Empty Nest

Our son graduated from high school in 2005. Most of the moms I knew whose children were graduating with him were very emotional over the fact that their children had reached this milestone. I was not. I never shed a tear.

At the time I wondered if I just was missing some maternal gene. I love my son, and I was very proud of the young man he was becoming. I just wasn’t all nostalgic and weepy over the event.

In January 2007 our son moved to Dallas to attend school. I must admit that I shed a few tears as we drove away from him for the last time on our way back to Indiana. Still, I wasn’t worried about him. I didn’t hover. I didn’t urge him to call frequently or write home every week. I saw a lot of moms doing those things. I understand the emotion, but I wasn’t experiencing it.

Our son graduated in December 2008 and decided to stay in Dallas. The job market is good there. He had established contacts, found a good church, found a couple of wonderful mentors, and developed a network of friends and acquaintances. Many people asked me if I was upset that he was living so far away. I wasn’t. I’m not.

He’s been visiting over the holidays. He was able to take some time off, so he arrived on December 22 and left yesterday. No fewer than four people have talked to me about how hard it was going to be to see him go. Not really.

I know I probably sound very cold-hearted. And, I’m not saying that there’s anything at all wrong with the way most women react to the fact that their child is reaching a milestone or leaving home. I simply don’t seem to react the same way.

Thinking back, I wasn’t upset when he started kindergarten. I didn’t cry when I left him at camp for the first time.

I miss the man when he’s gone. (He’s now 23, so he’s not a boy any longer.) Still, I take pleasure in knowing that he’s made a home for himself. He had set some goals. He’s involved in several good ministries. He’s doing well. What more could a mother want?

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