Does it get any easier? I thought as the years would pass I’d get used to the changes that parenting brings. It would appear that I was wrong.
It’s that time of year when one of my clann decides to flap their wings and move away for the Summer. Tonight as I type I hear the clock tick loudly, our time together ever shorter. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed, for a few days, having my four children home, even if, as yer man said, “the house is very full.”
But this is our last night all together. When I post this tomorrow she’ll be gone.
And so, twenty four hours have now past and we’ve said our goodbyes. I tried my best but tears seem to come easy to me. Returning home without her I was reminded of a post I wrote a few years ago when my eldest left home.
Today my eldest, my firstborn left the nest. There is silence about her going as I come to terms with the empty space she has left.
Today I cannot help but grieve.
Twenty one years ago I began to incubate the egg that was she. I was filled with great joy, wonder, fear, and love.
When she entered our nest,
we felt so complete. Our nest warmed by her presence.
Those early years of mothering were the best and worst years of my life. The love I felt was overwhelming. Frustration and exhaustion came in equal measure. As she grew so too did our wonder…
Was there ever a child as clever?
All too soon I was expected to begin to push her out. Everyone was going to playschool.
I held on as long as I could, but for both of us it was time.
She walked away and I was left behind.
But all did not go smoothly. “Separation anxiety” was what they called it. She was missing me, was what I called it. I realised I was holding her too tight, it was time to help her let go.
So with a breaking heart I gently pushed and she was gone.
That push was, for me, the beginning of the end. For my little bird it was the start of everything. What transformations occurred within a few short years. In no time at all,
she was taking up more space in our nest than I was. A beautiful young lady filling every room with personality, sunshine and perfume.
These were the days where she tested me most. Yet these were also the days that brought us even closer.
All too fast my little bird grew up.
As she did, it became clear for her the nest was getting small. The sights and sounds of far away places were luring her away.
It was only a matter of time.
I looked on helplessly as we watched her dreaming. A sickness and dread inside my head.
Waiting for the announcement, as a part of me knew my job was done.
She was ready.
So the announcement finally came, and what seemed like moments after telling us the destination of her dreams, she spread her wings.
And she was gone.
Her room is now empty, her perfume lingering on awhile. And just like many mothers before me, I am left in my empty nest.
I recall the joy, fears, frustrations, pride, anger and exhaustion, that have gone into the past twenty one years. So many emotions which come and go. But one remains constant.
So tonight as I write this I feel two of those emotions strongly. One is obviously love. And the other grief.
Together I think they perfectly sum up the journey that is parenthood.
And especially for my little bird who left tonight,
“Wear your ruby shoes, when you’re far away, so you’ll always stay home in your heart.” xxx
photo credit: chrismar via photopin cc
photo credit: Fountain_Head via photopin cc
17 thoughts on “Parenting… it’s a tough gig.”
I wouldn’t have expected this in a million years, but actually I found it MUCH easier when my kids were gone. When they were in my house, I was still on duty, 24/7, as The Mom. I had to know where they were, worry about what they were doing and eating and feeling. But since I could NOT know those things when they were gone, I had permission not to be on duty. It was (and still is) an amazing and liberating feeling. All of a sudden, I only have to worry about the dog and the Hub, and most of all about myself. And I like it. No, I LOVE it!
So my sympathy and my congratulations on getting one step closer to that person you haven’t really paid enough attention to in the past couple of decades. I think you’ll like her—she’s pretty damn amazing.
That is certainly food for thought. Very pleasant thought. Now you’ve planted the seed, I just have a few more to get rid of. 🙂
A friend actually said something similar recently too. She loves now to come in after work and be met by no one until her husband gets in later.
But for now, I’m looking at her bits about the house and missing her.
I can relate so much to this but also agree with @barbtaub…… 3 of mine are gone and only 2 left…. the ‘on duty feels less intense as they are teens… however the grandchildren fill any holes without the responsibility and that is wonderful….. ahhh the circle of life…. enjoy the endings and beginnings for they are mighty 😁😁
Thank you. Indeed without endings we would have no new beginnings. I look forward to the next phase of less, ‘on duty’
that’s such a transition, always bittersweet and a balancing act. our job is to raise them and just try to do our best, and lead them to the edge, letting them go into the world. still very hard to do, even with the ones who challenged us the most, but good for all in the end. hugs )
Thank you Beth. When I see others out the other end enjoying new life I know great times lie ahead.
And two days later I’m not pining so much anymore
Awesome review of what parenting is and isn’t but it is always bittersweet for all of us at some time or another. I have 3 awesome children and a few that I didn’t have that call me Mom because of my very own but of the ones I have 2 are self- taking care of and my baby who is 39 always comes back to the nest but I don’t mind. Our job as parents is to teach things, watch them grow up, send them out on their own and watch them have children of their own and do the same thing to their own children but through it all it is crazy because no one has ever told us or showed us how to learn to live with the empty nest feelings that women have. I’m not sure if the men have it. But thanks for your blog today it kind of hit at a good time because I have been thinking a lot about my children lately and wondering if I did the right thing with them all. so thanks. ❤
Delighted to have been of help. I think if we rear children who can continue to communicate with us and enjoy coming to spend time with us we can’t have done too bad a job.
We don’t always know if we have done a great job until they grow up and have children of their own and do things like we have taught them. Hope your doing okay Tric I am doing okay and thank God every day that life is good. ❤
Both younger and older years offer challenges to parents. The younger years challenge us with their dependence on us and worrying if we’re doing everything right. As they get older, we worry about the “firsts” of many things, such as driving, and so on. I sympathize with you, though. My daughter is headed across country in the fall, her dream, so of course I (we) want her to go. But we worry about this and that and her health (as you most likely know about). Our son is graduating from college next month and may end up across country, too. Sigh…letting go is the difficult part of them growing up. And tears? Don’t even mention them. 🙂
I agree with one of the other comments, though, that when they’re living at home as adults, I worry more because I see them coming and going. When they’re living on their own, I just have to trust that they’ll stay safe, not to mention, saying prayers for their safety constantly. Sending hugs, Tric…
Thank you. I can only imagine what it would be like to have two children living across country, but then I went to Australia for a while and have lived 280km from home all my married life, so I can’t exactly expect my children to stay by my side, nor would I really want them to I suppose.
But… it’s not easy saying goodbye.
Congratulations to your son on his graduation and I hope your daughter continues to stay well and pursue her dreams. Their health and happiness is all that really matters in the end I suppose.
I agree with you in not expecting them to stay by your side, although, if mine did, I wouldn’t complain. 🙂 My sisters and I were always less than an hour away from our parents. They were lucky to have all 3 daughters close enough, then being able to spend time with grandchildren, too. We shall see, but you’re right, saying good-bye is so hard. I try to simply say, “see you later” to trick my mind and emotions. 🙂 Thanks for your wishes about my son and daughter, too. Yes, their health and happiness is all that really matters. And I wish that same happiness and good health for your children, also. I couldn’t agree with you more. Have a wonderful weekend, Tric! 🌻
It does NOT ever get easier. And it constantly changes.
A parent of a 4 and a 19 year old! I’m at both ends 😩
soo moving! time flies so we must cherish every moment that these kids are around and dependent on us.
Beautiful post and every word resonated with me . Parenting never gets easy and even with two in the house, the struggles remain. Super writing.