By February 8, 2012 Read More →

An Empty Nest–Sort Of

This year is a big one for me!  I recently celebrated my 2nd 25th birthday and I feel fantastic. While the economy has everyone concerned, I am thankful that I can still put food on the table and a roof over the heads of my kids!  But not for long.

You see, my son is 20 and has a VERY serious girlfriend so I have an inkling that he may be flying the coop pretty soon. He is in his second year of college at a local school. So, he is living at home (rent free) and holding down a pretty decent paying internship at the US Naval Academy. But come October, and his 21st, I have a feeling he may decide to make a move. And that will probably be a good thing for him.

My middle daughter is 17 and if the financial aid gods are smiling upon us, will be attending a college in Florida in August. And she is thrilled to be away from the “harsh” winters here in Maryland. I am not sure I buy it though–I think that since she is the pig-headed middle child, she is just ready to be free from the oversight of mom and dad! And that is a good thing for her.

That leaves my youngest! She is 14 an a freshman in high school and is fast moving to that point in her life where moms and dads are virtually verboten. She still likes me and can hang out with me and that it cool. Her friends think I am funny and that kills her! But as she continues to mature, I see her moving more and more on her own. And that is a good thing for her.

But what about me? This is all new territory for me. These guys have been by my side for the past 14 to 20 years and I am wondering what’s next.  I can’t be any more proud of all of them. While their mother and I threw them a curveball in our divorce, we have all worked together and it seems to have worked. I am thankful that for the most part, their mother and I could work together to truly co-parent our kids.

I am friends with our local sheriff and the other night we were talking. I mentioned that with two drivers (17 and 20) I had never had an accident, had a call from the school for discipline, or a late night call from the police. Well, OK there was that call from my son and the mall security guard, but we worked through that. And Ron (the Sheriff) called it a win!  I tend to agree.

So, as 2012 progresses, expect to see a few more blog posts about my thoughts about letting go and moving into the next phase of my and my childrens’ lives.

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6 Comments on "An Empty Nest–Sort Of"

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  1. Kimberly says:

    I share your thoughts so very vividly. I’ve been a single mom to my one and only son since he was a year old – it’s just been me and him for the past 15 years. While I try to prepare him for departure and being on his own, the thought of it can put a lump in my throat that’s very difficult to swallow. I’m active and have a great network of friends, but my focus has been him for so many years, I fear I’ll be lost when he’s gone! I will miss his presence in my day to day life more than my heart can bear – and he’s not even gone yet. My answer to that, just 6 weeks ago, was to go back to school – at 47 yrs old no less. I’d been thinking about it for years and to be honest, not really sure what made me take the dive this time, but realized that I will have something to focus on when he’s gone and should I decide on a career change after he’s on his own, the pressure to provide for him will no longer be a factor. Lots of factors are still unknown, and the loss of child support when he’s 18 is looming as well as he will likely remain with me for a time after that and attend college locally. I’ve been telling him time and again over the years, that once he graduates, he then moves to ‘roommate’ status and needs a job to pay rent! He seems to understand that reality. The truth of the matter is, I would probably do anything to keep him around, but that wouldnt be fair to him. As painful as the thought of him leaving is to me, the pride in seeing him spread his wings and become the man he’s meant to be puts an equally large lump in my throat, but it’s much easier to swallow 🙂

  2. MJ says:

    WOW! Your story could almost be my story. I just sent my second one off to a college in MD, my first just graduated from a college in MD and came back home but hopes to get on her own soon. Just came back from getting my baby his learners permit and I feel like he won’t be needing me much anymore. Luckily my children also have never given me any grief and it saddens me to see time go by so fast and to have almost all of your identity centered around your children and now have to rediscover yourself.

  3. John says:

    I hear you on this Kimberly. My father told me that once I graduated (no matter if it was high school, college, grad school, etc) that I had 6 months to fly the coop. Tough love maybe. But at some point they need to be independent and learn to recover from their stumbles. Fortunately for me, I have not had too many overly significant stumbnles.

  4. John says:

    Yes two decades of being ____’s mom or dad is hard to shake. It is a very surreal time as I realize that my time with kids underfoot is coming to a close in less time than I have had the time to experience them.

  5. jean says:

    Hi it is kismit that I clicked on this web sight looking for vacation ideas and clicked on the blog. I just left my oldest childs senior ceremony. My heart is broken. lol

  6. don says:

    I’m a 42 year old single farther, one time US Marine , and single farther of one son raised with no help from his Mom sence he was 7 he is now 17. LOL for the first time in my life im terrified of what to do when he leaves. He is a great kid and verry athletic good in all sports but most of all a good person. So he should be great no metter what he does. But it does still scare you.

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