Empty, Empty Nest…again.

No one warned me. 

In 2004 and 2008, I experienced the deep angst of letting go of my little chicks. One by one they flew the coop.

Time was kind. I began finding new feathers for my nest. And, if I am completely honest (which I always try to be), I kind of enjoyed being a bit selfish again. Thinking a little more about me. Thinking a lot more about “us” (my marriage with Rob).

And, then, one by one they flew back. Brooke for a year while starting her career and waiting to marry her man.

Grant for a year while waiting to live out his dream (collegiate soccer coach).

Candace, in and out, while trekking the globe, one sketch at a time.

At first, it was quite an adjustment. An adjustment for us all. Twenty-somethings are ready to fly and be out on their own. I’m pretty sure they didn’t want to be under the eyes of momma and poppa bird.

But, once again, Time helped each one of us adjust. Adjust, after all, simply means, “to settle or bring to a satisfactory state, so that parties are agreed in the result.” The key being “to a satisfactory state.”

And then, darn it, something happened.

My momma’s heart kicked in and I actually began to love having them back: watching them bound down the steps, listening for their coming in and out and in and out, and in and out some more. Their presence always making our home feel like home, once again.

I know some of you might think I am absolutely crazy. You long for the day when you are at home alone. I know, I’ve been there. Five minutes to yourself? A whole day? That sounds amazing.

And, it is.

Empty, Empty NestAnd “the house” is quiet and clean. Did I say, “quiet?”

Empty, Empty Nest Empty, Empty NestDid I mention, “Clean?” Only one little hint that GK actually lived in this room. Oh, yes, and it is very “quiet.”

But, I know that I know that I know, I love being a mom. Every stinkin’ part of it.  And, so I’m told, we raise children to “have roots and wings.” I get the roots part, it’s the wings part that I have trouble with.

Saturday morning at 5:45am, we said goodbye to our youngest, Grant Kellum (GK). Thankfully, I was still in sleep mode (from a long week at The Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writer’s Conference, more forthcoming), and therefore not coherent enough to grasp the finality of this departure. I’m pretty sure he won’t ever live under our roof again nor would I want him to. He needs to get on with his life. He’s got things to do. He’ll be home to visit, yes, and I will love that. Fix his favorites and all that.

It wasn’t until a few hours later, after I had woken up, that I looked for his white car in front of the house. I always did that in the morning to see if he was home or not. I pulled back the little curtain on the side of my front door and looked. Had he gone to work? Was he at the gym?

No, he wasn’t home. In fact, he was gone.

It was right then and there that I hated those wings. Those 6’5″ strong Crossfit wings that took him far away.

Empty, Empty Nest

I let go of the little curtain and let go of my little boy, who isn’t very little anymore.

Thank you, God, for the privilege of raising not only my son, but my two daughters. I am so grateful.

Maybe today, you are having trouble letting go of a child. Letting go of a dream. Letting go of ________________.

Know that Time is on your side. You will have to make some adjustments. You will have to endure uninvited silence. Don’t rush the process. Let it do its work. I promise you, it will be worth it.

When we let go of one thing, we are actually opening our hands to the “somethings” we can’t envision at the moment.

So, here’s to opening our hands, even if it is one finger at a time. Here’s to letting our children live their lives and to us living ours!

Resources

Take a look:

Life Reimagined

Being an Empty Nester

Encouragement for Your Soul