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Empty Nest by MJ Fredrick

By On Aug 9 2012, 9:00 am

I’m facing an empty nest in the next two weeks. My son will be moving to Austin, an hour and a half away, to attend UT. He’s my one and only, and I’m torn.

On one hand, I’m glad for him and the experiences he’ll have. I’m also going to be a little relieved. Even though he’s an adult, I still find myself listening for him to come home at night. Also, he’s vegetarian and my husband and I aren’t, so it will be nice to eat meat regularly again. (Though I admit I’ve had fun trying new recipes.) And I won’t have to worry about his schedule when planning things. It will be nice to have time just with my husband.

On the other hand, I’m heartbroken. There have been times this week when I’ve just burst into tears. I can’t imagine what it will be like not to see his car parked out front or to hear his key in the door, or the squeak of his bedroom door, or smell his stinky socks in the hamper.

It’s harder than it might have been a month ago, when I hardly saw him because he was always with his girlfriend. But she’s already gone to college and we’ve had lunch every day together and dinner most nights. So it’s going to be a big empty void.

Does anyone who’s gone through this have any advice?


4 Responses to “Empty Nest by MJ Fredrick”

  1. I’m not a parent, so I can’t relate. I know my Mom struggled when I went off to college. I was the baby, which made it really tough for her. I was the last one to leave the house. My mother ended up joining some clubs and organizations to help her fill time. It helped her make new friends and keep an active schedule. There was no time to mope and miss me. On the same note, I knew she missed me so I would call her frequently just to keep in touch. Be honest with your son. Let him know you miss him, and see if you can get together for lunch or dinner once a week, two weeks, a month, whatever works.

    • MJ says:

      I think I will ask him to try to come home once a month, or if he can’t, we can go up there. We have a free night with Best Western, so maybe that will work. I also worry it will be harder on him, adjusting, being alone. He knows some people in Austin, but it will still be a strange city, and he’ll be on his own for the first time.

  2. Phoebe Conn says:

    I had wonderful parents, but I was so glad to go to the University of Arizona I ignored my mother’s sniffles each time I left. When I was grown and married, we lived only a few miles apart so we saw each other often then.
    I have two sons born nearly 10 years apart so when the elder left for college, his younger brother was still home. I don’t remember being sad when Jeff left for school because I remember what a great time I had in college and wanted the same for him. My sons moved in and out so often, it seemed they’d never left home! Now they have their own families but we’re still close in miles and hearts. Be confident you’ll have many more happy days with your son in the future.

    • MJ says:

      Phoebe, thanks! I wonder if he’ll come back after school’s out–I think he’ll love Austin too much, though. I didn’t get to go away to college so I’m excited he has this opportunity.

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