This is the time of year…

empty birds nest

We are trying not to count the days. We know it is coming up. We are trying to be happy. And yet it is extremely hard.  This is bascially a re-share      that I posted  before my blog was very well known. I thought that I would reshare it as some of you are approaching that time in your life as you watch your babies graduate and wonder where the time has flown off to. It is hard to believe that the boy in this story is going to be 34 tomorrow! I just had to stop today to say….. Happy Birthday Chadly! Your mom loves you!

I remember when my son left home. It was his Senior Year. It was a crazy time for us to move and yet it happened. I remember always shaking my head when I’d hear stories of parents uprooting their kids from their last years of High School and yet we found ourselves in that same position. I was not ready. He was not ready. And yet it is a choice I made and will always look back and wonder about. In the end, he moved in with his dad. I am glad because his dad is gone now and it was a great bonding time for them that my son will always cherish. And yet as a mom who was pretty over protective all of his young life, I had to let go, knowing for the most part, that the supervision would not be identical. In fact, it was pretty non existent. I am pretty sure all curfews flew out the window along with my baby bird!

I remember once my son calling me and telling me that one of his dad’s room mate’s had brought home Jack In The Box for everyone but him. I am sure there was food in the house and he was not going to starve and that there may have been a good reason for leaving him out… mainly his attitude which has always been a bit challenging… Smile… But I can’t imagine his father partaking in the food while our son sat watching. Though I “get” that I was not privy to the full picture. As a mother missing her baby you can imagine my heart. So I began sending care packages.

care package

Sure I could have sent money and saved the shipping, but I found joy in choosing his favorite things and “knowing” he’d be fed. I don’t doubt that my ex was supplying the basic needs but not the hugs from his mom and so I sent those packages pretty regularly. Until I was asked not to.

One day I got a phone call asking me to “stop” (sending the packages) by my ex. He said, “Diane, you are not helping.” I will never forget how hard it was. I understood that my son was actually 18 by that time, had a job and was living rent free so just had to pay for his gas and food. My ex had moved out of his parent’s house his senior year, and  I know that he just wanted our son to grow up and learn about life the way he had to. It was a love thing. He wasn’t trying to be mean. But it was hard for him to understand my “mother’s heart” and that the thought of my baby being cold or sad or going hungry for even just one minute was hard for me. Okay well maybe I wasn’t that bad but  I did want to confront him about that Jack In The Box incident but I didn’t want to betray my son. And I wanted to tell my son that it was his dad who was making me stop sending the care packages but I could not betray his dad.

box open

It seemed as if everytime I turned around that year, I’d see a little boy that reminded me of my son. I missed him so much. But I knew that he wasn’t that little boy anymore. He was all grown up and I needed to let go.

Chad's first day of school

 

I guess I actually was glad that his dad taught him the hard lessons that I couldn’t.

I’ve shared this poem before here but it is one that I wrote right before my first baby bird tumbled out of my nest… This one is for all the moms having to let go this year as their baby birds fly off to school or where ever it might be. I understand and feel for you all. And I am here to tell you that you will survive! My son did! He has his own business and a beautiful family. Letting go isn’t always easy, nor is letting our baby birds fall out of the sky sometimes… but if we let them… experience the highs and the lows… someday they will learn to soar and that is enough hope for me. (This poem is also for the young moms who can’t wait for school to start and need a little reminder…  of just how FAST it all flies by!)

SON

 Seems like only  yesterday I held you in my arms

Oh how you swept me away with all your baby charms.

The days just flew by quickly, soon you began to talk

and then a little later, you began to walk….

“Mommy will you cross me? I want to go and play.”

Oh those words ring sweetly, now seem like yesterday.

The years have swiftly passed,

don’t know where they’ve all gone,

And when you cross the street now,

 you don’t need to call your mom.

It has happened right in front of me, before my very eyes…

packed away, your faded jeans, one of every size…

Teddy bears and old match box cars,

all packed with loving care,

boxes son

baseball cards and folded notes of secrets that you shared.

I sit amongst the boxes recalling our memories all alone

and realize that baby, once in my arms,

 is now fully grown~

boxes

And silently I wonder through a mixture of joy and tears…

Did I truly show how much I loved you

through  those tender years?

Sometimes it’s hard when you’re the mom

to make your child understand

just how VERY  proud she is when he becomes a man!

Diane Reed

1997

teddy in box

(Time flies! The one I wrote this  this poem for now has a family of his own!)

Brenden and Chad Muslemen

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29 thoughts on “Empty Nesters Unite! As we watch our baby birds graduate and learn to let go!

      1. Ah Di, I am so honored that you follow me and support my writing, you have no idea it means to me that you do. I am touched beyond words and hope you enjoyed a few flashbacks. And you know I await your review! 🙂 xo ❤ PS I am waiting to read your complete book!!!

  1. Great post and poem, Diane. We were empty nesters for three years, but then my widowed mother in law moved in with us and our youngest daughter graduated from college and moved home “temporarily.” Between you and me, I miss the empty nest 🙂

    1. Lol Bill. I KNOW what you mean. I love the visits and really MISS my baby when she leaves and can’t wait till the next visit but I have gotten used to a more orderly empty nest.

    1. Paul,
      That means a lot coming from you! Though I know I made a lot of mistakes. I remember once my ex husband told me that I was a good mom because our kids were still alive. That was about fifteen years ago. I told him…. a lot of horrible parents kids arre still alive. LOL.

  2. A lovely post on mothers love and that tug to keep them safe yet let them grow at the same time. Mine are 33, 31, 28, 26 so much the same age as yours. Three sons and a daughter at the end. I still get 3 or 4 texts from her every day.

  3. My oldest graduated last year. And my youngest had 2 more to go. I am always amazed at how fast and much they have grown. When my youngest leaves, I am certain to be a true mess. 😉

    1. Yeah funny how we are so caught off guard. Even though you are talking about it now… and you KNOW… It still probably will blind side you, if just a tiny bit! it is this weird wake up call. I remember when I didn’t even know who I was going to marry or how many kids I was going to have, what I was going to be or where I was going to live or who with. And in a *blink* It all seems to have passed so fast, the ones I married and lived with and places I lived and kids I have had. NOW the big question IS…. what will I be when I grow up!? lol. 🙂

    1. Thank you! Yes if you still have birds snug in the nest, it is hard to really explain about the hole you feel when they leave. I used to hear about it and listen with one ear thinking that it is silly to make such a big deal about empty nests. I thought that I was even looking forward to having a cleaner house. But you know those poems about enjoying the messy years now? Well, I don’t think I would have worried about dusts and fingerprints quite as much if I had to do it over again. Every minute is precious. My best advice would be… you know that stage when they reeeally talk a LOT? Well, listen and keep them talking because it is so important to sink in as much of you as you can! It breaks my hearts when I see a kid talking to a parent that keeps shhhussshhing them!
      😉

        1. That is so funny that you would say that. I was just telling my daughter that very thing. I have accomplished a lot by watching the productive and giving back kind of kid I brought into the world! When you know your kids make this place better by being in it. Well the hole is automatically filled! You are right! And by the way Happy Birthday!
          xoxo

  4. As my oldest just graduated from High School, I have begun to feel my first pangs of, “They don’t need mom anymore.” It is heartbreaking. This time has also made me realize that how ever I have raised them, all the good and all the bad, can not be undone. I can’t go back and fix my mistakes. My job is almost done and whatever I have instilled in them is there forever, the good, the bad and the ugly. I feel so much of what you felt…it will be so hard for me to let go someday. I just remind myself to enjoy what’s now. Thank you for sharing 🙂

    1. Chey,
      I am betting that you did a great job! Our job is letting go. I told my daughter I would pay for her phone but required a “Home Safe” text everynight when she got home. That is all. Just to stop long enough and think about me home worrying, especially when she lived in a studio alone and sometimes had to walk blocks because the parking sucked! She now lives with someone who loves her and I know is safe and that he would call me if he needed to so I have loosened the ties a bit. I don’t require daily texts any longer lol. But I was blessed with a daughter who would add “I love you” and also picked up the phone a lot to call. In fact my “baby” is 26 now and I just got off an hour long phone call with her. I think the trick is to let go just enough where they want to come home and don’t feel obligated but actually want you in their life. It is always nice to have more at home to lessen the blow and keep you busy, I think my biggest impact was when my daughter left for school.
      There are also some perks to knowing you have given them wings and roots and they are getting themselves up in the mornings! (I don’t miss rushing to get out the door!) It is nice to just have to get me up and out the door and sometimes that is just enough! lol.

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