Dedicated to all Empty Nesters out there.
Let him fly and stretch his wings, they say. Let go and live your life, they say. Empty nest, they say. There comes a crucial time in motherhood when you hear your friends and family’s thoughtful advice about your child’s departure. I guess it eases my mind that most moms do get through it and plow ahead in their life, but I won’t be free of worries. There will always be random thoughts or questions lingering, does he know what to do when he’s sick? Will he call us when he needs to? Did we raise him right in serious and difficult situations?
Now we’re in crunch time, just a few weeks away from drop off in a different state 2 1/2 hours away from home. Many essentials are bought and packed. I bought new underwear and socks, against his judgement. All that’s left is to scan Amazon and rent a few text books and connect with roomies about who’s bringing what. Amid all this fantastic organization, my heart feels like it’s being shattered. I suspect that Branden will miss home and his predictable life in a small town, but I know even more that he will excel and persevere because that’s the guy he is.
Even though I dread drop off and turning away, ( just as I did in Kindergarten) I know it’s not about me. This story isn’t mine…it’s his. It’s not about my sense of loss, lack of purpose ( other empty nest moms, is this familiar?) or racing mind. It’s not about passing his bedroom down the hall and missing him on his computer. It’s not about missing interesting dinner conversations with him leading the show.
One important thing I will emphatically miss is knowing what he did that day or if it was good or not so good. I’m just getting used to missing that with my oldest son Dylan. I trust he’s doing okay and check in when Dylan stops by for his bowl of cereal. Maybe Branden, Tom and I will connect through FaceTime or Skype. Maybe there will be distant phone calls with my motherly longing to grill him for details, something I’ll have to deviate from.
There is a bright side…all these feelings are normal and part of the motherhood package. Who said I could keep him home forever? Who would want to keep their offspring from pursuing their dreams…not me. Raising children has stages and this is one of the final ones, letting go. It’s a new start, an adventure for the books and it’s his story, not mine. You see, I already know that it’s not about me.
Are there any empty nesters out there with stories or advice? I would love to hear from you!
All My Best,
Heart and Soul ❤️