Friday, 18 April 2014

Delayed Empty Nest Syndrome

DS#1's first Christmas
I'm smiling and nodding like a madwoman. I'm using my best "enthusiastic" voice to make supportive happy comments. Inside my heart is breaking as it sinks in that yes, my baby, my firstborn, my eldest son is flying the nest.


He actually moved out more than year ago but just a hop down the road, not quite a stone's throw but not far off it.

 I'd drive past his flat at night on the way to or from friends, or doing the whole "mum's taxi" thing and see his bedroom light glowing. My mummy heart would soften knowing my child was inside, warm, safe. The drive-by equivalent of tucking him in I suppose.

Then a few months ago he moved a short way further - literally streets away from his first flat but a few hundred miles away emotionally. He's hardly ever there you see, and his room is at the back so I can't tell whether he's in or out. He keeps in touch - thank goodness for mobile phones - and visits sometimes, but I share his heart with another woman now so his time is divided.

Age 17 with me.
Quite rightly he wants to be with his girlfriend whenever he can. She's known on my blog as FDIL-future daughter in law. They are not actually even engaged but very happy together with lots of long term plans for their shared future. Luckily we get on incredibly well and she accepts the cheeky title with grace and laughter.

But this relationship inevitably has led to this moment. She lives hundreds of miles away. They spend hours each week on trains and motorways to grab precious time together. They have tried long distance love and although it is working they really want more.

Happy with the very lovely FDIL
So plans are afoot. There is talk of transfers and landlords and stuff. Sooner rather than later. This year for sure if all goes to plan.

I'm really happy for them, delighted even. It's all you want isn't it for your children to be happy? But I'm sad too there will be no more spur of the moment visits, no popping in to see him for a quick chat at work, no more reports from friends - "I saw your son today, he seemed happy/stressed/tired."

It's not helped that DS#2 is planning his new life at uni which (exam results willing) starts this year. I understand it's time for them to go  and believe me it's actually nice to have older children. No more 2am feeds, nappies, weaning, potty training....

 I know there will still be five children here even when the older two have left. I'll still have more children than most in fact but the hard fact of two of my children leaving gives me a glimpse of life in the not too distant future when our home is, well, an empty nest.

11 comments:

  1. Oh this is heartbreaking because I do worry about the distant day when my babies have left. I'm sure we will cope though;)

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  2. Awww... this made me hug my son. He is 3 and yet the future flashed in my face. Thank you for sharing such emotional post. I will make sure that I will maximize my time with my son. #pocolo

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  3. This must be SO hard :S I dread the day Grace is going to leave home although I do wonder how my Mum felt on Friday when she had all 7 children, their partners and her grandchildren round for lunch - there were 22 of us in total!! It was wonderful. Thank you for linking to PoCoLo :) x

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  4. Ah, this sounds so hard. My eldest is about to start school and that's making me feel sad, so dread to think when I'll be like when she actually leaves home!

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  5. This kind of scares me as I am now all too close behind you with my eldest turning 16 next week.

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  6. Oh my goodness Afra I can't imagine how you must be feeling. It must be so hard. I guess over time it's something you get used to. It's great they are carving their futures and you should be really proud you gave them such a great start. Lovely post, thank you so much for sharing #whatsthestory

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  7. I'm sure when the time comes, I'll be feeling that way too. I like to joke though with my husband that if our daughter goes to a University far from where we live… Then we are moving too! It's really just a joke of course, I just can't imagine being away from her. Thank goodness though she's only 3! #WhatsTheStory.

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  8. Oh sweetie - I had a real lump in my throat when I read this. Y'know, if your house does start getting too quiet, you can always borrow Lucas!!!!! *mwah* #pocolo #whatsthestory

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  9. I'm a good ten years from this moment, but reading this really makes me think about it. I can remember being eighteen and so fast out the door! I can only now imagine how my mother must have felt. Lovely post Afra x #WhatstheStory

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  10. I wish they could be little forever, and your post truly captures the reality of growing up. I'm even nervous about my toddler starting school, so I can imagine how difficult this is for you to come to terms with. #WhatstheStory

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  11. My eldest is 4 and starts school in Sept, the first of many steps towards where you are, each time I think about her growing up I want to hold her a little bit more.

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