Let me just start with saying that January and February have been quite momentous around here! Our oldest flew the nest for sunnier shorelines on the West coast at the end of January and our youngest just celebrated her 21st birthday. This momma is feeling so many emotions I might as well be riding a roller coaster at Disneyland! I know some of my sisters can relate. How did you cope when your chick’s flew the coop?
One minute I’m feeling excited and happy for all the wonderful new experiences our son is having and the next minute I’m waiting for him to come in from work or come downstairs to say good morning. To say I’ve been a ball of emotions is putting it mildly.
There have been some changes here since he left. For one thing, the house is quieter. He always turned on his music first thing and by that I mean, music he had produced in his home recording studio. I had grown accustomed to the sound of smooth R and B tunes as the soundtrack to my days. They became a signal for letting me know that he had started his day. I loved popping my head into his room and watching him at work.
More than the quietness, it’s his absence that I feel the most. I can turn on his music anytime and listen to him sing, but I can’t give him a hug, just cuz, or rub the top of his 6’2 head when I feel like messing with him. I miss seeing his smile and laughing at silly things together. I miss hearing about his day and listening to his comedic monologues. But when I really get to missing him, deep down in my bones, I stop and smile because I realize that I am one lucky mom to have raised such a neat young man who so many others look up to and I feel grateful and pleased.
Zach worked in the hospitality business which means he worked mostly nights. That gave him time during the day to hone his craft. I’m pretty sure I heard everything he’s ever produced before he sent it out into the universe. That’s quite a privilege in my book!
Young adults leave home for so many different and interesting reasons. College, travel, relationships, career, the Service, marriage, parenthood, religion, and on and on. Some studies say that children are living at home longer today than at any other time in modern history because housing is more expensive and combined with the high cost of living in some areas they simply can’t afford housing costs and expenses unless they have a well paying job or share housing with roommates. Zach and his girlfriend share a house with three other housemates all in their twenties and early thirties. In many ways I think it would be a great way to live while you’re young and UN tethered by lifelong commitments such as marriage and family. There will be some life lessons built in there, for sure! I can’t help feeling exhilarated for both of them knowing they have so much to explore together. It reminds me of my handsome Yankee and I when we began our life’s journey together. We were full of hope, with big ideas and dreams. Apartment living, long weekends exploring. Camping, hiking, mountain biking, canoeing, cross-country skiing, swimming, and traveling.
Zach didn’t leave home for college when he was 18. He continued living at home after he completed his homeschool years. He worked full time, saved his money and dedicated himself to his passion for making music. He’s 23 years old now! A full grown man with hopes and dreams and the courage to go out there and see what he can make of his adult life. My handsome Yankee and I couldn’t be more proud of him and the young lady he is sharing his new life with in California. They had been dating here in New England for some months, but she had set a plan in motion for her move West before things got serious between them. After she moved, Zach went out for a visit and when he came home he announced that he was going to move out there to be with her and pursue his music. That was back in October and on January, 31 he and my hubby packed up his car and they headed west on a cross-country adventure. They have both driven across country before, but never together. My heart was ( and still is ) so happy they got that UN-broken Father and son time together, rolling down the highway with long stretches of road before them.
They made a point to stop and see some of the worlds natural wonders along the way and I loved getting the photo updates in our family group text. Here are a few they shared with my mom, our daughter and I.
My hubby tried to fool me into thinking they were at a beach but, there are no white sandy beaches in New Mexico. There are however, 275 square miles of white gypsum sand dunes in White Sands National Monument. The worlds largest gypsum dunefield.
It looks a little like Death Valley, too.
While still in New Mexico, they also stopped to take in a tour at Carlsbad Caverns National Park. Here’s a tour schedule for March if you’re in the area!
A guide led them through a two hour tour of one of the 119 caves there. Be sure to check out the links above for more info on this amazing natural wonder.
At this point in the trip the end of the line was in sight. The finally arrived in San Diego after 4 days on the road.
My hubby texted me after Zach dropped him off at the airport. ” That was hard “. I started bawling. Shortly afterwards I received a text from Zach letting me know he had dropped his father off. ” I’m on my own ” he said. More tears…and they just kept coming.
While I was drying my tears here at home, my hubby flew into Reno for a quick visit to see some of our family and friends. I have aunts, uncles and cousins there that we are very close to. This was just the boost he needed after that gut wrenching goodbye and it filled my heart with so much joy knowing he was in the arms of family laughing and having fun!
Seeing him with all of them filled my heart to the brim! Look at all those smiles!
He even went to eat at our favorite Mexican Restaurant where we ate with these very same people on our wedding day 28 years ago!
It’s been a month and the beat goes on here. I’m busy with my floral work, writing, and planning the gardens for this season. Wedding season is also coming around the corner and I’m excited to be working with some amazing couples who are embracing the local flowers movement. This mamma’s going to be busy, busy making things pretty!
I keep telling Zach that I’m going to paint his room pink for my new office/guest room 😉 I think I really have him worried I’m gonna do it. I just might! What the heck, it’s only paint!
Zach is settling in. He’s got a new job and snazzy new California license plates. We talk a few times a week on Face-time and text every day. How did people endure long separations in the olden days without Face-time? I’m grateful such technology exists today.
I think it’s ironic that he was born in Nevada, then transplanted to New England with us when he was 5 years old and has ventured out West again to begin a new chapter in his life, keeping this crazy game of coast to coast ping-pong going in our family.
Like my mother-in-law used to say when we lived out West. “Now we have some place new to visit! ” You can bet your farmgirl overalls we’ll be planning a trip West soon!
Tell me how you managed when your chick’s started flying the coop!
Were you ready? Were they ready? Is anyone ever REALLY ready?
Until our next shoreline visit~ Hug your babies and your big kids too!
BEACH BLESSINGS AND MUCH LOVE!
The Beach Farmgirl,
Sitting here crying reading this!!! So happy we got to be a part of the great adventure!!! When I left home, I was 19, married and headed to Germany for 2 years!!! My brothers cried and for the first time I realized that we really loved each other!! My Dad crises for 3 days in a hotel room in San Francisco – they had driven me there to catch my plane!! Mom said she had to threaten to call an ambulance if he didn’t get up!!! No cell phones/face time back then and most people couldn’t even afford a land lime over there!! But that wouldn’t do for Pappy…..he paid $500 installation and $500 a month to have a phone in our apartment…..and that’s not counting his monthly bills just for the calls!!!
When my oldest moved out at 18, I thought I was going to die. I would go sit where his bed used to be and cry every day…….he moved 3 blocks away!!! My youngest was home with me until he was 26! We were buddies and country danced 4 nights a week together. His first venture out was to share an apartment with his brother who was going through a divorce. They were supposed to move out on the weekend but did it on Friday before I got home from work because they couldn’t bear the inevitable waterworks……and oh did they come!!!
So, I guess it doesn’t matter how old kids are or how far they go…..it’s a rite of passage we must all go through!!!!
Waterworks indeed, cuz. You’re right. Kids leaving home is a rite of passage we must all go through. We will survive! xoxo Can’t wait to see ya’ll in May!
You’re at that crosspoint. I’ts good to see your babies WANT to go off into the world but that means letting go for us! It is never easy, but my experience is they do come back in a different way…..by phoning, texting and face timing! Love the world now! Hubby and I adjusted in complete togetherness while we were being weened away from the kids. Now we’ve just settled in to total togetherness and seeing the kids when we can. It all works out! Just make sure your favorite holidays are together. Blessings to you!
Hi Sandi! It’s all good! Weird, but good! I love that you and your hubby have grown closer in your children’s absence. That’s what I dream of, too. We’re pretty close already so I look forward to that chapter as well. One more to go! 😉
Blessings to you! Deb
Boy is this post on target…my oldest is a high school senior, and I just don’t know what I’ll do when she’s away at college. Where does the time go? What will I do when I don’t hear her laughing with her brother…they’re so close, what will he do? I’m trying to keep a smile on…everyone should have the chance to chase their dreams. I just know I won’t make it without a lot of tears.
Tears are just fine. Don’t hold them in or you’ll just make yourself more miserable! 😉 I find I still get weepy off and on and I never know when it’s going to hit. One thing that’s kind of neat to look forward to is the extra time you’ll have with your son while he’s still at home. Something about having one out of the nest makes you hyper-aware of the time you have left with the younger ones. Blessings and keep that Kleenex handy!
Oh Deb, I can relate. My oldest semi-professional student moved to Maui 3 weeks ago. On one hand I’m very proud of him for doing what he wants, but it sure does tug on the old heart strings. The hardest part for me is not knowing when I will see him again. My parting words were – “until you have children of your own you will never understand how much I love you.” One good thing was we had a whole year to get used to the idea. It is good to know that we raised an independent child. Wishing you peace of mind, hours of Face Time, and airline tickets West in the not too distant future.
Hi Nanette, I think I would have had to tuck myself into your sons luggage. Maui! Woot! Good for him. It is a mixed bag of emotions when they leave, isn’t it? Sounds like you need some airline tickets, too! Wishing you peace as well. Your work is done! xo Deb
When my last child moved out I cried for 6 months. She was a hour away and her 2 older brothers were about the same distance in different directions. Now my youngest son is on the California coast, (I’m in northern Nv) but I talk to him the most. They all have busy lives, which I try to respect. I have a small ranch with plenty of animals and land to keep me busy. We all try to get together as much as possible. However I still and always will miss them all terribly.
That will be me, when our daughter goes. It’s difficult not being in on the day to day stuff…I miss that a lot. I try to think about how busy I was in my early twenties so that I don’t ” bug ” him too much. lol! I want to be respectful of his time because now he’s doing it all for himself and that will make a person very busy! Here’s a hug!
Just finished the book THE ART OF ARRANGING FLOWERS, a novel by Lynne Branard..It is all about flowers and love and life..Flowers are so healing! The best gift is that our kids can “fly”
I love that book! And you’re so right. It’s like we know they can fly because we taught them too, but watching it happen is still so awe inspiring.
Oh my! My baby is only 6 and I’m tearing up reading this. I hear ya, mama! Send out those words of wisdom as you find them! I’ll need them someday! Well done on raising a sufficient, joyful young man! Best to you!
I guess in many ways we start letting go a little bit along the way. Enjoy these years ahead. You’ve got so much to look forward to before you have to go through this phase! xo Deb
I always thought of them as chicks flying the nest. When we lived in Florida among family my youngest and oldest lived with my mother-in-law at separate times. My youngest is now in Japan in the AF. Our older children lived at home until they were ready to be on their own, and they still have family as a safety net, which comforts me when I can’t be there for them.
I think the hardest part of motherhood is when the kids grow up and you have to let them fly away on their own – how did my mother do it four times and me only once? We all have to find the strength to let it happen and the support for them to see it through. That’s called a mother’s love.
Enjoyed reading your story. Now I know how my Mother felt when I left home at 18 years old. So very touching….
Oh, my goodness…. I just sat here and bawled all over again. All four of mine have flown far away, and are productive citizens in the world. I’m a grandma 5 times over! When my youngest left over five years ago, it was really REALLY hard at first. I ended up starting a homestead & self-reliance blog a few years later to create another, different kind of “baby.” LOL Thank you for sharing this wonderful story. Heidi
Such sweet sentiments! Thank you for sharing. Before we even had children, we prayed that we could find a big piece of land that we could all live on together. Praying faithfully for many years, we finally found paradise right here in the middle of Kansas. 100 acres of woods, creek, bluffs and amazing wildlife. One family has built a yurt and has lived in it for many years. The other three families are planning on building out here as well and have picked out their future dwelling places. We are pretty excited, as we can all share in gardening, and a myriad of other projects over the years. All our children are married and we have 21 grandchildren! Hang in there! They all just might migrate back to their beginnings someday, even if it takes a lifetime. The enjoyment is visiting them and them visiting us quite regular. Hopefully, someday we will all be united on this 100 acre wood!