Is your coop about to be flown?

College application signed, sealed and delivered? Are you ready for what’s coming your way? No, I don’t mean the tuition fees, text book costs and numerous pleas for just a smidge more spending money. I mean are you ready for your coop to beflown? Because, I will not lie to you, things will be different when your youngest finally heads off to university. Very different.

The house will be quieter. A lot quieter. Eerily so, at times. Vanished will be the rowdy youth and his three friends who sprawled in the family room every weekend watching TV. They took up so much space that you wondered how they squeezed into that room, which, in reality, is enormous when it comes time to vacuum. Gone will be the pile of size 13 running shoes that seem to multiply every time you walk past the front hall. Silenced will be the boisterous horseplay that often ended with a ‘CRASH, “Oops. Sorry Mom!”’ And all will be missed. The very essence of ‘bittersweet’.

Albeit, sadly, the house may be empty, but the fridge?  The fridge will stay full longer. I guarantee it. Small comfort, but an upside.

There are some stark realities to be faced, as well. Not the least of which is your husband. Do you remember what you liked to do together, just the two of you? What was life like B.C. (Before Children)?

It’s all inevitable. My advice? Prepare in advance. Devise a plan for yourself for when he heads off. As much as you probably hate to admit it, he’ll likely be having too good of a time to miss you terribly. So, there’s no point sitting by the phone waiting for him to call.  You might as well plan to do something you’ll enjoy, too. What about a little vacation right after you drop him off and see him settled into his dorm? You could just continue on the road to some quaint destination. Or once back home, after you’ve finished languishing in your shoeless front hall, you could turn your thoughts to joining a book club or taking some courses. Arrange a movie night with friends. Do something you’ll love with this little bit of new found freedom you will be gifted.

You will feel empty moments in your beloved, formerly bustling nest, but take heart in knowing that you did exactly what you were supposed to do. You’ve grown them up well and taught them to fly.

Do you have an empty nest looming? Or are you there already? Share your stories in the comments below.

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  • Mine came back…. getting used to a 19 year old in the house after her being away for 5 years has been eye-opening. And, I can’t rush to light a cigarette or drink a glass of wine….. because I find both the pack and bottle emptied!!! And what really grates my board, is the empty milk carton in the fridge.
    So believe me when I say, I am looking forward to regaining my solitude.

    • Ah, yes the joys of adjusting. Mine came back once and used up all my internet bandwidth streaming movies or netflix or something. Fortunately it was close to the end o the month, so we got through the few disconnected days, but it wasn’t easy.

      The phrase “can’t live with ’em, but can’t live without ’em” seems somehow appropriate here. 😀

  • Two things that tether our children to us once they have left for university – the need for money, and the need for clean clothes.

    They will return. Be brave. A time will come when you can go out for dinner as adults together, and know, deep in your heart that their laundry will be dry when you get home. 😉

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