Tuesday, September 7, 2010


Some have asked me to tell my feelings about finishing 17 years of homeschooling and then having one son leave home for far-away Florida while the other son commutes to college every day.  Here are random thoughts I've had in the last few months:

*     A friend told me there will be so many exciting opportunities of new things I can try and do, and that I should welcome this new phase of my life!  I thought about it for a few months and decided no.  I really like the phase of life I had.

*     In July, my cousins (who have 2 children the same age as mine) mentioned they might drive over to their daughter's place and watch fireworks from her front porch.  I looked at them and thought with horror, "How CAN they stand it?  Living all alone in their house without their children??"

*     The day after arriving home from leaving my oldest in Florida, someone publicly made a big deal about how different I am from themselves, free and easy at last, living it up!  I was hurting inside so much, but there is no sympathy for those who are free.

*     Sometimes, I feel like an old woman, a nursing home woman, who has no purpose and who is no longer needed.  Because most of my friends were homeschoolers, the phone no longer rings, I am forgotten, and promises once made to include me in the future are broken.

*     As a Christian, my focus has always been on others, as it should be.  Sometimes I'm now wondering if there must indeed be times when it needs to be "the dwarves for the dwarves"  (as in C.S. Lewis, or is it Tolkien?) and if I don't look out for myself--well, nobody else is.

*     I saw a mother pushing a cart in the store parking lot, with her 3-year-old son trying to help with all his tiny might.  It reminded me of how my oldest son used to be; I had to stop the car and cry.

*     My husband and I have talked about how difficult losing a parent is, and how nobody really talks about it much.  It happens to everybody, and everyone else is genuinely sympathetic, but at the same time, it seems a part of life that you have to go through mostly by yourself.  I am thinking it must be this way for an "empty nest" woman too.

*     Maybe it's because the hurt is sometimes so deep that it can't be talked about.

I don't always feel this way, but sometimes I do.  On the other hand, I'm still just as busy as I ever was, and I'm still waiting for ALL THAT FREE TIME I'm supposed to get now.  The promise of it does feel exciting!  My future daughter-in-law moved in a few days after my son moved out, and while we're shy with each other, I am included in the plans for the wedding, which will happen at the end of December.  I am teaching a speech class locally once a week, have plenty of historical balls to plan for, and homemade soap to make.

And plenty of blog writing to catch up with, now that I've gotten this out of the way!


  1. I'm quite a long way from being an empty-nester, as my oldest isn't quite 12 yet.  But I look back and see how fast the years have gone, and then look forward and know that the next years will pass just as quickly.  I have to say that I have very mixed feelings about my kids growing up and going off to college or wherever.  So much so that I keep wondering how "college at home" will have developed by the time we get there.My Mom had to say goodbye to me when I was 6 (I went to boarding school).  I can only imagine the pain.  I love being with my kids, teaching them, sharing their lives. All I can say now is that I hope we develop close relationships so that even if they go far away, our hearts will stay close.Thanks for sharing, and being honest.  My heart goes out to you.

  2. I don't know that I've ever felt empty nest syndrome because of all the kids that still come around and I baby sat a lot for others but I know how those sad moments feel when you realize that some things in life are forever gone.  God bless as you go through this time in your life. 

  3. I think what you are experiencing is totally understandable and I imagine in a few short years, I'll be there as well. I suspect that the empty nest is especially poignant for a homeschooling mom, given that our lives totally revolve around these kids for so many years. May the Lord comfort and strengthen you for this next season.So glad you have the wedding to anticipate and such a good opportunity to get to know your future daughter in law. That's precious.

  4. My wife had the same feeling as yours when our six children left . After a time of void she got a job like a "chapelain" in a hospital . Then we had the grandchildren but they are also growing up . So excepted during the holidays we often are two retirees in the house. But love is there ,always and forever .Love Michel .

  5. Oh Gaye, how my heart breaks for you.  I, too, am dreading the day when my two are gone out of our home.  Nick tooks them to a Christian college fair the other night, and I had to control myself so I didn't cry.  Right now, I have tears in my eyes as I think about Glenn leaving for college next year.  You are always welcome here, at homeschool group, at the moms' meetings....You are an amazing woman, a great mom and an awesome friend.  I'll be praying for you.  I'm not good about phonecalls, but you can message me anytime and we can see what kind of mischief we can get into!