Monday, August 26, 2013

It Ended Before I Was Ready

I stand at the window and watch.  The neighbor is out with his kids and they throw a football between them.  They are gearing up for fall.  I too look forward to fall...the football games, the soups, sweaters and finally a temperature where I'm comfortable.

courtesy of 

But I also have a sadness.

I am an out of work mom.  The empty nest is not as difficult to deal with as I was warned.  My husband and I find new interests and activities.  But this season brings out a longing I can't deny.  I see younger moms in the stores smiling as children excitedly pick out this year's backpack.  I look at the photos of smiling first graders.  I listen to little friends tell about their teachers and new best friends; their excited chatter warming my heart.

Those days are over in my house.  The student is grown and lives in his own home with his wife and new puppy.  I think back to how I rolled my eyes at homework, assignments and the schedules.  Even though I schooled at home, I too thought how glad I would be when "this part is over."  But I kid no one when I say, I'd do it again in a heartbeat.

To curl up on a couch with a listening student as I read our current chapter book.  Leaning over his shoulder as we tried to figure out the directions on this assignment. The excitement when they accomplished something, celebrating the test score with him.   I know I cherished those moments at the time, and a relationship was forged between he and I that has not been diminished just because he no longer needs help with sounding out syllables.  But it ended before I was ready.

So mom who feels harried because the first weeks of school bring homework, notes from teachers, fund raising requests, parent/teacher meetings and your schedule is bulging...take a deep breath.  Before you are ready, you will be standing at the window watching school buses letting your neighbor out and listening to their shouts of happiness and play.  You will turn from your window and look across your silent home and wonder, how did it go so fast.


  1. What a wonderful post. I love that you are letting us, who are in the middle of it, see the other side. I hope I can always remember your advice and be present in the moments I have with them now. Thank you!

    1. You're welcome Debi. People always tell you "don't blink, it's over before you know it". But in the thick of it, you feel like it will never end. Sadly it does.

      Dr. Dobson used to say our goal as parents should be to put ourselves out of business. I guess I didn't think it was so literal. Not that my son doesn't need his mom, it's a different kind of need and one I'm having some trouble adapting to.