Every year, I have a blue bird couple that takes up residence in the blue bird box on my screened porch. And every year, I watch as Daddy blue bird stands watch over the household and Mom blue bird works tirelessly building her nest, incubating her eggs, feeding her chicks and then coaxing them out of their home for bigger and better adventures beyond our back yard.
And when those babies fledge, which I have had the opportunity to watch twice, Mom and Dad will perch on the opposite side of the box, usually on my trellis and squawk and squawk at each kid until they finally take that leap and fly out of the nest. Sometimes they stumble, fly in to my potted plants, get confused, look scared, but after a few moments, they gain confidence and fly off.
For the next month Mom and Dad teach them the ways of the world and off they go to find fame and fortune and not get eaten by the neighborhood cats.
This is the way it is supposed to happen.
But many of us still have a 18 plus year old at home. Either they are not going the college route, going to a local community or tech college, working full-time, burned out from high school or generally dealing with having a hard time leaving the comforts of their home.
So this Momma blue bird squawked and squawked and this baby is STILL HERE…
I’ve read all of these heart-felt posts about having an empty nest. Dealing with the reality of having their kids go on to new and bigger things. Exceptionally sad yet happy for the new phase in their child’s life. You people are LUCKY. Geesh.
I love my daughter with all of my heart and have enjoyed (mostly) every single minute of her growing up years with her Dad and I. But Girlfriend, it’s time.
Time to for her to find herself. Time for her to find out about the REAL world. Time for her to fend for herself. Time for her to ENJOY herself without her helicopter mother frantically texting her every 30 minutes she’s out on a weekend night. Time to make mistakes. Time to fall really in love. Time to make new friends.
And I know that she is on a different time schedule and going off to school may not be her thing. That’s cool. But it’s time.
There are many of us out there that are just waiting for the moment that the kids fly the coop and we are counting down the minutes. You just don’t hear about us. We were the moms who didn’t cry at the bus stop the first day of kindergarten. We were the moms high-fiving each other and pouring Bloody Marys on the first day of school. We were the moms that DREADED summer vacation (mostly in the teen years.) We were the moms who thought 5th grade graduation ceremonies were ridiculous (it is after all, something that a kid SHOULD do, you know, go on to 6th grade???)We were the moms that sat, at 4 am, in line at the school to get their teen a parking space so we didn’t have to drive them to school. We DID cry at your high school graduation. Yes, a bittersweet 12 years has gone by.
But the next day we were at Target buying bedding and furniture for your new dorm room or apartment. 2 months ahead of schedule.
For all of you out there saddened by your upcoming empty nest, I feel for ya. I know, I know, end of childhood, end of being a hands on mom, facing aging, yada yada yada. Boo freekin hoo. Take a hint from Momma blue bird, she got those chicks out of the house in 4 weeks. She’s our hero.
So to all my girlfriends facing the empty nest with dread in a few months, it’s time. Come on over, I’ll have the box wine. The chips and dip. It’s time-to celebrate. It’s finally OUR time. The best is yet to come.