Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Empty Nest Syndrome: I'm Afflicted!

I've known for a long time that, come this summer and fall, our youngest three kids would be flying the coop. Elisabeth has been living on her own in Seattle for two years now, and I was just getting used to that. But nothing could prepare me for "losing" three kids at one time!

Nothing could prepare me for how it feels to actually watch Peter and Danelle load all their belongings into a moving van that in two days will be headed for their new apartment at Washington State University.

Nothing could prepare me for Kat's call on Monday, asking me to go with her to look for an apartment near UW (even though she'll be attending nursing classes at a community college), where her twin brother will be in school next year, and near Wallingford, where Elisabeth lives.

(Even Elisabeth has decided to go back to college in the fall, although she knows that paying for post-baccalaureate college is up to her... so that makes FOUR kids in college!)

Nothing could prepare me for receiving housing information from Theta Chi, the UW frat to which Aleks has pledged and where he'll live next year.

Nothing could prepare me for the pit I felt in my stomach yesterday when I just about cleaned out the kids' college accounts just to pay the first tuition installments -- realizing, finally beyond a doubt, that those accounts won't even cover their entire first year of college.

And nothing could prepare me for the tears that came without warning this morning as I remembered my mother's warm, heart-felt hug as she and my dad said goodbye to me after moving me into Santa Cruz dorm at UC Santa Barbara in the fall of 1975.

I think I could handle one kid leaving home at a time -- and, really, I did OK when Elisabeth left (partly because Laura moved in two weeks before Elisabeth moved out!).

But THREE at once? I think that's just cruel.

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3 comments:

Tonya said...

One doesn't have to be kicked by a horse to have a good idea how it would feel. Obviously this isn't a "bad thing" (like being kicked by a horse would be), but I can totally imagine how very different and difficult this will feel as a mom. What a huge change. I notice as I get older that I don't respond as well to "change" as I used to. I will sorely miss my son when the time comes when he leaves home, which could happen any time. For now I'm feeling selfish in my secret enjoyment of my familiar comfort zone, for as long or short as it lasts. But my feet understand your shoes!

Yelli said...

They aren't moving out..you still have a washing machine at your house right? :)

Goofball said...

3 at once is huge indeed...we'll be here on the others side to give you a virtual hug when you need one!

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