I got a glimpse for the first time of what it will be like to be an empty nester. Connor starts high school this fall, and in two years Will is off to college. If Father's Day 2015 is any predictor, I'll be a complete mess, lavishing my pent-up paternal affections on the family dogs.
'Let's go to spin class together, mom! There's a new Soul Cycle that opened in Westport.' How could I resist my darling 29-year-old son's request? I'm an empty-nester, after all, and we don't get to spend much one-on-one time together.
Our house is sold, and we've bought another. In the next few weeks I will pack, sort, store and toss 24 years of living. Fortunately I've always been good at purging, so much of the work has been done already. But still.
My youngest son heads off to college in August. When he finally slams the screen door, he will be emptying the nest my husband and I began to fill 22 years ago. With his departure, I reflect on a few things that, frankly, I am more than a little ready to let go of.
I have a good relationship with my almost 21-year-old son. But I have heard about it. The fate that is waiting for me. Listened with a tiny bit of dread. 'You know, boys just don't stay close to their moms when they settle down. They are closer to their wives' family, not to you anymore.'
You know what? You've earned the right to be a little selfish. You have earned the right to choose a path for yourself and to decide what your future will hold
Graduation day was huge this time around. I know my son will be fine -- he'll be great. His high school graduation is just the beginning of some amazing times to come. For me, it's the start of a very different time in my life.
If I could wrap my arms around this house, I'd thank it for letting us become grandparents, for allowing us to grow old together and eventually, for giving me the strength in it's soul to grow peace in mine.
Before your child leaves for college, you still have a few months of one-on-one time with him. Make the most of these months before the nest is empty by giving your child the information and support he needs to confidently spread his wings in college.
As graduation looms, I am noting what I will miss about having a child in college and wondering about the nature of time itself. Was it really just eight tuition payments ago that we loaded their bikes, books and backpacks into our cars then dropped them off on campus on a hot August day?
As for that nest of ours -- it won't stand empty. I'll do a bit of rearranging, but always leaving room for you and your sister. Please know that our family is the best thing that ever happened to me. This life we have together surpasses my dreams. I hope and pray that your adult life -- it will happen to you sooner rather than later --exceeds all of your expectations.
My Facebook page was recently abuzz with empty nest mothers feeling low this year because their kids were not going to be home for Mother's Day. Some of their sons and daughters were living across the country in Seattle or Los Angeles. Others were stationed at Fort Bragg or Hawaii. College kids weren't making the trip home for the weekend.
For the most part, I love numbers. However, there is one number that I am struggling to embrace: 171. No, it's not my weight; neither is it my IQ. It's weekends. Yes, weekends.
I'm at a time in my life when I'm obsessed with minimizing future regrets and, to that end, I feel compelled to agree to just about any experience. How else do I explain saying yes to being a driver in a motorcade for Vice President Biden, being handed the keys to a 15 passenger vehicle and chauffeuring around a bunch of his 20-something staffers and some local journalists?
Last summer, I was invited to a party at a house with an address that was familiar to me. As I parked my car, I realized my hunch was correct. It was the home where my babies were born nearly 25 years ago. I didn't know the owners, but I had to tell them my story and ask for a tour.
When you divorce without children, the initial phases are emotional, financial and sometimes fairly deep, but you generally get through it, and go your separate ways. When you divorce with children, those phases stretch on forever.