The Nest is About to be Empty

Chad leaves tomorrow to go live in the dorm.  When they’re babies, you surely don’t realize how quickly this day gets here, do you? I was looking through some old pictures last night and I was surprised by the number of pictures we have of Chad all dressed up.  He liked to dress up even as a young boy but I never thought much about it.  Now, when we go shopping, he’s only interested in looking at dress shirts and ties . . even though he doesn’t get to wear them very often.

I can remember each and every day that we took the pictures.  Seems like just yesterday he was 2 or 4 or 8 or 12 and now he’s 21 and tomorrow he’ll be living in the dorm.  My home will never be the same!  Yes, he’ll be home on weekends, he’ll come home to visit but as he leaves tomorrow, a new era begins for Chad, as well as for Vince and me.  Right now, I can’t say that I’m too happy about it . . in fact, there are big old crocodile tears streaming down my face as I try to type. I am not happy and my heart hurts!

He’s only going 50 miles away so it isn’t like it’s really far but . . well, a boy needs his mother, right?  Don’t answer that!

Up until about a week ago, I was about 50/50 on this move.  As each day passed, I got more apprehensive and closer to tears.  I’m not ready!  I thought I was.  I truly didn’t think it would be so hard.

When I’m sad and wanting to cry, I’ll remind myself:

  1. I can turn my music up as loud as I want during the day.
  2. No one will complain that I’m sewing too early or quilting too late.
  3. I can use the bathroom downstairs instead of having to carry the dog (because he isn’t supposed to go up the stairs) upstairs to go to the bathroom; then carry the dog back down the stairs.
  4. I can cook anything I want without worrying that there might be something green in it.
  5. I can take a shower and be fairly sure I will have hot water.
  6. Vince’s truck can now be parked in the garage so it isn’t behind whichever car I want to use.

Somehow, nothing on that list is enough to get this lump out of my throat, or make my heart stop aching today.  Tomorrow I will come downstairs and the basement will be empty.  It won’t be easy.  Many of you have been through this day and you know exactly how I feel.

He’ll be home Friday afternoon . . I’ll be very happy to see him!  This will get easier . . won’t it??



  1. 1

    Dawn L says

    Hi Judy
    Know exactly how you feel. My son when 18 decided to go into the Marines. He was far away and it was hard. Then my daughter a year or so after that left the nest to seek her life and adventures. She moved down South and we are in New England. Many tears shed. Now, some ten years later, when they come home I am glad to see them and the grandkids etc but also glad when they leave and all is “normal” again. There will be sad times but when you realize he is starting his life you get used to it. You may even enjoy it a little too much! Keep your chin up honey. It DOES get better.
    Dawn in MA
    Just me and hubby and the cat

  2. 2


    Having been there, I can say it will get easier. And Chad is fairly close to home. My son went to a college that is a ten hour drive from home. So there are no weekend visits for us-just the major holiday breaks. It was so hard to adjust to the quiet and even the lack of “stuff” that was left out all the time. But it has been so good for all of us.

  3. 3

    quilterbee says


    I remember when my DD left for college. The hardest part was not knowing she was home safely at night. She was good at calling me every night just to say Mom, I’m in safely. I didn’t care how late that call was because I just couldn’t sleep until I knew she was back in the dorm I am proud of the loving and independant and responsible adult she has grown to be. Trust me Judy, when I tell you that you will find how much your son loves and appreciates you when he comes home on the weekends and he will know also what a wonderful Mother you are to him. He is going to miss your cooking for sure and sending lots of cookies and his favorite goodies will make him and his roommates less lonely.

    It is hard but it gets easier. No matter where he lives or where he goes he will always still need and love his Mother.

    This will also be a new adventure for you and Vince as a married couple. May you have many lovely romantic evenings shared by a warm fire.

    Hugs, Quilterbee.

  4. 4


    Here’s your mantra for the day…It will get easier..It’s good for him…it’s the way life is supposed to go….he’s been raised up right…he’ll be fine…and so will you. Sending you big hugs and a little sniffle is natural. Keep yourself busy and turn up the volume.

  5. 5

    Sheila says

    Hugs to you. It will get easier. Remember that this moment is what you’ve spent most of your life working toward: making a responsible, polite, respectful young man with skills that allow him to function in the world as an adult.

  6. 6


    Ditto to what dee and Sheila commented. For him to be able to go off on his own and do fine (which he will) is just confirmation that you have done YOUR job well. Believe me, after awhile, you will appreciate the quiet and when he comes home for summer break, you will be looking forward to his RETURN to the dorm in the fall. (I’m not kidding!) For now, some weepy times are to be expected, but….you”ll get beyond that and it will happen faster than you expect!

  7. 7


    Hi Judy,

    I’ve sent both my kids off to college so I know *exactly* how you are feeling. Cry when you need to! Eventually the pain turns to a dull ache. You will have a whole new appreciation for the times you will have together when he comes home!

    I’ll be thinking of you today.


  8. 8


    Yes, I agree with what everyone else has said. This is the way it’s supposed to be–Chad going off on his own. Go ahead and cry, turn up the music, and in time the ache is not so much. He will appreciate you and Vince more as time goes by. Try not to worry about him; just pray and trust God.

  9. 9


    Yes, it gets easier. And one day, you’ll wake up and realize how wonderful it is not to have to feel like a responsible Mom all the time! You will enjoy your visits with him more, and then enjoy your relaxed household after he leaves again 🙂

    You’ve done a fantastic job of raising Chad, now it’s time for you. Don’t waste it crying, celebrate Chad’s adventure into adulthood and take time to discover your new found freedom… it has an entirely different “taste” than it did when you were in your twenties 🙂

  10. 10


    Wow I had tears on this one. My son is only 13yrs, so I can not be the one who says it will be ok and will get better, but I can say I believe I know what your feeling, well at least somewhat. Driving age is creeping up on me with my son and it scares the living hell out of me, I do not even want to think of him leaving home for college, makes my heart hurt thinking about it. Anyways HUGS to you and hang in there.

  11. 12

    Donna (in MI) says

    Hang in there, it does get easier. You will come to like being an empty nester. And look forward to Chad coming home….and look forward to him leaving!!!

    So cry when you feel like it. You are entitled to miss him.

  12. 13

    A. L. says

    Erma Bombeck wrote a poem that has always been my favorite. I cry every time I read it as there is so much truth in it.

    I See Children As Kites

    I see children as kites. You spend a
    lifetime trying to get them off the ground.
    You run with them until you’re both
    breathless . . . they crash . . . they hit the
    rooftop. You patch and comfort, adjust
    and teach. You watch them lifted by the
    wind and assure them they can fly. Finally
    they are airborne; they need more string
    and you keep letting it out. But with each
    twist of the ball of twine, there is a
    sadness that goes with the joy. The kite
    becomes more distant, and you know it
    won’t be long before that beautiful
    creature will snap the lifeline that binds
    you together and will soar as it is meant to
    soar—free and alone.
    Only then do you know that you did your job well.

    Erma Bombeck

  13. 14


    After my son, Chad, got his acceptance letter to college in his senior year, everytime I hung up his laundry on the line or went into his bedroom I cried. I didn’t change the sheets on his bed for a while after he began his freshman year just so that I could go in there and “smell” him when I was lonely for him. When I think about it now, I know that I must have made everyone around me crazy…not to mention making him crazy! It got much better after about 3 months. Good luck!!

  14. 15


    My daughter started college this year and I have cried more in the past year than in my whole life. So far it hasn’t gotten easier. She is home for Winter break and I am enjoying every second she is here. Of course, she picked a college ten zillion miles away and will not be home again until May. It is ok to cry, just don’t let Chad’s room mate see you do it 🙂 He will never hear the end of it!

    We are here for you Judy, please let us know how you are feeling every day.

  15. 16

    Linda Kay says

    When my twin sons left for college, one went 450 miles away and the other about 60. The one that went 450 miles away, said the he would find a week-end soon to come home even though it would be a fast trip.The one that went 60, hugged and kissed me and said he would try to make it home for Thanksgiving, I was crying like you would not believe. This was on a Sunday night. He was home by Wednesday for supper that night and came home every week-end. I was so thankful that I cooked all his favorite foods for every meal he was home! We laugh about it now, but it sure was scary for a little while. I cried alot that first year and my phone bill was horrible. (This was before cell phones)

  16. 17


    YES, it does get easier. I went through it three times with three boys leaving every other year. They all went to different universities in different parts of the state. When they came home for holidays and then left all at the same time the same lump came back in my throat. They are grown now, married, and one has a child. When they come and leave, the same lump in my throat comes back; it just doesn’t last as long or hurt as bad.
    God loans our children to us for 18 or so years and then we must send them into the world to make the world a better place. I’m sure Chad will make the world a better place. The world needs him right now, and I’m sure you won’t mind sharing him for the good.

  17. 18

    KC says

    I remember taking our oldest to college, 6 hrs away!! Her room situation was a nightmare and she choose to stay. We came home and cried (we had 2 more kids at home!). The next day at church, all of a sudden I just started sobbing. I ran to the nursery where a friend came a sat with me for a few minutes then gave me some time alone to pull myself together. It’s been over 11 years. Have sent all 3 kids off to college. Never been easy but that’s what being a parent is about- is releasing them. Now 2 of the kids are married, we have 3 1/2 grandkids (DD#1 is pregnant) and the youngest is in her 3rd year of a 5 year college program (she’ll graduate with her masters). Yes, I do having them around even tho when they are all together they still carry on as they did as kids. Now this is my time, I’m available should they need me for whatever but now they’re the ones making the decisions and having the responsibilities. And it’s nice. Besides they always come back esp. in college for food!

  18. 19


    It WILL get easier. Right now is the worst though. I feel your pain momma. My daughter is almost 21 and still here but won’t be forever. I dread the day when she does move out. Only child here too. Go ahead and cry momma and then get to sewing and look at the blessings and the bright side just like you were saying. It is good he will be home on weekends tho. Too much separation is HARD on us mommas. This is a good thing Judy. Remember that. God Bless you!
    Chad needs this too!

  19. 20

    Gwen says

    Judy, hugs for your hurting heart! It’s been a long time since I went through this as a mom, but I remember. DGD away went to college as a freshman and is too many hours away for weekend visits. DD and I both felt it! She is now in France getting a language credit and traveling. Will be home 12 days. Yes it does get better! More hugs!

  20. 21


    Oh Judy, I read this with tears in my eyes knowing that soon I’ll have one of my own flying off from the nest. sigh. It all goes so fast.
    I’ll be thinking of you today.

  21. 22


    Oh Judy, there is nothing wrong with tears streaming down your cheeks. That’s what mom’s do best-whether they show or not. He is off on another adventure and so are you. You will be fine, you will cry but you will be fine. Hugs to you.

  22. 23

    becky rhodes says

    This brings back memories. I too dreaded the day when my daughter would pass the drivers test to get her license as that would mean she could come and go and I would miss being able to take her to wherever. Then when she got married and moved out it just changes everything. But that’s what life is all about. We wouldn’t want to hold them back but all I can say and I say it to the young adults that I work with when they bring their newborns in for us to ohhh and ahhh after. Just enjoy every day you have with them. They grow up too fast and just enjoy every day you have with them!
    Starting to get me teary eyed too just writing this. and it has been 5+ years now and I have a terrific 4 yr old grand daughter!

  23. 24

    Teresa says

    I think it was harder for me when my children married and I knew they were part of another family that I was not part of. But as others have said, its what we hope for and plan for our children, and you know what – once they marry and have children, you get to play all over again with the grandkids. Life is Good!!

  24. 25

    Marla says

    Yes, Judy, it will get easier but you will have a lot of crying jags over the next few weeks. I remember after taking my youngest to college at the start of her freshman year crying all the way home….and the next day,,,,and so on but it did get easier. Just knowing she was only an hour away helped.. same with you…50 miles is nothing. Just keep busy as you can. Bless you! -Marla

  25. 26


    Now you’ve got me crying! Those pictures of Chad look like Wade, without the tie. Wade had the same hair cut. Wade is in college here in town, but he will be leaving for a university next fall. I’m not sure which one just yet.

    I’m one of these moms, though, that cries the first day of school every year, so I can’t imagine what it will be like when he no longer lives with me and is far away.

    I guess we know what our parents feel like when we go home to LA and have to leave. I have been away from there for 20 years now. Cell phones with free long distance and computers with e-mail have been a blessing for us.



  26. 27


    When the oldest girl (at 18) went out the back door got in her packed up car and drove to TX (from MA) her father hung his head in the door frame and SOBBED.

    My sympathetic words as I walked out of the kitchen… “You’re the one who said she was 18 and could do what she wants…” He wasn’t getting any sympathy from me… LOL

  27. 28

    Pat B says

    This is a time of new beginnings for both of you. Chad will discover his independence and you and your husband will find a new dimension in your marriage also. This is where all of the training you have given him to be a fine young man will come to the surface-sometimes you will still wonder but it will come. It is tough because you want to raise them to be productive and independent but to still need mom. You will even look at him and say “where is my son and what did you do to him?” This is generally after he will say something that totally throws you off balance. I have gone through this with two sons and the phone calls that come when they ask you for advice will have you so excited because they still need you! Remember this too shall pass.

  28. 29


    Judy, I posted this weekend about the day 28 years ago this week when my oldest left to go to the Army. I can still remember the huge lump in my throat. I think I cried all entire 80 miles home from the airport. 28 years later he’s still in the Army and I still miss seeing him on a regular basis. But he’s proven that I apparently did a decent job raising him in order for him to become the amazing man he is and I’m sure Chad will do the same. It does get easier. Just not today or tomorrow.

  29. 31

    Connie Thorne says

    It will get easier. When my daughter went to college 8 years ago, I remember the first few months not being able to pass by her room without tearing up. It was so empty, just wasn’t natural, so I shut the door. We did get to see her weekends and then the weekends stretched to month long stretches. It made our reunions much sweeter as we all had things to tell each other. Sharing emails helped a lot too. My sadness turned to pride at the beautiful young, strong woman she had become. Your life will be just as great, just in a different way.

  30. 32

    Pam says

    Judy, just remember that we are here for you.

    My hardest challenge when my daughter left for college two thousand miles away was learning to cook for two. I’m not sure that I have accomplished it even after 18 years!

    Life moves on. Adjustment takes time and individuals adjust differently.

    Hugs from the sunny, but cool south.

  31. 33

    Bobbie says

    Oh Lordy, Lordy-I am feeling really bad for you-I know how hard this is-my youngest Wade,6& 7 years younger than the other two kids, left for college only about 140 miles away-BUT you had to go over one of the worst mountains in our state, to get there and believe me it was packed with snow and lots of times closed. So that alone, kept him from getting home a lot-we made some trips over there, just so I could be sure he was O.K.-of course our reason said was to fish the river, not so much to see Wade ?????. It was so hard on me that I couldn’t even look at his senior picture on the wall, and I finally had to move it into another room. But, nothing Real bad happned and he only got hurt 3 or 4 times sking, and he made it!! He lives close by now, as do my 2 other kids–I am so, so lucky. But, just hang in there and if you cry the whole next, year-so be it-it shows just how much you love your son and miss him–but it WILL get better!!! Hugs, Bobbie

  32. 34

    InglishRose says

    Oh Judy, my heart goes out to you. It is as everyone has posted, it really DOES get easier and the times he comes home will be even more special.

  33. 35


    The thing that I miss most is all the excitement my son used to bring into our home. He would bring his friends home and our house came alive! They would play video games or billiards and you would hear laughter. It is that time in life when they have no responsibilities and they have the world by the tail…and they know it! Yes, it does get easier. That doesn’t mean you don’t miss them. It is just another round in the circle of life.

  34. 36


    Oh Judy,
    Yes it does get easier! I just left my daughter at college (3.5 hours away) and I felt sick as we pulled out. We had just been to the nursing school orientation and they told us…don’t expect to see your child much this semester, they are way to busy! She begins her first classes today, she is actually a junior in college. I think it is a roller coaster ride, on the one hand they are sprouting those wings, on the other hand they are leaving us…dang. I will tell you that while we miss our girls TERRIBLY we are enjoying being empty nesters. It is fun to be just a couple! I can also say that having gone through the college thing with one and now with the youngest, leaving them in school doesn’t compare to watching them get married….OH MY now that is truly beginning a new life WITHOUT US!!

    OK so now I’m sad…I think some sewing and ipod is just the right solution.


  35. 37


    Judy, I did the same as you did in this post when the first child left home. I listed all the postives but they felt hollow at the time. I think what helped my most was to do all the things that I hadn’t had the time to do. I still have time when I cry uncontrollably and it has been three years. I still have one to fledge yet and I know that will be the hardest day. But some things do heal with a little time, lots of work, prayer and frequent phone calls…

  36. 38


    Hi Judy! I know how you feel! I’ve have three who are on their own now and I’ve got one left who is 15. The only thing I can offer you is the knowledge that one day perhaps there will be Grandchildren and you can spoil them rotten and then send them home. But, they have to grow up and be on their own first. Remember the first day you had to put them on a school bus and turn them over to other people who you didn’t know? It’s like that all over again. 50 miles? You can drive that far frequently! Hang in there….it gets better as time goes by…..

  37. 39

    Cindy B says

    My girls stayed home during their college years. I was so ready for them to leave the nest when college was over! It helped so much that they did stay home and commute to school, I had plenty of time to see how responsible they could be. The move to independence was a lot easier for them and me.

  38. 40


    I’m crying for you as it is a fresh memory for me also. I can say some things get easier, like you will enjoy your at home freedom more. You can turn up the tunes, cook what you want or even run from the washroom to the bedroom half dressed if need be. I still miss them VERY much. I still cook too much food. Every new phase in life has adjustments and you will adjust in time. The lump will fade and pride will replace it when you see how well he does with the knowledge you gave him about life.

  39. 41


    My DD, an only child, moved out right after high school, then back in 3 months later, then out a year later, and back in 8 months later. By the time she moved out permanently–3 years after that–I thought I was all ready for her to be on her own. But she moved to Albany NY, from Albuquerque, NM–and only was able to come home when we sent her plane fare.

    I helped move her across the country, pulling the U-Haul with the SUV, while she drove her little car. Traveling with the cat and the rabbit, and then unloading everything was stressful and we got irritated with each other. Maybe that was just our way of cutting the cord, I don’t know. We both shed a few tears when I drove off, but I thought I was okay again, until my first night at work when someone asked if she’d gotten there okay, and then I burst into tears.

    We’ve since moved to adjoining states, and though she’s 6 1/2 hours away and we only see each other 3-4x/year, it’s always hard to let her go back to her life. I’m not sure we could share a house again, but it would be nice to have her in the same city.

    So yes, it does get easier, but it takes time for that to happen. Until then, you’ll have to be content to send care packages. Lots and lots of them.

    And know that, once he’s been on his own a while, he will come to appreciate you far more than he does now. Trust me on this one.

  40. 42


    Hi Judy,

    I can imagine it hurts, but I believe you will get better! I am from Bulgaria and I got married so far away here in US. My mom always cries her eyes out every time I am visiting even I tell her we will see each other again ( probably at least a year or so).
    Be brave and I know you did your job at teaching Chad what is right and what is wrong in life and he is smart young man and he will be OK!!!
    It is in mothers nature to worry, I hope some day I will be a good mommy like you!

    Hugs: Zlaty

  41. 43


    My son was extremely strong willed which caused a lot of arguing at home in his later teenage years. So when he announced he would be moving into an apartment near campus, I was actually relieved….that is until the day he actually packed up his stuff and left. What a shocker!!! I sat on my bed and cried, wondering how I could have been so happy the previous day about his impending departure.

    I’m hoping that tomorrow you find you have the opposite feeling you have today too. Maybe you will wake up and discover that you have a whole new life where the only one you have to nurture is Judy!!!!! Believe me, it’s a good life!

  42. 44


    oh judy, i almost cried myself as i read your post. i know your heart is broke. i know what you are experiencing and it does get easier. you both will be stronger and wiser people for it though. he will make you proud. and home on weekends is great. with cell phones and computers, you’ll stay in touch. i’ll pray you both adjust and your pain eases with each and every day that passes and he is out there making his way. God Bless.

  43. 45


    Judy, It does get better (not necessarily easier) as time goes by. My husband and I did not have a child for 18 years. Our daughter was (and still is) the center of our lives. I was surprised when I didn’t cry as we left her in the dorm room her first year. Later, the roommate thing went bad, and the next time we went for a visit, I cried like a baby. I think when we first took her to school I was excited for all the new experiences she would have and great friends she would make. Later, when things went badly, I just wanted to bring her home and protect her. She lived thru it all and has become a much stronger and resilient young woman. I still worry about her every day and ask God to protect her in the “big bad city”. When she comes home we have a wonderful time together and when she goes back to school, I still tear up.

  44. 46


    My son was 20 when he left home to do his nurses training, he moved into the nurses home and I thought my heart would break, he was 8 years old when we adopted him.. I hadn’t had him long enough.
    Gradually I got used to it [ he was only 4 miles away!] and then he came home for Christmas and never went back.. there were 116 females and only 4 male nurses and he was so sick of the females smoking and PMT he moved back home, I think all the males moved out !
    Next move out was to get married, so I had to go through it all again…

    Happy Room Diana

  45. 47

    Lynne in Hawaii says

    Hang in there Judy! It will get easier even though he will always be your baby. Sending you many HUGS! You have lots of love and support out here in cyberspace!

  46. 48

    Julie (in Arizona) says

    My thoughts and prayers are with you. My son was 19 when he left home – going into the Navy. I cried all the way to the induction center in Phoenix and all the way home, and for days after. Leaving him there was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. We raise our children to make good decisions and be responsible. I’m sure that Chad will be fine – and so will you. This just makes the time when they are home more special. The worry never ends – but he’ll always be your baby! Many hugs to you today.

  47. 49

    Elaine says

    Judy, prayers and thoughts are with you today. I did not have my girls go off to college (they did later on) but they both married and left home. It was a sad time for all of us. But it is the next step in life. Now you can watch and see how Chad blooms and grows as he goes to college, and all that happens after that. You did good, now see how well you did!! Hugs


  48. 50


    as my two girls left within two months of each other it was tough. we had our son left, but it was not the same. then five years later our son left. it was hard. It still is at times. I have left my feelings to myself…not said anything to friends or family;just my hubby. You look at things that remind you of him; you cook and think of him; you start to think of good times..and more and more it is a good thing. You have a sense of normalcy in your home as far as what you and your hubby want to do. Your house is as clean or dirty as you want it. You can get into a routine when you want to fool around you can! You can rediscover your love life! You will have a “new” relationship with your son too. It is different, a different kind of respect for him as he has for you and your hubby! I do understand how you feel. I hated being home alone, cried every day…sometimes..still do..

  49. 51

    Norma Huff says

    I had 4 children and within 6 months time my oldest moved 4 hrs away to Ohio with our only granddaughter (5 mos. old): Our next daughter moved 2 days away, right out of college to FL to work in a prison; and our oldest son joined the Navy and served in the Persian Golf. I thought my heart would absolutely never mend but now I am so proud of them all and it gives us old folks a few different choices for vacations. Love your blog. You and I are so much alike I think we could be sisters as far as our habits, likes. dislikes, etc. I will keep you in my prayers and Chad as well. Norma

  50. 52

    Kathy says

    I have launched 3, with 1 more to go. The positives are: your cooking gets a lot better, things they weren’t all that excited about are suddenly their favorite thing, they talk about how helpless their friends are and how good it is that you taught them to do their own laundry, iron,etc, they meet interesting friends and bring them home and you have a houseful of kids who think uou are the greatest. I still have “withdrawal” after they are home and leave again, need to talk to them every day, find myself missing them and tearing up. I highly recommend sending care packages, they love to get cookies in the mail, even 50 miles away. The best thing is that 2 who left are back, one with a great wife and adorable grandson. And my husband and I can have a date or movie night without figuring out what they will eat/d while we are gone. Chin up, he will do ok, and so will you.

  51. 53

    Sandy says

    Judy, I have also gone thru what you are experiencing. My daughter was only 50 miles from home when she attended college and I was crying before we got out of town the first time we took her to school!

    Look at this as your big adventure….for both you and Vince and also Chad’s adventure. Hubby and I go out to eat at the spur of the moment or see a movie. It is almost like dating again. SMILE

    Yes, you will miss your son but he will survive just fine without his mom. I bet you taught him all the important things he needs to know and now he gets to put it to use.. We are always just a phone call away and I would bet he will be calling you to get your opinions on things. It is hard to let go but it will get easier in a few weeks.

    So get some sewing done, have fun trying new recipes or whatever hobby you like. And don’t be surprised if your son is coming home often on the weekends. ( I would get a pile of laundry to do too), lol.

    Judy, you make my day when I read your blog. Keep up the good work.


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    From the number of comments, you can see you’re experiencing a universal situation! I cried every single mile of the 6-hour trip home from Auburn to Nashville when I took my first-born off to college. 6 hours. Non-stop. I pulled myself together as I drove into our driveway at home. As I walked in the door, the phone was ringing and I picked it up to hear the voice of an old friend I hadn’t talked with in years. Knowing she’d had a hard time when her last left home, when she asked how I was I burst into sobs all over again. It was awful. But I finally adjusted. After a while, you sort of enjoy your privacy and solitude and reconcile yourself to the fact that this is the way it’s supposed to be. Besides, they come back home to live after they graduate. They can’t afford their own place yet. When they leave the second time, you’re just fine with it!

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    I commented earlier, but I didn’t see it here. I will just send you some cyber (((((hugs)))))! It does get easier, but the mother instinct to always protect and provide has never gone away for me. Although, to watch them soar and become independent is a feeling like none other too. You have raised Chad to be a responsible young man. He is one that you can be proud of and will be a great asset to society. He will do great things with his life.

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    Loretta says

    Okay, I’m late with my answer, and no, I haven’t read all the replies yet. But is was so good to see the # of people who responded to this post of yours!!

    I can still remember the day I had to bring my oldest child (18 at the time) to college 2 hours away in Hattiesburg, MS. I cried all the way home!!!! and thought about turning around three times to go back and get her. Of course, I didn’t, but….
    She is the oldest of 5, and as I was a single mom for a while, I always considered her my Ace in the Hole. She was an “A” student, a latch-key kid at the age of 8, my greatest helper with the younger ones and probably my best friend. Of course, after all that responsibility, she couldn’t wait to go away to college. It only lasted a year, due to finances, so she came home and finished at SLU in Hammond.
    The gist of all this is that it was a great year for her and very eye-opening–she found out how very lucky she was to have a great family. She is now 35 and she is still my oldest of 5 greatest joys.

    You will get through this!! You will cry, but that’s okay. You will also one day look back and smile, (and, yes, you may shed a few tears even then), and you will be so proud of the fine man Chad has become, because you allowed him to be his own person.
    God Bless all of you.

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    Hey Judy it’s all about being a mom.I’m sure you’ll get used to it but you never stop worrying about them. I live in Windsor ON and my oldest son moved to Charlottetown PEI and I thought that I might never see him again. The he came home for a funeral, went back and then moved back home 4 months later. The next year he moved to Calgary AB and once again I felt that I’d never see him again. But once again he came back. All that emotion and they always come back! Lucky for you that he is only moving 50 miles away not 1270 miles!

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    Linda says

    So many posts…………………… just shows you are not alone. This is what we moms do…………raise them up and let them go. It’s the way it’s meant to be. You’ll miss him, but then it’ll be the weekend and he’ll be back home. It gets easier. You’ll still miss him when he leaves but you’ll also enjoy the time to yourself. Just give yourself some time. Vince will probably miss his shopping buddy, too.

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    Oh Judy….I feel your pain and have lived through the first child moving out…Tim moved out almost 4 years ago and yes it was hard…yes the tears flowed and yes I still miss him not being here. Heather is still at home and wants to move out so bad she can taste it…..LOL So we rather I will be going through this again sometime in the future and NOT looking forward to that day. Just know that we are all here for you…


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    Cindy says

    Sorry! I was kinda glad when I dropped Jenna off at KU. I even stopped smoking that very day. I figured I had something to live for.

    I couldn’t believe it when she came home the VERY NEXT WEEKEND! What the heck?

    But we fought a lot. And we still fight. It’s just better if we don’t live together.

    I just realized something: You and Vince have never lived by yourselves, have you? I mean, Joe & I were married 10 years before we had Jen, but you guys never had that time together. This will be interesting.

    I thought about you all day today. This is the first time I’ve been able to connect to your blog. Must have been super busy.

    Are you bringing him tonorrow? You have my numbers. He’ll be fine.

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    June Piper-Brandon says

    I hate to tell you Judy, it doesn’t get any easier. Ryan was home for the holidays and I tried hard not to cry when we were dropping him off at the bus station but before I even got back to the car I had tears streaming down my face. I keep thinking that everytime I left home my Mom cried, now I know the pain she felt and that makes it all the worse because I can’t tell her I’m sorry for how much it hurt. There will be so many other hurdles as he grows, there have been for Ryan. And, unfortunately, you can’t always fix everything like you want to and you try to. You are not a lone, every Mom who has a child feels the same way.

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    Linda H says

    Yes, Judy, it does get easier, but in the beginning…it just feels like a big, ole piece of ones heart has been torn right out.
    It is so ironic…you work so hard for this day to come and when it does, it is just painful!
    But, yes, it does get easier as the needed adjustments are made…the relationship takes on a new dimension, the lifestyles change, life goes on.
    Blessings as you take these steps.

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    I still have one at home but when my last girl left that was really hard. We are so close and she tells everyone I am her best friend. We speak every day on the phone (sometimes more) and she is always in my thoughts. Yes, it gets easier as you see them grow and spread their wings and work on becoming the beautiful person you know they are destined to become. You will rejoice with their triumphs and cry with their defeats but the road continues for all of just on other paths. Enjoy this stage of his development into becoming an independent young man. You did a great job with him, now let him soar!

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    Billie says

    My nest has been empty for a very long time, but here I sit crying with you. It’s hard. I’m not sure it gets easier, but you do adjust.

    The memories of 2, 4, 6, etc. still come almost daily and even 3, 5 and 7….grin.

    Hang in there! Wait till he gets married… that’s not even funny is it.

    Billie in TX

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    I don’tnow how it feels as I don;t have any childeren, but I feel for you. I know my mother had a hard time when my brother and me almost went out of house at the same time, only a week apart. And she still feels it hard when we did have a vacation with all of us and go back home at the end.

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    I have this day rapidly approaching, and I’m sure I’m not ready for it. Somedays, when I see the state of his bathroom, or think how I can put his bedroom to good use as my sewing room (hehehe), I think maybe I am. But I know, that for the most part, I’m not. Derek is my only child, from my first marriage. It’s going to be really hard to let him go, too. How did the time go by so very fast, anyway?

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    I cried when each of my 3 left. 2 are in town but the hardest has been when my youngest- a Marine- left for Japan for 2 yrs- week after Christmas 08. I hate flying but I had thoughts of getting on plane with him. I miss him so much. Then I am hoping, he will not have to go to the sandbox. It is hard all way around.