What to Expect When You’re Empty-Nesting

Oct 01  |  Stephanie Lennon

wish you could’ve seen our boy today, Henry. He almost didn’t let me drive him to campus. Like he wanted to do it all on his own. He definitely gets that from you.

Saying goodbye to him was the second hardest thing I’ve done. Glad I’ll have work to distract me, but I’m not sure it’ll be enough. Usually, the perk of an empty nest is having someone to share it with.

But, you aren’t here.

I wonder if he’ll be like you were in college. Charming. Confident. Kind. Maybe he’ll find the love of his life in a chemistry lab. Or a philosophy class. As they learn what matters most.

There was a father dropping his daughter off in the same residence hall. I caught him smiling at me over a carton of chocolate milk at the family luncheon. I couldn’t help but smile back.

The guilt consumed me.

With a teenage boy in the house, dating again hadn’t even crossed my mind. Between soccer practices and grocery store trips, I was lucky if I had time to wash my hair three times a week.

And of course, there was you.

I ran into that same father on my way out. My eyes must’ve been red from crying because he offered me a tissue. We laughed about the struggle of raising teenagers alone. Whined about how we’ll miss them anyway. Wondered how we’ll fill the silence. Grazed fingers as we both reached for the elevator button.

Haven’t decided if I’ll call him. I hope it’s okay if I do.

One Comment
  1. Nora7 months ago

    Pain and hope and loss and growth all intertwined. Beautifully written.

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