For the past 18 years, I have been on my life’s most wonderful journey.
It is truly a miraculous thing to experience the growth of a human from infancy to young adulthood. Looking at my 5′ 9″ tall daughter today, it’s hard to even imagine her as the tiny, helpless infant she once was. And although she comes and goes pretty much as she pleases now, it’s still hard to get used to not checking on her when she goes into another room alone. I mean, gee, what if she sticks a bobby pin into the electrical outlet or falls and hits her head?
Anyway, parenthood has been an honor, a gift with which I have been entrusted. There are many friends who share this journey with me. It seems that my husband and I have accumulated a mass of new friends by way of our child. We met new friends from parent’s day out, elementary school, and then her middle and high school days. We haven’t even dropped her off at college, and already I have new friends by way of the university parent list-serve.
Old friends and new friends, and all of us in the same boat…or nest, as it is.
Right now, we are all going through the pre-flight jitters together as our children are preparing to leave the nest and scatter to all corners of the map. I can tell you first hand that this is when we need each other. This is when I’m glad I talked to, and became friends with that other mother or father when our kids were toddlers. This is when I’m glad that I went to the social for the 8th grade parents. We are a safety net of support for each other now, as our hands-on parenting days come to an end. If one of us falls while looking over the edge of the empty nest, there will be someone to catch us.
When faced with life’s huge moments, good or bad, I write.I have been in love with words since I was a toddler and my parents would read to me at night. I was an early reader and as soon as I could write, I was hooked. In first grade I actually won an award for my creative writing.
Imagine two large teeth drawn on a poster board. One had a bow on top, both had big smiles. One held a purse. One had freckles, and the other one didn’t. The text read:
Don’t let your teeth get freckles!
Yeap. That was it. My first writing award.
I love to write. It is my therapy. It is how I best communicate.
As I count down the days until our only child leaves home for college, I am in touch with my safety net of friends, and we are all leaning on each other. We laugh together at our mixed emotions, and how we are trying to be strong for our kids and enjoy the excitement. We communicate more and more, giving each other updates on the latest dorm purchases, plans, emotions, concerns.
These are exciting days. Emotional days. There’s a change a comin’ and I can almost feel it in the air. (Nah, that was just a hot flash.) But really, folks, I feel a deep need to share. So, please see the email below. It was sent to a handful of friends for feedback:
From: Crew, Libby
Sent: Wednesday, August 03, 2011 4:33 PM
I’m thinking of beginning a blog about the trials and tribulations of mid-life and having an only child leave for college….I want it to be positive and uplifting and humorous, but truthful.
Since you are a friend who “gets me” I need your advice on a name for my blog.
Here are my ideas so far. I have highlighted my favorites :
Filling the Empty Nest (Cliché?)
The Half Full Nest (Full of what? Bird poop? Or would this leave the reader to think that half of my kids were still home?)
Inside the Empty Nest (Does it sound like it involves a speculum?)
Chocolate, Wine and Naps: Curing Empty Nest Syndrome
Ms. Mental Pause and Her Empty Nest
My Life is OVER! (Just joking.)
Mental Pause and the Empty Nest : True stories from midlife and other crazy places (Too long and silly?)
Cloudy, with a Chance of Change (Too long? Too deep? Too silly? Too much like that movie but without the meatballs?)
Hormonal Ping Pong: One Woman’s Quest to Avoid Prison
WHAT are you going to do?: The story of my head NOT falling off when my only child moved out.
Adventures in the Empty Nest (A guide to sex over 50 when the kids are gone and you can make lots of noise. Just joking.)
Revelations from an Empty Nest (Here’s a revelation…MOM’s gone crazy!)
Lost and Found: Reinventing life while embracing the empty nest
A Dog, Some Paint and a Pen: How I’m filling my empty nest
My Life is Still Over (Just joking)
Padded Cell: The diary of a nervous breakdown
The Sunny Blog Spot: Where everything is candy coated although my life sucks
Empty Nest + Menopause= Timing Fail
Dog Baby: How you can fill your empty nest with pets. And pet poop….(Okay…I’m at a loss…running out of ideas. Can you tell?)
What do you think? Any comments? Maybe something could be combined?
Love to all,
So, here it is.
My first blog post.
I ruminated over the name for a couple of days. I am a blogger idiot. So please excuse this ongoing project as I find my way.
I’m going to blog for you now. (Sort of like, I’m going to tap dance for you now!)
Disclaimer: I’m not in this to self promote, to talk about the miraculous things I’ve done to change the world, to get on my soap box and judge anyone, to seek popularity (I honestly didn’t know there were stat’s!) to write the perfect stories, to do anything other than selfishly self medicate (Just like Valium, but without the grogginess!) and in return, hopefully I can help support my friends out there who are also peeking over the edge of an almost empty nest.
Some of us can see the ocean from our perch. Some of us see mountains ahead. Some see aging parents in the distance. Some of us see balding heads, nose hairs, thick waists. But I like to think that whatever is ahead, beyond this stage of parenting, is all good even though this mid-life stuff is overwhelming. We just have to hold hands and get through this transition stage, and enjoy each day.
Once a parent, always a parent. It’s just time to hop out of the nest and take a look around at the new view.
Keep a song in your heart, and a dream in your pocket!
– Libby Lu
P.S. Get it….Billy Slog…Silly Blog….I LOVE words!!!