Dear Almost Empty Nester Friend:
I have been thinking about you a lot lately. The deadline of May 1st has passed and your grown up high school senior has made the final decision where they are going to attend college. The new college may be close by, it could be an unimaginable distance or somewhere in between. These next several weeks are SO FUN and full of nonstop celebrations. This is an exhilarating time of year! You most likely have countless events on the calendar like the sports banquet, the cheerleading banquet, the prom, “Senior This” and “Senior That” awards. Then comes the grand finale… attending graduation for which we all have a somewhat love/hate relationship. Do you know what I mean? You are so very proud of your child and all of their achievements, yet graduation is so… final. Unfortunately, you do not have a choice, time marches on whether you like it or not. I once made my son promise he would never get older, he broke that promise and so did my daughter.
Do you have any apprehensive thoughts swirling through your head like these: Will she be ok? Will I be ok? How will I live without her? How will I feel when he can live without me? Do any of these sound familiar? I have successfully sent two children away to college. I actually didn’t die, although I felt pretty awful when my first one went away. She went to school in another state, which to me, somehow seemed worse. Now that I have a college student only an hour away, I don’t really subscribe to that theory. When they are gone they are gone, whether it’s an hour ride in the car or a 4 hour plane ride. They still are not living in your house and hugging you every day. Very possibly you may not feel any discomfort at all! Lucky you!! Of course we are happy for our child, of course we are excited for their future, but with that happiness comes the occasional tug at your sensitive heart. They are growing up and moving away and the house will be empty.
I just wanted you to know that ANYTHING that you are feeling, not feeling, afraid of, or not afraid of, is very typical and very OK. This is just one more rung on the ladder of getting older. But one of the primary things you need to know is that your child will do fantastic and will THRIVE and so will you…eventually. As a seasoned Empty Nester, I have already felt how you feel. I am here for you and want you to know I can help! I hope you will soon realize you are joining a very cool club of Empty Nesters that have sooner or later embraced the Empty Nest and are out there having a sensational time! Come join the fun and create new adventures! And…Congratulations on your graduate!
6 thoughts on “A Letter to My Almost Empty Nester Friends”
Suzanne, I swear, I went into mourning when my first one left. The second one, not so much. Not because of her, but because I realized how awesome it is to watch them become who they really are. Plus, Facetime!
Kim: You are so right! I am also more mature about the whole thing. I miss #2 terribly but I understand how happy he is!
I’m not an empty nester, never having had children, Suzanne, but many of my friends are as we’re boomers and share stories. I love the new term “Boomerang Generation” as so many of them return home at some point.
Doreen – I have definitely heard that term! They also call it a revolving door, you don’t know who will be coming and going and coming again! Thank you for your comments!
They do come home again! At least for awhile. I was devastated when #1 left for college. Not so much when #2 (the messy child) departed. Both lived with us again in later years, in between jobs and apartments. So it was hello/goodbye/hello/goodbye for awhile.
Now fully empty nested and my husband and I relish it. Don’t tell our kids!
Thank you Nancy! I think we feel the same way. So far neither of my children has come home again to live for any length of time. But you never know!