This past August my husband and I drove our youngest – our only daughter – to college. It was a 4 hour trek and once we arrived we slowed slightly, pushed her, her suitcases, and two sets of twin bedding out the window of the truck. Then we happily drove off laughing and pinching each other to be sure we weren’t dreaming. We were FINALLY empty-nesters!

And if you know me in the slightest then you know that I’m lying through my teeth about the way the whole thing went down. If there is anything that I love more than even coffee it’s being a mom. And it’s really hard to be a mom with no kids around. No matter how much begging and pleading I’ve done all three of them refused to stay little… and home. So sending each of them off to college has always been an incredibly hard and sad day for me. But having to send my little girl, who was home schooled since 2nd grade, well let’s just say it really, really, really sucked.

It was months before the emptiness of this house began to seem even a little bit normal.

In the beginning, my friends and family, thinking I hadn’t noticed, had placed me on some sort of scheduled watch. After a few weeks of never being able to find a minute where I was left alone in the house, I finally figured their scheme out.

I appreciated their concern but alone time is something I covet so I finally had to point out that their “suicide watch” could come to an end. And when it did I began to make peace with this new life. I stopped crying over the missed morning chats on my bed and our shared love of Parenthood. I didn’t stop missing it. But the tears stopped.

I focused on the positives – Less: cooking, grocery shopping, dishes, laundry. More: Ice cream, gas in the car, and reading time. Notice I didn’t say more money? Yeah, so did I. Sigh.

Then five or six months in, when I was finally used to hardly ever having to pick up the house when someone stopped by and rarely having to throw a huge pile of shoes into the downstairs closet, our middle son graduated and moved home!

Hello, huge shoes!

I love that he is back home! I love that we can laugh together every day. I love him!

But I have to get used to him being home again. He has to get used to living at home again. It’s been over four years! We’ve all changed. (I’m much younger, of course.)

I’ve been thinking a lot about change lately. Every moment is effected by the previous moment. Our entire lives can change in an instant.

I had this epiphany, this Einstein-ish moment of complete clarity when blow drying my hair upside down the other day how moments in time effect each other. It was brilliant really.

I can ‘t remember it now but man was it something. You would have been amazed at how profound it was!

Well anyhoo, we have to deal with change constantly. Big change and small. The future is never what we were sure it was going to be. And we have so very little control, which makes this control freak a little edgy.

A good day can become bad because of one phone call, one blind driver, a grumpy co-worker, a missing UPS package, a complaining neighbor, or a complaining neighbor missing her UPS package (anyone have some of those on the Next Door app? I hate that app!)

It’s up to us. It’s all in how we handle the unexpected. Maybe we should expect it, expect change and then we’d be better equipped at handling it.

I don’t have all the answers. I’m just throwing my thoughts out there and seeing if it changes the next moment.

Written by Lauren

1 Comment


Ahhhh, yes…when we took my oldest off to college four years ago, I was so sad and depressed, that it almost felt as though he had died. Just seeing his glass where he had set it on the table before we left, or finding a pair of his socks in the laundry, could have me in tears. It took me about a week to adjust to our new normal.

We most definitely saw a difference once we had two off to college…like how we only have to take our trash out once every two weeks now! Of course, being a mommy-come-lately, it is going to be a long while before I have to send my last little one out the door, but as you say, they grow up so fast, and I’m sure he will be off building his life in just the blink of an eye. I’m really not looking forward to that day much.


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