. This is absolutely beautiful as I can tell you wrote it right from the heart. It is tough to see our children grow up and leave the nest. I remember all so well and somehow I did get through it all. I will tell you though that it does not matter what age our children are, it seems we worry about them and oh yes there are many times I wish they were still little and at home. Congrats to your Girl and I can tell from what you have told me that she is an amazing, young lady. hugs my friend. ♥

    • Thanks so much, Renee, for your beautiful words and I now understand that we’ll worry about our kids, no matter their age! She’s doing great, though; we’ve talked to her a few times and she has already met a few nice girls. I appreciate your wishes, too, and your kind words about her! Hugs to you, too! ♥

      • You’re welcome. I do feel as long as they are happy in their lives, it helps me not to worry ‘too much’. If that makes any sense. It is great to hear your girls has met some new friends already. It sounds like she is settling in nicely. Happy Friday. hugs. ♥

  15. Aww, I remember well that feeling when our children fledge and flex their wings and fly the nest.. You have wonderful Children, and I am sure if she is anything like her Mom, she will be fine…… Sending you a Hug xox Sue

    • Aww..thanks, Sue, for your very kind words and hugs! It’s been 2 weeks and she’s fine…getting acquainted with the campus and her apartment and area around it. It’s a bike campus and community, so she’s riding her bike all over the place, which is kinda neat! 🙂 A parking space isn’t guaranteed for a car, so that wouldn’t be worth it to bring anyway…thanks again and I will visit you soon. So far behind! Hugs back, too! xoxo

  16. I hope everything goes really well for your daughter – I’m sure it will! 😀 Adjustments like these are exciting but also difficult for a parent and a child. I can remember when my brother left home when I was 17, we were so close, did lots of things together. I knew we all had to let him go, live his life, find his wings! But I can remember as soon as he had driven away in that overstuffed car with all he owned, I just fell apart. My poor mother had to comfort me – should have been the other way really! 😦 And when I left home at 21, I wondered what the house must have felt like for my Mum and Dad, with the last child gone – must have been awful, but they never said anything about how difficult it was, and were so pleased to see me living my new life, and that’s how it should be, it has to happen, nothing in life will ever stay the same.

    My thoughts are with you Lauren, this is a happy, hopeful, but difficult time. And I really hope you all adjust as smoothly as possible! 🙂

    • Thanks for sharing your story, Suzy, and things are better now that we know she’s more comfortable. It was a big change for her, living on her own for the first time, with a new roommate (they both have their own rooms and bathrooms, though), learning to ride her bike to and from campus and around campus. It’s a big campus and a bike community and she is loving it. It’s really beautiful and much better to have a bike then a car right now. We’ve talked to her often and she’s not that far away. As you said, we, as parents, have to let go and our kids have to spread their wings and fly. We only want her to be safe, smart and happy…thanks again, for your lovely comment and I hope all is well with you, too! xx

    • She had a good first year, has been home for the summer and will be going back in two weeks for her senior year. We’ve all adjusted. Yes, love is most important. Thanks so much for your comment and visit! 🙂

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