Saturday, September 17, 2016

When Mom and Dad Grow-up and Leave Home

2007 Christmas Past
When one of my older grandsons was a small boy he would talk about how his grandfather and I would have to go to work like his mom and dad when we grew up. He was a little boy when we retired and did not remember us ever going to work.

He had jobs picked out for us too. I was going to go to work at the "Untangling Store". I don't remember what grandpa was going to do. But for Ethan our lives were all planned.

That was 20 years ago. He is a Marine now and has been stationed in Australia for over 6 months. His mother and father are both retired. His mother has moved on to a new job and his dad is doing what he loves.

His sister is leaving for college and that family will officially be empty nesters. The time has come for their parents to grow up and leave home too.

I wonder how those children will feel when no one is home at Christmas or even for their birthday. It seems that young people don't really want to create a world without mom and dad. It is only right that they wouldn't.

A young woman I talked to yesterday was having a hard time visualizing the reality that her parents, like her, were going to leave the nest and spread their wings. While the parents will come back, it just will not be the same if they are not home for the holidays.

My husband and I have done this very thing and it is wonderful and not wonderful at the same time. We remember when our children depended on us to keep the traditions alive and that was an extremely happy time for us. When we grew into a retirement life they were forced to create those of their own. It is a tug of war sometimes to find a place for all of us.

I admit that we have called on a holiday to tell about how much fun we were having and where we were. It could have been that they were lonesome for us and maybe even a little envious. That was how the young woman appeared to me.

I did tell her that she needed to create traditions of her own with her family. It is only fair to her parents. Soon there would be grandchildren and new adventures in her life.

As for me, we continue to grow into our aging life. We are the luckiest people in world when it comes to our children. They have never once made us feel guilty about the life we live now. But on some days, I want to turn back the clock for just a few days. I miss our younger selves I guess.

Just a thought on this rainy Saturday. Fall is officially here!



  1. Thoughtful post, Barbara. My daughter is an only child and we are a very close family. Since she has been married, she has been developing her own traditions and we are now at the point where holiday celebrations are held at her house rather than at mine. I love that shift in responsibility! I go and help her prepare but I don't have the responsibility of it being at my house! It is easier for her to accept that I have my own life now that she is married and has a child. Leaving the nest has definitely been a gradual process.

    1. We are the same in all those things. The life we live now is one we have invented over a period of 20 years. In fact, as I look back it was a natural progression of life. There were changes and epiphanies, good and bad, problems and solutions. We are very happy and content.



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