The Empty Nest

My threeTrain a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it. Proverbs 22:6

It seems like just yesterday when my children were small. It seems like just yesterday that I felt like I did not have a moment to myself to even finish a whole thought in my head before someone was calling out my name. Mom!

I remember the sleepless nights and the thousands of diapers I must have changed, the temper tantrums and having to take a baby in the bathroom in her bouncy chair just so I could take a shower without hearing them scream for me. A trip to the grocery store ALONE was like a vacation!

I remember people telling me to embrace those days because they would be gone before I knew it. Here I am, 20 years later. Despite all of those times when I felt overwhelmed or under- qualified to be a mother, I feel so blessed that I was able to spend all those years at home, raising them because I would not have wanted anyone else on this earth to do it for me.

The funny thing is, when I look back over those years, it really isn’t the negative things that I think about. I think about the sound of their laughter and how they would find delight in the littlest of things. I think about the times when I would rock them to sleep in my blue rocker in a moonlit room, and the smell of their fresh bathed skin. They would fall asleep, but instead of putting them in the crib I would hold on to them just a little bit longer as they dreamed.

I think about how I would press my lips to their temple to see if they had a fever. I still do that today, but they don’t like it. Teenagers are like that I guess. Now we aren’t allowed to touch them at all!

I think about how I would know how one of them was feeling without a word even being spoken. I guess parents just have intuition about some things.

I remember the countless nights I laid down with them at bed time and read the same book over and over again, thinking to myself that we might have to “lose” this book tomorrow night.

My friends were right, time did go by fast. Mistakes were made I’m sure, but I stilled loved them. I know it is our job to raise our children in order to give them wings, so that when it is time to leave our nest, they will be able to soar.

I want my children to have a good life, and not to feel guilty for leaving me, but to know that they I will always love them and will always be here for them.

They are not gone yet, but I can feel it coming and my heart aches for that loss of what I have known for the last twenty years, but with that I pray that I have equipped them with what is most important: to live good lives of integrity, honor, and faith.

The world puts so much emphasis on material wealth and pleasure. There is nothing wrong with either one, but all things must be balanced and I hope that when they do leave this nest, that they will carry me with them in their hearts and remember the things that I have told them for they are truly the loves of my life.

I wouldn’t trade a single moment!

5 thoughts on “The Empty Nest

  1. You absolutely nailed every experience and emotion I have had as a mommy! Having already gone thru “empty nest” I can tell you that you never stop thinking they are upstairs in their room or out with a friend and coming home soon. It is such a bittersweet thing….to miss them like your heart is beating outside of your body but knowing that you raised them to be independent enough to leave. This one really touched me and you have a gift!!!

  2. Dori,
    I have heard many people make the comment I can’t wait until my kids get out of the house, and leave. I guess I am a different parent, because I have never felt this way about my child. Maybe it is the fact that he is my only child, but I don’t think so. Though you are the first parent that I have heard of in a long time that feels just like me. I think that maybe it was the wonderful way in which we were raised. I feel that God will reward you with the wonderful life that you are meant to have. Just be patient and he will see you through.

  3. If situations and life allows I would be so honored to be at all of you children’s weddings!! Wish you were not so far away!!

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