Friday, August 18, 2017


So many of my friends are sending kids away to school this week. Many of the kids that Elizabeth and John have grown up with are heading out on their own journeys. Some on road trips, some to jobs, some to colleges... Many transitions all over the place going on...and I'm feeling it too.

Elizabeth has been in college for about three years, off and on, and John is starting full-time college in about a week. Yes, he has been taking a class or two here and there at the community college, but we've been homeschooling too. This week starts my first official week as a non-homeschooling parent.

Enter my own issue: empty nest.
I'm feeling it.

I feel on the verge of tears often, though I haven't mentioned it to anyone (except for the dental assistant My last baby is growing up. 
He is...growing up...

The boy who wore costumes, who played superheroes, who pretended well and fully, who played and played, who left toys everywhere, who made friendship look easy, whose sweet words made me speechless, who lived in his fabulous imagination, who was preternaturally mature, who wore capes or goggles or unusual hats, whose eyes would seek me out, who laughs, who pulls me tight for a hug, who always says You look nice, Mom, who has a life outside of me, who is preparing dinner for the family as I speak, who sometimes still sleeps with a rather large stuffed animal, who winks at me when he teases, who makes plans entirely independent from me, who has his own set of keys, who never forgets to kiss me goodnight, who looks to me for lesson plans, the boy who is my littlest one. 

What does this mean for me?
What will I do?

When I think about these questions the days seem to yawn ahead of me. I know it's just the beginning and I know that parents all over the place deal with this...but now it's me...

What will I do?

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  1. I feel for you. I have been feeling a bit blue lately, and my eldest has just turned 13 (but with views to commencing tertiary studies next year). I know we have some years left but for whatever reason, I have been feeling exactly as you describe. I spoke to a friend who is going through this too as her eldest has just left home and her youngest is 15, but the kids are really independent. There are support groups for 'empty nest syndrome' which is great as my friend saw a counsellor and was told to toughen up :(

    I've given a lot of thought recently to what I will do. Although my second, and youngest child is 10, and we have years of homeschooling left, some days I do feel quite teary but that's also tied in with being worried about the state of the world and the futures of our kids.

    I don't have any answers and although my kids are younger than yours and still at home, it has been on my mind more. We homeschooled also because of the whole 'kids grow up so fast' thing and people telling us to spend as much time as possible. Well all I can say to that is homeschooling or not, time has still flown by. I think now that my eldest is a teenager, the blues have set in a bit more knowing we don't have many years left of home ed for him (and he's already needing us less for what he does do!)

  2. I have no answers or insight into this, but, you are in my thoughts and my heart. Your beautiful post made me cry. I cried for you, for what I imagine this new chapter must feel like for you--a mix of pride in all your children have grown to be and melancholic longing for all the sweetness of their younger years... I know you will find your way through this new normal in your life, with the thoughtfulness, grace, humor, and love with which you do so many other things, my friend. I believe in you.
    I cried for me because I know this day is coming; I've known it since mine were born. I remember on more than one occasion holding our newborn son and (later) daughter, and crying because they would grow-up and leave us someday. (Okay, perhaps a bit of that was hormones...) Just as mothers often have unique instincts, protectiveness, and connection related to their children, I think mothers often have a distinct letting go experience. I feel that time in the future approaching with seemingly increasing speed, as ages 4 and 1 have suddenly jumped to 9 and 6. And--much as I've looked to your example for parenting and homeschooling--I'm sure I will seek your counsel when my nest empties and am left wondering what it means for me and what I will do. <3


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