Back From the Empty Nest Depression
I started this blog the day my youngest daughter left for college, hence a diary of what it would be like to be an empty-nester, or Emtnester since the EmptyNester domain name was already taken. There were days that were hard and there were days that were wonderful in this new status for me and Bill. But life moved on. I got some writing paid jobs. Then I was asked to handle the marketing for a beautiful mixed-use center with a public relations friend of mine. My sister started selling Worth clothing and she asked to help her, too. So, I got busy. (I had to be dressed before 6 pm when Bill usually comes home). But none of this affected me quite like my middle son's graduation......
Jonathan attended Miami University in Ohio. The exact same day I stopped writing was the weekend of the graduation ceremonies. We all went up to Oxford and had a ball with the families that he shared a house with. The weather was perfect: not too hot, not too cold. My Mom and Ed even came up for the occasion, so it was really special. But Sunday arrived quickly and everyone was leaving. We were the last of the Stone-Southworth clan to leave , around 5 pm. I had attempted to start packing for JB since he had to be out of the house on Monday at noon. I managed to lose his card and check from my Mom while packing, so I was really a big help!
Well, it was 5 pm and we needed to go back to our busy little lives in Arizona. And my little boy was off to Columbus, Ohio to find an apartment and start his first job all by himself, with no help from anyone in his family. Why didn't I plan this better? Am I so busy or broke to go help him start his new life? What about his Dad or his brother? We said our teary goodbyes and drove off while he was sitting on the ledge of his front porch, dangling his feet just like a little boy would do on a beautiful spring day.
I don't remember the ride to the airport, checking in or going through security. I only remember the phone call from Jonathan asking where did I put the check from Gran. And why did I have to start packing; he had everything in control and now we will have to probably stop payment on the check and Gran won't like doing that, on and on. I was devastated. Of course, I know we were all very tired as you keep late hours on college campuses these days. But I felt miserable. And fell right into a month long depression of sorts.
I did not want to share all the great pictures of the weekend. I waited to hear how JB found a great, inexpensive apartment in a week. I waited to hear about his week of training at his new job. I waited to hear about how he and (his friend that's a girl) found a brown couch at a killer price to fill his new place. And I feel Columbus is as far as Sweden.
This is the empty-nester experience that I had so often read about. The queer sadness mixed with joy all rolled up with the overwhelming loneliness and loss of the company of your children. And I just could not think of a single word to write until 4 am this morning. Digging myself out of this dark hole I have been secretly living in all the while working and keeping busy to the outside world.
It's good to see you, too!