Empty-Nester Recipe

There is no food recipe in this post. You can skip this page and go right here for a scrumptious dessert salad.

This post is a personal reflection of some recent feelings that I debated on sharing, which has to do with my impending empty-nester status. I’m a pretty private person, so those that know me well will be a little surprised that I chose to blog about my thoughts. I’m definitely stretching myself by sharing my world for a moment. Please share your experiences as a parent, or reflect back to when you were a young adult leaving your home for the first time. I would love to hear your thoughts. I can’t imagine I am the only nutty mom, but hey, ya never know 😉

Last weekend we took our son to an informational meeting for students accepted to University of Hawaii. It’s a dream come true for him. He has had his sight on this college since he was in middle school, and now being offered exactly what he has wanted.There were a lot of parents and their Seniors from all over Northern California with acceptance letters from the university, deciding if going 2,500 miles away from home for the next four years (or more) would be their choice.

As I was sitting in this room with close to a hundred friendly faces listening to current students, alumni and faculty talk, I was feeling proud, excited, and a little sentimental (ok, maybe a lot).

“Congratulations, the beginning of your independence and lifelong memories are just before you.”

And then I had this sentiment surge in my psyche that I was somewhat familiar with bringing me back to four years earlier as we prepared for our daughter to go off to college.

I could feel my breathing change as my chest slowly tighten, my throat uncomfortably heave mini convulsions, and the tears begging to come to the surface of my eyes. “Oh, God, I think I’m going to lose it!” I nonchalantly looked around as I bat my eyelashes purposefully trying to beat the tears back from pooling in my eyes all while looking for the nearest exit just in case this untimely emotional volcano exploded, then I inconspicuously dabbed the corner of my eyes with the tips of my fingers, exhaled quietly, and slowly, while listening to the rest of the speech.

I wished this.
I wanted this.
I asked for this.

Dear God,
Please guide my children and let them seek your guidance, and trust the path you are embarking upon them. And please give us the parenting skills we need to help our children become healthy, happy, and productive adults.

I already had the experience of “letting go” and “cutting the apron strings.” I was terrible at it. It took me probably a full year after my daughter settled in her dorm to finally sleep well. I would listen for her to come home, when I knew she wouldn’t. I couldn’t go for a day or two without some type of contact with her or I would panic. Here I go, the trail I so bravely got through is right in front of me for a second time.

I anticipate the next several months to be a roller coaster ride of emotions as we prepare for our youngest to go off to college. It won’t always make sense to me. The oddest moments, memories, comments, texts, and perfectly normal situations will unexpectedly fill me with sensations I can’t explain. We are moving forward with change, adventure, and a exciting future.

I know it.
I feel it.
I’m not sure I like it.

I also know that God is in the process of answering my prayers. Thank you.

Sandra The Foodie Affair Post Signature

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  1. hmmm.. I remember my parents feeling the same way when they sent me off to Canada to attend UBC. I grew up in Asia, specifically Singapore, and had never set food in North America before. My dad wanted this experience for me as he also did his studies in Canada (McGill University in Montreal).

    Initially I was sitting on the fence about this. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to leave all my friends behind and set foot on a totally foreign country. On the other hand, I was excited by the opportunity to explore North America which I had only seen on TV and movies so far..

    Now that I’m done school, I’m glad that my dad placed me here (despite the ridiculous tuition fees $120,000 total) Being independent helped me to grow and mature a lot. I was forced to look for housing by myself, take care of bill payments, learn to COOK AND BAKE, and also learn about different cultures as Vancouver is a very global city.

    I’ve never heard such an honest post from a parent. So thank you for sharing this. I guess that’s why my parents keep pressuring me to return home now that I’m done school…! Yes, home is more comfortable in many ways, but coping with dramatic changes does take some time. I know eventually i will return though! Home is always home. Nothing beats a home filled with your most loved ones!

    1. I guess when you are forced to rely on your own resources you either sink or swim! It sounds like you soared!! Wow, what an amazing adventure for you! Yes, I am certain your parents miss you, but they are no doubt very proud of your accomplishments 🙂 Thanks Sam for your lovely comment. It made me smile.

  2. Aw mom I never knew! It’s definitely difficult on the other side of the equation too. I remember when I was going through college applications senior year of high school and I just had this moment where I was stuck awake all night thinking of how sad and scared I was to not be able to see my family every day. And then the first time I visited after my 21st birthday I had such a great weekend that I just cried on the drive home… I didn’t want to be goin back to responsibilities, school, and work… I just wanted to live at home !
    It’s hard sometimes to be the flying baby bird too 😉
    I love you mommy

    1. Baby bird is graduating a a few short months!!! So proud of you! Thanks for your perspective and being a great role model for your bro!

      I absolutely love it when you come home and we come up with some crazy kitchen or beauty creations (haha, hair extensions ring a bell?). Btw, I’m sleeping much better..,,xoxo

      1. ah i missed this reply… but i just have to say…. HAIR EXTENSIONS! haha that was definitely one of the crazier experiments.
        love you mama!

  3. My littlest sister is all grown up (she is ten years younger and has always been like my real life baby doll) and the year before last she decided for a semester she would study abroad. She actually looked at a transfer program at a school in Hawaii! But being a French major, she ended up in France. For months and months. And months. I cried on Thanksgiving talking to her on Skype. I worried when she had a cold. I missed our Sunday mornings chatting away on the phone. But she came back. Things are different now because she’s not a kid anymore. She is a busy bee (work, school, friends, and a very nice beau) and I miss her companionship tremendously, but the bottom line is, she always comes home. We all do. And my momma is proud.
    You’ll get through it. It will take time to adjust. Just bake 🙂

    1. Yes, I’ll be baking and sending care packages! I’m losing one of my foodies 🙂 Isn’t Skype and real time amazing technology? Thank you for sharing your sweet story. Little sis’ are the best!!

  4. Beautiful words. You are not alone. You have done a great job and now you need to Let go and Let God. Sam was raised to think smart, be independent and love deeply. You will be his home no matter the distance. All of his wonderful accomplishments are a refection of the love and support of a great family. May he find happiness and success in everything he does. May the not so great choices he will make throughout his life be learning opportunities that help him to grow. May he think of your wisdom often and it help direct him on the roads he chooses. You are always in his heart but don’t expect too many phone calls. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Dk, thank you for the sweet comment. I often think about our short time in Florida, meeting you and your family. I’m really grateful for that. Alyssa was just a baby 🙂 How come we haven’t aged? Hugs, my friend!