Empty Nest


Another guest post, this time from Kim! Thanks for volunteering!

This is not what you think. “Empty Nest” by definition, signifies the time when a mother bird has done her job of teaching her hatchlings all there is to learn so they leave the nest to start their own individual lives. I am promoting a new definition of “Empty Nest”. This one signifies the time when a parent who has been around their child 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, with only the occasional exceptions, such as date night with daddy, fun night with friends, trips to the grocery store, or balling up in a fetal position in the closet hiding from humanity now sends this child into the big, bad world of public school.

I am a stay-at-home mom of three boys. I worked full time until my first son was 3 and part-time until our 2nd son was 2. I heeded the call of being a full time mom in November of 2005. In November of 2006, our 3rd son was born and my life has never been the same. I spent the next 5 years devoting every moment to watching all the little things I missed out on with our first two children. Then, in the fall of 2010, I attempted to home school two of our children who were in 1st and 4th grade at the time. This only lasted four months before surrendering and reluctantly sending them back into the public school system. I wish I could say I did it to save my sanity, but the truth is, I had already lost it. So it more like an attempt to get my sanity back. It went back to being just me and my little snuggle bunny during the day and I loved it.

Then the fall of 2011 rolled around. August 5th to be exact, which by definition is still summer, but because school was starting, we default into saying “fall”. His first day came and went, but not without many tears. All mine. Not a single one came from my independent, self-sufficient four-year-old. My husband tried his best to console me, but all I wanted was my baby back…any of them. I just needed to be needed. I now had an empty nest. I spent the whole day thinking about him. Wondering what he was doing. If he was ok. If he needed me. Every time the phone rang, I jumped to my feet just knowing it was the school and they were calling to tell me I needed to come up there because he wanted to come home and wouldn’t stop crying. That call….never came. Three o’clock finally rolled around and I eagerly headed to the school to pick the boys up and find out how their first day was. The older two came bounding out the door with smiles and hugs. My snuggle bunny came out with his head drooped, and his shoulders slumped. When he finally reached me, he just held his arms up to me and said, “Will you carry me?”

Yes, I indeed, have an empty nest. But it only temporarily empty, and I am, absolutely, still needed.

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. ash
    Oct 31, 2011 @ 20:07:56

    Thank you for this post! I could identify, even though one of my kids is still at home with me. I have a vivid memory of the first time I left my son at preschool (before my daughter was born). I was walking down the street, feeling kind of hollow and disoriented, and I passed the local Resource Center, where they had a big poster that read, “No se abandona su bebe” (Don’t abandon your baby.) I almost cried.

    I thought about homeschooling my son too, once upon a time, but had to concede that it wouldn’t work for us. We’re really happy with the public school where he is now, but I know it’s going to be hard for me when my daughter starts Kindergarten. I hope you’ll write more.

    Reply

  2. Laura
    Oct 31, 2011 @ 20:19:44

    I loved this. While I never really felt an empty nest for my children, I find myself feeling it more and more for my grandchild who just started JHS and doesn’t even live with us.

    I guess we just have to love those times they are with us.

    Reply

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