Impending Empty Nest…Again

All summer long, I’ve logically prepared for Josh’s move back to Austin. He’s living in an apartment this time, so there were things he’d need, like a TV and a couch. I ordered those things, arranged for delivery. I’ve been buying things along the way, extra toothbrushes, garbage bags, dish towels. I’ve been setting aside things I have too many of: dishes, glasses, a can opener. I have a grocery list for food staples for his pantry.

But a couple of days ago, it hit me. This time he probably won’t come back. He won’t spend a month here at Christmas. May just come down for the day at Thanksgiving. After graduation, he’ll still have 2 1/2 months on his lease, so unless he gets a job here, he won’t be coming home then, either. He’s taking his bed with him, and while we have a twin bed for him to sleep in when he comes home, well, I know that’s not exactly inviting.

My stomach is in knots. I’m always on the verge of tears. I did this before, I know, and actually kind of liked it. There was a definite freedom to not having to work around his schedule, to not have to worry about him being out too late. Fred and I could plan things in advance. This summer has been so nice. He’s worked at his internship full-time, eaten dinner home most nights, only gone out a couple nights a week. It was a very quiet and calm summer. I told my mom it almost makes it worse because I saw him so much more this summer than last, when he was running here and there and working and going to school.

My husband reminds me this is the way it’s supposed to be. And I know it. We were already married at his age. But the thought of him not living here anymore is breaking my heart.


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Natalie J. Damschroder
    Aug 10, 2013 @ 11:18:44


    Yes, he’s right, this is the way it’s supposed to be, but if everything’s been done right, the way you feel is supposed to be, too. I mean, imagine if he was so awful you couldn’t WAIT for him to be gone! 🙂

    You’ll hurt. And then you’ll adjust again, and life will be different but your pride in him and all the great things in store for your family will make it worth it.

    I don’t know how much weight I can give my own words, since I’m just facing my first one leaving for the first time, but it all sounds good, right? 🙂


  2. Mary Curry
    Aug 10, 2013 @ 17:04:48

    I hear you, MJ. My oldest moved into an apartment this summer. She’d been away before (for college) and lived on her own and moved back for Grad school, but this was for real – a grownup apartment in another part of the same city (but over an hour away by subway). Definitely strange. Especially the living in the same city part.


  3. mjfredrick
    Aug 10, 2013 @ 17:20:22

    Natalie, I was thinking about you, going through this the first time. And there are times when I can’t wait, lol! He’s so excited, and that kinda hurts, but of course is natural. Mary, that’s about how far Josh will be, but in Austin. I am looking forward to seeing the place once he’s settled, but I’m still a bit freaked out.


    • Natalie J. Damschroder
      Aug 11, 2013 @ 10:58:19

      When I read the beginning of your post I was like, “She’s so on the ball! I haven’t done anything!” LOL One thing that’s different is that she already has no intention of coming back at the end of the four years. She wants to stay in Boston. If that holds, we’ll have plenty of time to get used to her being 7 hours away. She also hopes to do a semester in LA and maybe even one abroad.


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