Monday, September 15, 2008

Empty Nesting

Our Family
Photo by my brother-in-law

The whole empty nest thing has hit me like a ton of bricks all of the sudden. The little girl is a beautiful young woman off to her first year of college. The little boy is now a young man working hard at learning his trade. They are fine people. They bring glory to God and that makes me so happy.

But for 21 years they were my focus....I was a Mom. in that was my job. And I really studied about child development, and advocated for them, taught them, and enjoyed being with them. I ate up every minute of it. Even all those hours on the bleachers watching basketball, track meets and oh so many band competitions. Joe and I loved all of that. Oh there were those times every mother has, when you think you will pull your hair out. I think every mom has those moments. But I love and cherish my career as a mom.

Now they are doing what we raised them to do...they are trying out their wings and making their own decisions. They are learning so much as young adults. I'm so proud of them.

And yet, the last couple of weeks I find myself so weepy and sad. It's not as if I don't have other things to think about. After all, I'm running my own shop and working and scheming to make it a success. I'm working on my art, playing with our dog, visiting with my parents, working on church related projects, and doing (or not) housework. But a mom always has her kids on her mind. And it's hard to step back and not give my opinion so much, to let them watch them as they make this decision or that.

And I'm missing all these great kids who have been hanging at our house all these years. Somehow, they are partly mine too. I sound like such a whiner don't I? After all, they are healthy and happy and doing all the things young adults need to do.

Poor Dot. She has had me crying on her shoulder several times in the past week. Aren't women friends great? I know that now is the time for me to pull myself up and start focusing on doing things with Joe, getting back into shape, and figuring out how not to cook huge pots full of food.

And after all.....they still come home....and I love that. In fact, after all my whining you'd be surprised to know that our boy is officially living here right now. But much of the time he's off with his friends or working, and for a year he has been working in a different city. And things are changing....they truly are growing wings and learning to fly. Just like I prayed and hoped. I'm so thankful for that. And they can always fly home for a hug.


Dot said...

Remember when I said I couldn't weep anymore because I had too much about which to weep? Well, your post has opened the flood gates. I know I still have one at home, but so much has changed, so much might be changing that it's really hard to focus and realize I still have one baby bird for whom I need to gather worms.

I miss the friends house used to be a hang out it's rather empty. *sniff*

Thanks for sharing that pic of the group...I just wish that was tomorrow and not yesterday.

Judy said...

What a wonderful post. I can totally relate right now. I have only one left to raise, even tho I have 3 living at home, it's changing fast around here. The wedding this past weekend was hard for me, especially when all Phils buddies came home for his wedding. I think it's even hard for the kids to see things come to an end. One very close friend cried in my arms coming through the receiving line.
Your doing fine Joyce, and yes women friends are wonderful.
Hang in there.

12 weeks at a time said...

Your post made me kind of teary. Even though my kids are only 6 and 8 I feel like every year goes faster and faster and in a blink of an eye their childhood will be gone. Thanks for the reminder to "live in the moment" and appreciate each day. ~Becky~

countrygirl3031 said...

I can so totally relate with you. My daughter (20) is gone at school and my son (18) is a senior and works all the time. I, too, miss the kids that were always over..some of them called me 'mom'. Oh well, the dog will really be spoiled!


Jacquelynne said...

I know exactly how you feel, my oldest just went off to college this fall, and I miss having her around every day. Even though I still have one at home, the place is just so darn quiet. And it's hard to know sometimes when to push and when to let them just do things on their own, and maybe make a mistake or two.
I love the saying, "A mother gives her children roots and wings"...

Anonymous said...

I could have written this post. No, I really couldn't have but you wrote it for me. Thank you!

Valerie said...

I sure can relate. I've had the empty nest for two years now. But, I'm happy that now my 22 year old is going to move home shortly before she and I make a trip to the west coast to see my two new grandbabies. One thing you must do is keep busy. That is what kept my spirits up. New hobbies and projects, walks, shopping, garage sailing, and antique shop exploring helps!

Marty Coleman said...

I have 4 daughters, all grown and gone now. The youngest is my step daughter and just left for Baylor, 6 hours away, about 5 weeks ago.

Her mother has gone through the empty nest big time. She came home this weekend for the first time and they went shopping for about 5-6 hours Saturday. My wife came home and had to admit that trailing behind her daughter in the stores being a make shift clothes hanger for her is not something she terribly misses. haha