A Text in Seconds

My thoughts on Sunday, April 25th, 2021…

Dear Mom, I know you’re listening from above, so I need you to know that I’m sorry for moving in and out of the house so many times, for putting you through that emotional turmoil. Although, I couldn’t have known back then what you were feeling, but I understand now. I realize how much your heart ached. The emptiness, the thought of your youngest leaving the nest. The strong wish to protect and keep me safe. I’m walking in those shoes now, dealing with the discomfort, and honestly, it’s not a trip to Disneyland. But I know in time, the discomfort will lessen. I don’t think it will ever disappear for good, but I know I’ll feel more at peace as the calendar pages flip.

Those were the days when my parent’s door was revolving – when I strived to find my way into the vast world outside of their home. Today, our youngest, our son, left home for the first time. Not for college, not for his internship, but for a taste of independence. The caveat is that his apartment is across the country. He’ll live closer to our daughter and son-in-law who also live on the east coast. And while this fact brings joy, I still wish their paths could have been paved on the west. Maybe someday. Or maybe, we’ll uproot and head east. The future remains a giant neon question mark.

The weekend prior to his leaving was spent with the three of us, my husband, him, and I celebrating this new adventure, as well as ours as empty nesters. Great food and wine, nostalgic conversation that at times provoked tears. Then today came. We knew it was inevitable. The day that he would begin his drive across country alone. Fortunately, his first day of driving would only be four hours, so he didn’t have to leave early in the morning. This gave him time to relax, to take one more look around the house and make sure he packed everything he needed, and to walk our dog with me one last time. He has never liked being in photos, but since this occasion rings differently in that he’s moving away, he conceded to selfies of the both of us once we reached the top of the hill, along with photos of him and his lab.

Then just as he was about to start his car for the first leg of his journey, we took selfies of the three of us: mom, dad, son. Smiles, funny expressions, all concealing the tears of what was about to come, the hugs and the “see you later.” Talk about emotions! But we got through it, and then we watched him back out of the driveway and wave to us as he rolled down the street, embarking on this exciting journey. My husband and I let the tears flow in the drama of the moment.

The pros of technology come in handy when our son can send a text in seconds, telling us that he arrived safely. Those few words including “love you all” with a heart emoji allows us to breathe again. That was his first drive. Day One. He’ll have six days of driving across country where the seventh will be the day he is handed his new apartment keys. A moment of joy, celebration, adult independence, but also nostalgia, knowing he’ll miss us, his dog, and his childhood home. It was tough for our Labrador because his doggie brain doesn’t understand the words his brother says to him. Giving those last hugs to his chocolate lab tugged at the heart. If only our beloved pets could speak our language. During the day, our lovable lab meandered into our son’s room. I have no doubt, he not only sensed his brother’s absence, but he sensed something had changed today. As smart as our furry family member can be, I’m sure he felt the profoundness of it all.

The quiet in the house is LOUD, but we know with time, the volume will soften into a sense of normalcy. Walking into his bedroom, the bare walls and empty shelves incite a wave of emotions that hit me like a tsunami. As we anticipated the day he would leave, we selfishly begged for time to slow down. Now, moving through the week to day 5, he is on his way to visit his sister and brother-in-law. We are thrilled that our kids will get a chance to visit. But we also wish for time to speed up, for him to safely arrive at his new home, the final stop on the road trip.

Two more days to go. I have never felt such an affinity for my cell phone before as I wait for his text messages to ping each evening. The tears flow less frequently now that he is over the hump of the week, but they’re still very much present, finding their freedom every now and then. They fall out of joy, from missing him, and from unleashing the tenacious worry. I feel as if I’m holding my breath while he continues to blaze through the many state lines. I’ll be able to exhale once he arrives and embraces those keys in his hand.

On the opposite side of the emotional spectrum, we are so proud of him, so excited for him to walk through the door of this new chapter. It’s what we’ve always wanted but knowing the moment of him leaving home would render tears and emptiness, too.

Eventually, my husband and I will embrace this empty nest for the precious gift it is to us now as a couple, and for what it means regarding our children – a gift from them as they are able to live life to the fullest in their adult years. We will find our new rhythm through the new empty nest chapter in our family story. And we couldn’t be more excited to make memories in their new homes. Let the journey continue!

I posted about this soon after he moved out, but It’s been over a year now. He’s settled into his new life and so have we. Between flights, phone calls, and texts, we stay connected. Yes, we miss him as much as we miss our daughter, but the silver lining is that they’re living their lives, spreading their wings, the natural progression of life. We couldn’t be prouder.

Lauren Scott © ❤️
If you can relate to this scene,
the “see you later”, the emotions,
and new life chapter,
I’d love to hear about it.

35 thoughts on “A Text in Seconds

  1. They’e living their good life. And of course, wherever they are, whatever they do, they still loves you.
    Its all just a part of life. One day they’ll too understand your emotions when they become parents.

    1. Thank you for commenting, Ritish, and you are right about everything. I was thinking how a year (and a few months) had already passed. How time flies. And then I felt a little nostalgic. 🙂 We are grateful for the relationship we have with our children even now in their adult years. Thanks again!

  2. Hi Lauren, yes it’s bittersweet and ours are also branching out, some far away. It isn’t easy, but what you say is true, that it’s a natural progression. They’re living their lives and that’s what they need to do. Thanks for re-sharing these emotions – we as mothers all feel them!

    1. Thanks for chiming in, Barbara, and I’m glad you can relate to the emotions and the celebration. And I’m happy you enjoyed this post, too. I know I’m not alone, but it’s nice to hear other mom’s convey the same feelings. 💞

  3. I can relate to those sentiments Lauren. When children leave home, the heart-breaking is inexplicable. It is all the more painful if they are not within the driving distance. Slowly we learn to live but one part of the heart always aches.

    1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Balroop, and I’m glad you understand the emotions involved. You’re right about the heart always aching, but we somehow slog through the ache and tears and learn to live with them, while all the time relishing in those phone calls, text messages, and visits. 💗

  4. I have lived and survived this with 3 now-grown daughters. one married and lived in australia for years and it was incredibly hard, but I know it was what she wanted and needed to do then. I’ve since become close to her in-laws and know it is also equally hard for them to have their son, my daughter and grandies living here now.

    1. I’m glad you also understand the emotions, Beth, though I don’t wish the heart-aching on any parent. We have friends in town whose daughter lives in Germany and it’s very hard for them. Out of the country would push my heart to the limits. But like you said, they have to spread their wings and follow their dreams. We know this going in, right? 🙂 So, now we are simply grateful for the many means of communication we have, and that they are safe and happy. Thanks for sharing. 💞

  5. Sad to see them go and we do miss them when they do. But pat yourself on the back you’ve adequately prepared for life in the real world and given them a chance to make a success of their lives.

  6. Jane Sturgeon

    Lovely Lauren. your words evoked bittersweet memories. Our children are out there flying with their own wings, yet in our hearts, they are still our little babies. Hats off to your son for following his dreams and much love for you all and your loving family bonds. ❤ xXx ❤

    1. Thanks for your lovely words, Jane, and you’re right that our children will always be our little babies in our hearts. It’s all good because we want them to fly with their own wings. Yesterday was a day of
      nostalgia for me, so this post was spontaneous. Sending lots love and hugs to you both, and cheers to loving family bonds. ❤️❤️❤️

  7. Hi Lauren, my sisters and I have all stayed close to home so my mom is lucky. My aunt’s two sons live abroad, one in the USA and one in the UK. She hardly seems them as she is to old to travel now. It is hard and something I am sure I will face. My sons are unlikely to stay in SA with its current problems. Maybe you will move closer to your children and their families in the future.

    1. Hi Robbie, your family sounds like how it was for my parents, sisters, and me. We stayed close, so they were very lucky. I empathize with your aunt. I’m sure it’s very hard since she can’t travel. I hope your sons don’t move too far away. And I am grateful that at least our kids live in the US. Out of the country would be more difficult. Yes, who knows where we will end up. When we’re ready to retire, we’ll have to see where the kids live and go from there. Thanks for sharing. 💕

  8. I felt all the emotions you wrote about in this touching post. It took me a few years to settle into the empty nester reality. It is a wonderful blessing to have raised independent children, but it isn’t easy with they move far away. It is nice to visit though! Best wishes to you and your family. 💞

    1. Thanks for your beautiful words, Michele, and I’m glad you understand the emotions I conveyed in this post. The empty nester phase is great, too. It’s all about embracing and being grateful for our independent children, like you said. 💞

  9. Sweet memories Lauren. Parting is always such sweet sorrow. It’s hard to let go, but it teaches us what our parents felt when we too had to go spread our wings. And at least there are cell phones now. ❤

  10. I’m one of the seven kids at home. My parents had the kids at home for a long time. Even when the young ones were gone, they were close enough to see each other every week at church. I didn’t have a normal “sending my daughter away” experience because her dad took her and moved far away from me. I could understand the parting emotion though. I’m glad you shared this with us. ❤

      1. You’re welcome, Lauren. 💕 We had a memorial service yesterday for my husband’s mom. My husband keeps saying he misses her. I told him I thought of going to Hong Kong to visit my parents even years after they passed away. That thought comes back every now and then. 💖

  11. Hi Lauren, this is such a beautifully written post. It resonated with me. My youngest will be leaving home for Unj in six months from now and I’m already wondering how it’s going to be…just the two of us at home. I have blessed the founders of what app everyday since my older one left six months ago. In her case, I was grateful that she could leave to Uni after being cooped up at home due to Covid.
    Like you said, it’s life and we need to get used to it and be proud they are living their lives.
    I’m glad you visited my blog; it led me to yours❤️. All thanks to Robbie 🙂

    1. Thanks so much, Smitha, and I’m glad my words resonated with you, but only in the sense that you understand my emotions, not regarding the heart ache. 🙂 My husband and I had thought about all the students in college during Covid and how it impacted them, definitley not obtaining the true college experience. So, I’m glad your daughter was about to leave and begin her uni adventure. The technology is wonderful, isn’t it? A phone call is fine, but sometimes, even a quick message soothes our hearts and minds. I’m thankful for meeting you, too, through Robbie’s blog. And I look forward to reading more of your writing. Have a wonderul weekend. ❤️

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