8 Best of the Empty Nest

Here are our 8 Best of the Empty Nest, the handful of beautiful musings that we feel encapsulate the journey from parenting in our homes full of little kids to parenting young adults striking out on their own. Some of these amazing writers offer us up their pain, most their humor and all their love.  Each tells their own story, and like all good writing, it becomes our story.  In no particular order:

Eight Favorite Empty Nest Essays

1. Anna Quindlen, “Flown Away, Left Behind,” Newsweek

Favorite Empty Nest Essays: Anna Quindlen and 7 other authors describe their pride and heartbreak on the day they dropped off their teens at college.
Three rooms empty, full of the ghosts of my very best self.

 2. Michael Gerson, “Saying Goodbye to My Child, the Youngster,” The Washington Post

Favorite Empty Nest Essays: Eight authors describe their pride and heartbreak on the day they dropped off their teens at college.
He has a wonderful future in which my part naturally diminishes. I have no possible future that is better without him close.

3. Lisa Belkin, “How to Send Your Son Off to College,” The New York Times

Favorite Empty Nest Essays: Eight authors describe their pride and heartbreak on the day they dropped off their teens at college.
Tucking, smoothing, plumping, it feels like it did 18 years ago, readying a bassinet for a life that was just about to begin.

 4. Madeline Levine, “After the Children Have Grown,” The New York Times 

Favorite Empty Nest Essays: Eight authors describe their pride and heartbreak on the day they dropped off their teens at college.
Motherhood inextricably weaves growth and loss together from the moment of physical separation at birth to every milestone passed. Photo: Ruth Gwily

5. Sharon Greenthal, “Commencement,” Empty House, Full Mind

Favorite Empty Nest Essays: Eight authors describe their pride and heartbreak on the day they dropped off their teens at college.
All that will matter is her, the woman she is and the woman she will continue to become.

6. Rob Lowe, “Unprepared,” from his memoir, Love Life, Slate Magazine

Favorite Empty Nest Essays: Rob Lowe and 7 other authors describe their pride and heartbreak on the day they dropped off their teens at college.
I’m trying to remember: When was the last time my heart was breaking? Photo: Rob Lowe

7. Marshall P. Duke, “Starting College: A Guide for Parents,” The Huffington Post

Favorite Empty Nest Essays: Eight authors describe their pride and heartbreak on the day they dropped off their teens at college.
This is a moment to tell them the big things. Things you feel about them as children, as people. Wise things.

8. Charles Blow, “The Passion of Parenting,” The New York Times

Favorite Empty Nest Essays: Eight authors describe their pride and heartbreak on the day they dropped off their teens at college.
Life gave them to me. I’m preparing myself, as best I can, to give them back to life.

 

Related:

Knowing My Sons a Little Less

Never Again Will I 

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