Sunday, June 23, 2013

Beautiful Boy

It's done. One oldest son has flown the nest for real. Not college. Not a long trip. His first home - an apartment in a high-rise in New York City. My Beautiful Boy is gone.

I cried all the way home. 

We are an extremely close-knit family, particularly due to my critical illnesses and the many and terrible losses we suffered as a family as dear relatives died way too young. As much as he infuriated, perplexed, confused and irritated me this past year-and-a-half as he settled into his grown-up job and grew into a true man, I can not doubt his character or his faithfulness, or his loyalty. I am in awe of what he has accomplished. He has grown into the man I always wanted him to be, He is kind and wise.

According to The Mayo Clinic, I don't truly have 'empty nest syndrome' because one of my sons is still at home. But I guess the first one being fully cooked and launched can bring up a mess of feelings, too. I'm certainly feeling them.

The Clinic suggests that to cope, you:

  • Avoid comparing your child's timetable to your own personal experience. Instead, focus on what you can do to help your child succeed when he or she does leave home. (We are also moving today!)
  • Keep in touch. You can continue to be close to your children even when you live apart. Make an effort to maintain regular contact through visits, phone calls, emails, texts or video chats. (We already do that.)
  • Seek support. If you're having a difficult time dealing with an empty nest, lean on loved ones and other close contacts for support. Share your feelings. If you feel depressed, consult your doctor or a mental health provider. (Grabbed a friend last night with her young daughter and went to dinner and got ice cream. It felt good to be with them.)
  • Stay positive. Thinking about the extra time and energy you might have to devote to your marriage or personal interests after your last child leaves home might help you adapt to this major life change, (I guess I'll have time to write another book!)
Yeah, yeah. Maybe tomorrow. Today I can feel sad and glad and await his return TODAY so we can all go to a graduation party together. The joke's on me. 

Godspeed my son. You are loved. 
Dan and I last year in Murrells Inlet, SC.

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