I never thought I would see the day, the day when I no longer had any children in the home. Before I knew it, I was an empty nester.
I had my children at a young age. My youngest (Richard) was born in 1992, I was 23 years old. It was a very short labor (1hr & 1/2) yet a difficult labor. The umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck and he was purple. He was being starved of oxygen. I couldn’t see him or hold him for 3 days. When I finally was able to hold my son for the first time, looking into those tiny baby blues, I melted. I was told that because of the lack of oxygen, he may have developmental delays and learning issues. He was my miracle baby.
He didn’t walk until he was close to a year and really didn’t start talking coherently and in complete sentences until he began kindergarten. I spent hours reading to him and talking to him. No way was my son going to be left behind! I took him to the park almost everyday so he could interact with other children. We did so many things together, he was my world.
As it turned out, my worrying was unfounded and the doctors were wrong. He was…or rather is…such a bright individual.
Prior to having my children, I always had that thought of freedom 45!
I would be Free! I would be an empty nester! – Yayyyyyy!
Free to do what I wanted and when I wanted. This empty nester deal sounded great! No more extra groceries to buy, extra laundry being done and water being used. It does save on the utility costs after all.
From that first breath my son took, I was everything and did everything for him. I’m not just talking about changing diapers and bottle feeding. I supported him in everything he did and wanted to do. I was that mom in the stands screaming as loud as I could and being his biggest cheerleader. I was that mom who let him eat dirt, just for the experience. I let him make mistakes (although it was very hard not to intervene) so he could learn from them. At times, I did make my thoughts clear but in the end, the decisions were his.
I volunteered in his junior kindergarten and kindergarten classes as a teacher’s aid. I read stories to the class, helped and made some terrific paintings during craft time and like all the children, I couldn’t wait until it was snack time. He was fine being in the class without me, however, I was the one with the separation anxiety.
I cried when he went into grade 1. He was going to be gone a full day. I was working at the time so that kept me busy, but, I could never stop thinking about him and if he was okay. Is he getting along with the other kids, is he doing good in school, is he hurt? That was the huge thought I had. What if he got hurt and I wasn’t there for him. It took some time but I got over it.
The years went on by making sure he had enough to eat, proper clothing and a roof over his head. You know, the basics. There were many rough years when we didn’t have a whole lot, but, we had each other. In retrospect, it was harder on me than it was him. He was the type of child who was happy with Kraft Dinner and hot dogs for dinner everyday. He never asked for much if anything at all. For his birthdays, he would be happy with a dinky car. I was the one who wanted the themed birthday parties and a hundred gifts. I had felt so inadequate not being able to provide that for him.
My life, up to and until his late teen years was all about him.
Then there came the day when he moved out. M-O-V-E-D O-U-T!!! I was now an EMPTY NESTER!! Yes, I was wondering how he could do that to me! As if he didn’t like living with me. Why does he want to leave?
It was so quiet when he left. I could hear my own thoughts in my head. I missed his presence. I now missed going into his room asking for dirty laundry, plates, cups and bowls, garbage, and telling him to turn off his video game because he had work in the morning. He needed his sleep!
I missed his help around the house, especially reaching up to grab something from the top of the cupboards and changing light bulbs. I’m short and even with a step stool that was hard for me!
Most of all, what would I do now? I’ve always done for everyone else, especially my son.
We are really close and he comes to visit but it’s not the same and I still shed a tear at times when he leaves. Today, I take back those thoughts so long ago about freedom 45 and being an empty nester. I’m a mom! I will always worry and he will always be my baby. I wish back for the days of dirty laundry and asking for what seemed like all the cutlery (mainly spoons) missing from the drawer that were tucked under the bed. I’d gladly welcome the tiffs and friendly banter.
Screw this empty nester deal! -lol-
BUT….. as he spreads his wings and is living his life and becoming a man, I know that will never be and somewhat reluctantly have come to terms with that.
He has grown into a kind, loving, generous and caring human being. A productive member of society. He doesn’t drink or do drugs. He works very hard and takes nothing for granted. I must have done something right!
In my eyes he will always be my baby and I will always worry but I am one proud momma.
Today, I fill my days with blogging, gardening (which I love), hiking (when my body lets me) and spending time with my furbaby Tracker.
Now….I just wait to be a grandma! -lol-
Are you an empty nester? How did you deal with the last child moving out of the home?
Christine is the proud mother of three amazing adults in their 20s, and one ‘fur baby’, a dog named Tracker who is never far from Christine’s side. A devoted gardener, during the spring and summer months Christine can normally be found tending to her flower and vegetable gardens. Living in Southern Ontario near Lake Erie, Christine enjoys spending time outdoors, is an avid hiker and fisher, including ice fishing in the winter months.
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