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September 15, 2015

Comments

Cynn

Really nice, Elaine. We share these same moments, probably due to this time in our lives. I appreciate your poignant insight - not going back and accepting the move forward. You've captured a lovely baptism by late summer water; a cleansing moment, if you will, the absolution of transition caught in the plunge. Thanks...a comforting read. Especially, during this, my own time of transition.

Dora

Hello Elaine,

I'm glad to hear that "navigating the new waters of the empty nest" is better than you thought it would be!

My daughter also just began attending her first year of college, which is about a five hour drive from home. This past summer, over and over I heard from other mothers, "Aren't you upset that she's leaving?" and "So both of your children will be in college - you'll be an empty nester!" Well… no, not really. Perhaps if my daughter had moved across the country, then yes, I do believe that would be unsettling. But combined with the awareness that I can drive to the college in less than six hours if necessary, the knowledge that my daughter is very responsible, and her frequent communications via me text messages and photos -- well, I think things are going pretty well. (She will also be coming home next weekend to attend a concert.)

In my case, people have assumed that since both of my children are away at college, and that our home is an "empty nest". But in my case my son has chosen to attend a local college and live at home. He wanted to keep college costs down.

So.. another name for "empty nest" -- or in my case "a half-full nest"?

As the title of your post says, this is a time of transition. Perhaps this could be viewed as part of an ongoing metamorphosis for the children? And for the parents, well, I haven't thought of a new name yet for "empty nester" or "empty nest"…. but the term definitely never resonated with me! I simply view is as a family going through yet another stage of growth...

Even if all of one's children are away at college -- their home is still their home. It will should be a place (a relationship, actually -- the physical location of parents could change) that always offers acceptance, security, and support. And, as parents, many believe as I do that we do not suddenly launch our "birds" out in to the world and release all responsibility for our children's continued growth, emotional support, and guidance. They may not physically be in the home, but for many parents our children remain forefront in our minds. (Although I have encountered those parents who are "tired of parenting" and breathe a sigh of relief when their children turn 18, believing that their job is "done".) Being a parent is lifelong, and that's fine with me!

Thank you for your heartfelt post. It's nice getting to know you (one of my childhood classmates) as an adult though your blog.

Elaine

Thank you Dora for your thoughtful comment. I so enjoy this way to communicate with old and new friends.

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