When They Fall Out of the Nest

10 May

Just two short years ago my husband and I were talking about being empty nesters. Our oldest son had his own apartment, second son bought a home, oldest daughter living in an apartment with other college friends and our youngest daughter was graduating from high school and would be heading off to college in a few months.

Some dear friends teased about me needing a new pair of running shoes for at home as my husband chases me around a house with no children. Others talked about how lonely our home would be when our youngest moved out and left for college. We knew we would miss our kids but we loved to watch our oldest three succeed and would be excited for our youngest to head out on her own.

Life took a bit of a twist and turn back then. Just two short months after graduation our youngest gave birth to our first grandchild. She and her son have lived with us while she has attended college. Driving 35 miles one way three days a week.

A year ago our oldest son moved in to save money for a down payment for his own home. He just couldn’t save while paying rent at the same time. Now at the end of this month he will move into his own home. We are excited for him and excited to help him get settled.

Last weekend our oldest daughter moved back home until July 15, 2011. She will work at our family business until her summer classes begin and she moves into her new apartment with her sister and nephew.

Today our daughters signed a one year lease for their own apartment in St. Cloud. They will live together for our oldest daughter’s last year of college and our youngest’s third year along with her son. They move in July 15, 2011. What will happen after this next year who knows?

I knew the day would come eventually but now my quiver is full and will soon be empty. These days the washing machine is going almost constantly and the refrigerator door is always open with someone checking out its contents. I will have to pare down my grocery shopping for six to two and somehow adjust to doing laundry for only two. The fact that my dishwasher isn’t working properly won’t seem like such a big deal when it is just the two of us.

The silence will be deafening at times I’m sure but I doubt I will be lacking for things to fill my time. My greatest fear is that we will not rush home from work like these past two years to see what our grandson has been up to each day and instead become workaholics.

I know that this summer we will be taking advantage of what time we have with our grandson, daughters, and son while they are at home. We even bought our fishing license and fixed the boat lift so we can get the boat on the lake sooner than later. The Fourth of July used to be soon enough in the most recent years.

I will be biting my tongue more in the days to come, wanting the days to be remembered for the good times and not the petty arguments that develop over small things that really won’t matter five years from now or even next week. I want it to be an encouraging send off for each of them. For them to know we are proud of each one of them and eager to for them to feel the success for all their hard work.

I think I am ready to let them fly……


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28 responses to “When They Fall Out of the Nest

  1. Joe Clark

    May 10, 2011 at 8:18 am

    Jeanne, great post.

    • flyinggma

      May 10, 2011 at 9:15 am

      Thanks Joe! Loved yours today as well.

  2. JoDee Luna

    May 10, 2011 at 8:19 am

    I read this post and cried. What precious insights into this season of your life you presented. Boy do I relate with the back and forth movement of adult children. I’ve adjusted to the empty nest season of my life like Bill Murray in Ground Hog Day. She’s gone, she’s back, she’s gone, she’s back. During this season of our lives, our mothers’ hearts must remain flexible or snap like brittle twigs.

  3. flyinggma

    May 10, 2011 at 9:16 am

    How true about remaining flexible. Great insight.

  4. Paula Tohline Calhoun

    May 10, 2011 at 10:02 am

    I feel your pain, and your pride, and your joy, and your wistfulness. . .we have not yet had the “return to the nest” but I would welcome it! We enjoy the company of our adult children so very much, to say nothing of our granddaughter!

    Reminder to all who look forward to having their home to themselves – be careful what you wish for. That particular wish definitely has two sides to it!

    • flyinggma

      May 10, 2011 at 10:24 am

      I’m not feeling the pain yet but I know it will come as I help pack up the truck to help move both my son into his own home and my daughters into their apartment.

  5. Carol Ann Hoel

    May 10, 2011 at 12:06 pm

    You are a wise woman, Jeanne. What a great family you have, and you helped them in their times of need. I don’t think you’ll become a workaholic. I think you will be as wise as you are now with the time you are given. Blessings to you…

    • flyinggma

      May 10, 2011 at 12:59 pm

      I am so blessed to have such an encourager as a friend.

  6. carldagostino

    May 10, 2011 at 3:31 pm

    With this unemployment empty nests are refilling out of necessity . Getting crowded too. Pooling limited resources is the only way far too many families survive and it is obvious this generation has a bleak future with many jobs reduced to no ins, no pen, no vac and low wage. Take it or leave it.

  7. flyinggma

    May 10, 2011 at 3:48 pm

    My kids are welcome as long as they want to be here and are doing something with their lives.

  8. Thomas Stazyk

    May 10, 2011 at 3:55 pm

    It’s nice that you can approach this with mixed emotions–too many people are either too happy to see the kids go or won’t let go. The good news is that when they fly it will give you more time to fly!

    • flyinggma

      May 10, 2011 at 10:12 pm

      I hope that I will have some time to take some of them flying. I’m working on being able to rent a larger plane so more than just two of us can fly at once.

      I’m always up for a new adventure even it it means and old adventure changing or ending.

  9. nrhatch

    May 10, 2011 at 5:55 pm

    I know you’ll soar too!

    But it will be tough not seeing your grandson every day . . . they change so fast.

    Love the photo you chose. Is he playing peek-a-boo?

    • nrhatch

      May 10, 2011 at 5:55 pm

      Glad that you have some new hobbies to keep focused on.

    • flyinggma

      May 10, 2011 at 10:16 pm

      We were down by the lake and I asked him if I could take his picture. That was his response. He is probably the most photographed child between his mother, aunt and me.

      I am thankful the new hobby of photography. I can’t seem to get enough of it and always trying new things. I tried a new lens today that resulted in some awesome bird pictures.

      • nrhatch

        May 10, 2011 at 11:15 pm

        Ha! That’s the way I respond when people want to take my picture. 😀

        Love your photos, Jeanne. You’ve found a wonderful hobby.

      • flyinggma

        May 10, 2011 at 11:40 pm

        Thanks Nancy. I thought of you today as I walked through our elementary school. The preschoolers had painted zebras. I remembered your love of zebras and your awesome paintings.

      • nrhatch

        May 10, 2011 at 11:53 pm

        Nothing like Arts and Crafts with pre-schoolers.

        I do love my zebras. Thanks for remembering. 😀

  10. laura lok

    May 11, 2011 at 12:57 am

    beautiful post and picture

  11. writerwoman61

    May 11, 2011 at 9:18 am

    Beautiful post, Jeanne…enjoy it!


    • flyinggma

      May 11, 2011 at 12:49 pm

      Thanks Wendy. I imagine your busy household often. You are so busy with all your kids activities like we were about five years ago. After they all graduated and the activities ended I thought we would have more time but it is all filled up.

  12. pearlsandprose

    May 11, 2011 at 11:03 am

    I love that photo, Jeanne. Wonderful post too.

    That empty nest is really hard at first, then you start to enjoy all that quiet time. They will be back to visit.

    • flyinggma

      May 11, 2011 at 12:46 pm

      Thanks Ms Pearl. We manage to keep pretty busy so there won’t be too much quiet since we are hardly ever home. The girls will be home each weekend to do laundry.

  13. planejaner

    May 11, 2011 at 8:59 pm

    What a sweet, bittersweet, loving, lovely post, Jeanne. The paths of life are never what we think they are going to be, and how lovely and wonderful that you and your husband are a safe haven/home for your children.

    What love they must know…what love they, in turn, will be able to share and give…

    Oh, Jeanne…you just made my night.

    • flyinggma

      May 11, 2011 at 10:56 pm

      Thank you Jane. We try to be supportive but we have our days just like every family. Tonight we spent the evening moving our oldest daughter home and all her stuff. We are bursting at the seams with stuff right now.

      I think I am going to start researching a miminalist lifestyle.

      Blessings to you and yours Jane!

  14. Todd Pack

    May 14, 2011 at 3:25 pm

    That’s a sweet post, flyinggma. Thankfully, you’ve raised children who seem ready to fly on their own. Well done.

  15. flyinggma

    May 14, 2011 at 5:42 pm

    Thanks Todd. There are days whether I wonder just like any parent. We are so proud of their accomplishments and progress towards independence.


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