Riding the Waves of the Empty Nest Syndrome
I have just returned from my summer trip back East and several "friends" (and by friends, I mean people who I only know because they read my blog posts) have emailed me and said, "Are you still feeling effects from being an empty nester, even though its been 3 years since your youngest flew the coop?" They also said that they noticed I haven't written as much lately, so maybe I am "cured" or something. But, this summer has been the most difficult time frame of all for me and here's why...................
Three years ago, in the middle of August, my youngest child started her first year of college and this blog was created to document the emotions, the thoughts and the activities of being an empty nest Mom. I wrote sad posts while sobbing, I wrote posts telling of funny stories about getting older and forgetting things, I wrote about treating my golden retriever as if he was a child and many posts about dieting and generally living out my wonderful life! It's been very therapeutic and I would recommend to all empty nest parents, to at least write a journal about this time in your life.
Just when I thought I have conquered this phase, I became jolted by another even more powerful wave of empty nest issues! Blindsided, actually. In hindsight, I should have been ready and prepared for the emotional roller coaster that occurred in July.
My oldest son had attended college at ASU, just 25 minutes down the road. I got to see him regularly for Sunday dinners, tailgate parties and the like. After college, he took a position with a large firm, in downtown Phoenix. Again, I got to see him when I missed the kids. He and his girlfriend (now wife) were always very accommodating to my need for temporary filling up the empty nest. But Andy was now packing and leaving to attend Columbia Graduate School, for his MBA.......and for the first time, I was really going to be an empty nester! Mother Bird kicked into serious crazy mode and stayed with them for about 5 solid days, helping them pack, and handling the details of a cross-country move. I can tell you now, songs on the radio were my enemy! I could not control the tears and if I heard Alisha Keyes and Jay-Z sing that beautiful song about NEW YORK one more time, I was going to explode!
So, I think the best answer I can give my reader friends is that I believe that from now on, we will experience "waves" of that ole empty nest feeling. Some waves will be gentle and others, like this summer for me, will have hurricane force winds behind those waves. And, I would tell them not to worry, because we Mother Birds are very resilient and strong. And we will control the situation as best as we can to help alleviate the pain and loss that we are experiencing.
For me, maybe the nest moves...................maybe my wings will grow....................maybe all of the above. That's the beauty of life.......and we should relax and try to enjoy the moments as they occur.