Skip to comments.Empty nest? Sending student off to college can be a sad time
Posted on 06/01/2009 6:16:29 PM PDT by SJackson
I go to bed the moment it gets dark in the evenings, but I still don't like to get up until the later morning hours. What they don't know is I sleep all day when they are gone. I know it is not tiredness or sleepiness, but it is great sadness bordering on depression.
I remember many years ago when my boy Billy was just a youngster. He'd practice playing catch in the yard with his dad, and I'd watch. For hours he'd practice shooting hoops in the driveway. I'd watch and listen to the rhythm of his dribbling. When he ran, making a quick move to the basket, the dribble rhythm would be faster. When his pace slowed, so did the rhythm of the dribble.
I can remember the years of Cub Scout meetings in our home. His Scout buddies were fun to have in the house. They were loud, laughed a lot and ate even more. Sometimes Billy would have sleepovers. I always enjoyed his friends.
Later when he was a teenager, I wasn't able to settle in for a good night's rest until I knew he was home safe and sound in his bed. I learned to recognize the hum of his car motor. I anticipated his arrival into the house. He always spoke to me with kindness and tenderness.
In recent summers, Billy had a pitching mound in the backyard. I loved sitting out there on the deck watching him fine-tune his mechanics. Sometimes he would throw that little white ball so fast it would sizzle through the air. When the sizzling fireball hit the target it would make a bang. I loved it.
But, now things are different. Very different.
I knew something was happening. Things began to pile up on the cedar chest, and then around the living room. It looked like new stuff, especially for Billy. Then the day happened. The dreaded suitcase came out. Whenever I see that thing, I know something serious is going to happen - and I was right.
They loaded up the SUV and I watched as they drove away. Billy was in the back by all that stuff that was on the cedar chest. The last thing I saw was that dreadful blue suitcase as they drove out of sight. I wondered what was going on the entire day.
They were gone a long time. When they returned, there was no Billy. I wondered what happened to him. Did they lose him? They keep talking to me in English, but I don't understand. They even put the phone up to my ear. I heard something that reminded me of Billy. Who does that kind of stuff? They know I don't talk on the phone.
It's been a month and I have not seen my boy. I am heartbroken and lonesome for him. I no longer get excited with hopefulness when the door opens, thinking it just might be him returning home to me. He just doesn't come through that door. Where is he? Why doesn't he come home to love me? Why are they not so sad and crying their eyes out for him? I am so worried. He doesn't come home to sleep in his bed anymore. Why don't they care?
So here I am. Three years ago I lost my kennel mate, and now I lost my boy. I remember when my kennel mate Bonnie became terminally ill. She told me in dog language that it was my turn to watch over our boy Billy. I thought I was doing a good job - until now. I don't know where he went. I'll bet my cup of dog food Bonnie is very mad at me. She entrusted our boy to me and I blew it.
We as parents send our children off to college. We experience a gamut of emotions, and the phrase "empty nest" was coined. Do our young adults' pets experience the same kind of loss and emotional turmoil? In our case, I believe our beagle, Clyde, is experiencing empty kennel syndrome. This story was meant to give his pain a voice as I, Billy's mom, struggle through this time of transition.
Okay, now I have to find a tissue....
O COME ON!
Kids grow up — that is how Life works.
Melodrama helps them not at all.
Didn’t seem to bother my parents when I left.
Mine as well. I think they threw a party when I went to university.
It’s written by the kids dog. ;>)
I am counting the days......
We love ya’ll, but, remember, we chose each other first. We sacrificed, gave up our privacy, time, and money to take care of each of you. Now get on with your productive, full, wonderful lives, and let us run around the living room NAKED! WOO HOOOOOOOO!
OK, the article had me going. I was about to offer the advice that the mom should use this time to finally pursue her interests. I’m finding this time wonderful!
But it is about the young man’s dog. They don’t understand. It is confusing for them. I recommend, get another dog. Dogs are pack animals. When the pack dissolves the dog is going to grieve.
Get a second dog.
As parents this is our job, raise them will they leave the nest.....it is a good thing.
i feel her pain but this mother should get down on her knees and Thank God her son is off at college instead of having to work a McJob and that the family is able to afford him to be away and develop some independence as he should be doing at this age.
ask your owner/mother/father to find you a pal and get over it! roflmao
Unlike some of the commenters on this thread, I have been thru it & agree it can be tough. Yeah, that is what life is about but it sure can be hard to watch ‘em go.
When my second boy left, tho my husband and I had 2 cars empty, ready to pack up and help him move, however, he managed to fit everything in his car & he drove himself out west
—his departing words were “Mom, Did you ever feel like something was out there waiting for you, calling for you? I know there is for me, it’s my future waiting for me at Iowa State.” With that he walked out the door and drove off to his first year of college.
I was sniffly for at least 2 days. I know it is going to hit me really hard when when my youngest & only daughter leaves this August.
Oh, yeah! And please, kids, come to visit. Just call first, ok?
Empty nest? Not a problem at our house!
I’m counting the minutes until I can get my kids out of the house. Then we completely re-do it, something we’ve put aside the last 22 years as we’ve been raising them.
Aw, that’s touching. My dogs are hysterical with joy when my daughter comes home from college, and they know very well when she’s getting ready to leave again. They’ll have a terrible time when the youngest leaves.
That said, this puppy needs lots more exercise and attention from Mom and Dad, more ball-throwing, hikes in the woods, and dead rabbits! Nothing gladdens a dog’s heart like a dead rabbit unless it’s a dead squirrel.
My kids will NEVER come over unannounced. We made sure they knew our plans when they left. As it is they knock before they come in the house if we are both home, just in case LOL.
er uh, it’s the dog talking.
i know and I reposted that fact ;)
I’m getting ready to face it myself for the first time in August. Combined with the loss of my career, my mother’s dementia, the unstable economy, fear for my husband’s job, and worries about paying for college, it’s getting to be a lot to deal with. My sweet boy has been my pride and joy. I’m not sad that he’s going on with his life, I’m going to miss him. He’s a great young man. I’ve enjoyed having him in my life.
You betcha! Our youngest goes of to college in the Fall, we can hardly wait!
my oldest is gone, he is getting married in Jan. My middle boy will be a senior this year and will be going off to seminary minor next September(going to be a priest). My youngest is being homeschooled now, and is hoping to graduate accelerated in the next 18 months. He is going to be 16 this fall. All of them are employed in this crazy economy. Not much more a mom could hope for!
Sounds sad. It sounds like you forgot grandchildren. All of the fun, none of the work! I can’t wait for that~
It goes on. Our son left us seven years ago tomorrow.
I am so so sorry for your loss. I can’t imagine what you must have gone through.
Mom: “Oh honey, we are losing our dear son.”
Son: “Partay! Where da beer! Call the strippers!”
My son left for grad school in Australia in January. They’ve really missed each other, but he and our dog Baylee “skype” from time to time ;)
Wow you do have a lot to deal with.
I am planning to do things just for me that I have put off—plus do some retraining as I suspect no retirement anytime soon thanks to our dear friends in Washington.
However, my older son has just asked if he can boomerang back to finish grad school, so tho I miss my son who is now 12 hours away and will severely miss my daughter who will be 8 hours away, I won’t actually be an empty nester....
LOL. My room was turned into a guest bedroom within a month and my brother’s room into the sewing and crafts room. I got them back by giving them four grandchildren living in the same neighborhood.
Fortunately, my son is only going an hour away, so he’ll be home most weekends, and we’ll be able to go out and see him in the band at football games and concerts. I’m so happy he’s not going to be so far away!
In the immortal words of my Grandmother after we had been visiting for a week or two: “Honey I love you and I can’t WAIT to miss you!”
wombtotomb: let us run around the living room NAKED
Harmless Teddy Bear: turned my brother's room into a study and my room into a sewing and crafts room about a week after we moved out
Jemian: They dont understand. It is confusing for them. I recommend, get another dog. Dogs are pack animals.
Kimmers: As parents this is our job, raise them will they leave the nest.....it is a good thing
ottbmare:My dogs are hysterical with joy when my daughter comes home from college
With my yougest 4 years gone I can't say it was a huge adjustment, though I don't run around naked, and haven't changed the rooms since they come back to visit. Finishing college is a joy only exceeded by getting a job.
Animals are something else, though they didn't react initially, they go nuts on visits and are sluggish as soon as they see suitcases moving around. Of course they get the same way if they suspect I'm going somewhere without them too, so it may be a suitcase thing. Jemian has an interesting point about the pack culture. We always have 2 or 3, and 1-3 cats, technically kids cats on long term visits, and I suspect it might lessen the impact. Maybe the author should get another dog.
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