Empty Nest: Fired, a Year Ago


From a Grown and Flown friend: A year ago, my daughter got her driver’s license.  It came as a bit of a surprise, having failed two driving tests prior to this important right of passage.  We had an extra car waiting in the driveway for her and, the next day after procuring her passage to freedom, she was ready to drive to school; she promptly scooped her sister into the vehicle and waved goodbye.  At that moment, I realized that I had been unceremoniously fired, and would begin to see the empty nest in sight. 

Empty Nest, teenage daughters, high school girls driving

For the past 17 years, I have busily organizing their lives, schedules, and transportation to and from school; athletic events; after school activities; doctor’s appointments; and trips to see friends, to name a few.  This was often in fifteen-minute increments, several times a day, while fitting in my life (as it were.)  I complained about it constantly, feeling exhausted and stressed at the thought of making another 45-minute round trip to school on the Boston Post Road, a two lane country road that pretends to be a four lane highway.  It a competitive driving experience at all times.

To be free of all this should have been a moment of pure joy for me; instead I was woefully unprepared for my feelings of sadness and loss at my dismissal.  How did this happen?  How did I not see it coming?  Why was I not prepared for the “next step?”  What is the “next step” and why don’t I have one?

I have been sorting through these thoughts over the past year as my now senior has applied to college with her sophomore sister soon to follow.  As they leave the driveway each morning, I wave and tell them I love them, proud to be the mother of such capable young adults.  They are in command of their own lives and I am blessed to be part of who they have become.  That is the good part of the story.

The other story is that I miss them dreadfully and every time they leave the house for the rest of the day, I shed a tear or two inside, thinking of all that driving….it was very busy and it was very fun!  It pulls at my heart to let them go, but I know it is time.  Fired, indeed I was!



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Comments

  1. What a sweet post. You sound like a great mother and I’m sure your daughters are appreciative of all you have done for them. I think that change is always the hardest part of life but it must also be so rewarding to see what great young adults they have turned into!

    • Change is really difficult for the adults to deal with and I wonder what the kids are feeling about it whenever they don’t really talk about it. thanks for visiting!

  2. Anonymous says:

    love it, feel the same way every day!

    • What is it about moms and carpool and all of that driving time that is so universal? So many of us seem to be able to relate!

  3. Oh, I so understand! This is just beautifully expressed. Every day we ask ourselves how we can be sad about having our children all grown up and on their own, when that was the original goal, anyway?
    We’re happy for them, I think, but sad for ourselves.
    You have summed it all up in this tender post.

  4. Crista says:

    For as much as I look forward to the Mom Taxi retiring in 3 weeks when my daughter gets her license, I dread it just the same. As she is a teenager who tends to hide out a lot, I enjoy that 15 minute drive to school every morning and home every night after band rehearsal or soccer practice. She’s generally chatty during that 15 minutes and we talk about all kinds of things….big topics like genetics or little things like the latest girl on the soccer team who is driving her crazy. I will miss our time in the car together.