The Necessity of Children Leaving Home: Empty Nest

I think things.  I feel guilty.  I tell myself to stop and enjoy the moment, but then it happens again.  I guess you call it a tension.  A time when you know it’s close to her leaving home, but she hasn’t.  Two others already left.  It tore me up, changed my world, sent me in a pre-empty nest depression, and caused me to question– everything.  Well, that wasn’t all caused by kids moving out.  It was a lot of other stuff.

She’s our friend, she’s not.

She takes over the t.v. and we just stare at each other.

She’s young and makes decisions that blow our mind.

She lies.  I know.  I did too.

She’s trying to live with us and it’s hard because the time draws near.

We love having her here.  I don’t want it to end, but my heart is telling me it has to and my mind needs rest.  Rest from child rearing.  Rest from worry.  Rest from watching and not saying anything.  Rest from grinning when I hurt.  We weren’t made to live with one another forever.  I see that now.

We don’t want to wish the rest would leave because we know once they do this time of our lives will be over.  Yet, we almost want it now.  We won’t admit it.  We can’t.  We know we have to hold on to these last few years of raising children and enjoy it.  We have learned though that it’s okay when they leave, but torn between the old life and a new one that is waiting for us.

Something is waiting for us.  Something wants to happen.  For a few moments it does and then it is extinguished by reality.  For a few moments we start to feel carefree and enjoy one another again.  We start to dream and think of a new future.  We start to remember what it was like to be us in the beginning.  When our only care was for each other.  When we didn’t have the burden of family and careers.  When our biggest decision was how to spend the few dollars we earned.  It’s there.  Waiting.  Perhaps when it is allowed to blossom we will feel free and alive.  We will emerge.  We will be thankful it’s over.

Yet, I worry.

I fret.

But it’s coming to an end.

I wasn’t made to carry this weight, this burden for their lives forever.

Though I will, but from afar.  As it should be.  As it will need to be.

Marcy Pedersen


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