Empty Nest Syndrome

One thing for sure is that change is a constant in our lives. Sometimes we welcome it, other times we accept it kicking and screaming or try to deny it, and then there are those times when it is just bittersweet but we have to accept it. Mothers are in a constant state of change with their children.
I’m experiencing one of those seasons of change. Walking down the hall of our home, a sign is missing from our daughter’s bedroom. It was a sign we bought her for a go-cart when she was about nine years old. She loved tweety-bird at that time and the sign had him and her name on it. It has hung on the door of the bedroom ever since she became too big for the go-cart, which was after her dad died. I smiled every time I passed by her room remembering some little tidbit about her.
Purchasing her own home recently, she has been moving out and took the sign with her. She is getting married in April and we have been working on different aspects of the wedding. I never felt saddened that she was getting married just excited for all the wedding plans though I did cry when she was trying on wedding dresses.
While we all want our children to grow up, be successful and have families of their own, it is bittersweet for mothers. Especially those of us who have good relationships with our children. Cally has become a friend, one of my best friends and I not only value her input but I am proud of the woman she has become. And I love my future son-in-law. He’s perfect for her.
They had been packing up things for weeks and putting things in storage in anticipation of closing on the house. They are not completely done yet and we have been painting at the new house. The moving out of the other things didn’t bother me but there was just something about not seeing the sign every day.
Originally, we had planned on finishing up the house out back (1100 square feet) and so I knew she wouldn’t be that far away. But it was more feasible for them to buy a house than to spend the money finishing up what we call “Cally’s house”. Her father built it for her as a playhouse and he died before it could be finished. We have done a few things here and there but there was still a lot more to do. Now we say we will keep working on it a little at a time until finished, and perhaps rent it out, or have it should one of our parents need it.
Cally and I usually see each other in the morning and wish each other a good day and say “I love you”. That will come to an end this week as she is ready to begin staying at her new house after the mattress arrives this week.
I had heard people talk about how they felt when they had to adjust to an “empty nest”. Never gave it much thought and now that it’s my turn, I hope I was sympathetic enough to those who went through it before me.
I have been saddened when each of my children left home, but this is different. This is the last one.
We have a lot to do to get ready for the wedding which is being held in our back yard so I am sure it won’t hit me hard until after the wedding.
I’m not worried about them as they take on more responsibilities. It’s a natural process and I know they are ready and can handle life. Both accepted Christ as their Lord and Savior so they know to trust and rely on Him.
Still, it’s a change, something to which we must adapt. Apparently, it is a big deal as it is called “empty nest syndrome” . I’m not depressed, just a little saddened. My oldest child is 38 so we’ve had children at home for that long.
I’m trying to focus on things that need to get done and the positive things. We can now reclaim the three rooms which she has occupied with wedding stuff, furniture, etc. Of course, we have to paint rooms, rearrange furniture and do massive cleaning. I have so many projects to complete, I’m sure my mind will be occupied for a very long time. We will also reclaim a closet which we all need more of anyway, right?
When she finally changes residences, she will also be taking her furbaby, Lady. That is also going to be an adjustment, not just for me but for our Roxie as well as Lady herself. In fact, I am a little worried about Roxie and Lady adjusting more than anything else. It’s just part of the cycle of life and we will all make the needed adjustments.
Fact is, she is only moving less than a mile and a half away so she will still be close and she has given me a key to the house. It’s a new season and while I rejoice at the victories of her growing into a wonderful adult, I don’t think it’s unusual for mothers to shed a few tears.
I am proud of her for her credit score which allowed her to get financing for the house and for the fact that she manages money well. I know that one day soon, as we get adjusted, I will walk by the bedroom door with the missing sign and I will smile instead of feeling a little sad. © 2016

VICTORIA SIMMONS is an author, columnist, motivational speaker, minister and publisher of The Georgia Post/Byron Buzz. Contact her at: vsimmons54@gmail.com

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About vsimmons54

Veteran journalist of 40 years. Editor, Motivational Speaker, Ordained Minister, CEO of A Light in the Darkness Ministries, Lensclusive Photography, Babbling Brook Consulting and Design, event planner and author. I love to write and speak and I love Jesus. I also do copy writing and editing. Recently co-authored Vanished Towns Revisited.
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