By Contributing Author Running Girl of Kay Nou = Our House
We got our oldest, Subway Dude, off to college. Building up to the day he left, he displayed nerves of steel. He was excited about the prospect of college and showed no signs of anxiety at all. From the moment we arrived on campus, he had a huge smile plastered on his face. It was beautiful. It made it hard for me to be sad about leaving him. He was ready and raring to go.
He has been gone for a few weeks. When he deigns to return our phone calls, he sounds so happy. He seems to be adjusting beautifully. He’s taking his coursework seriously. He’s studying and completing his assignments on time. He’s made friends and is socializing. It sounds like he has a lot of kids stopping by his room in the evening to play video games. He is also attending various social events on campus.
Here at Kay Nou (Kreyol for “Our House”), we are chugging along. The Fashionista has entered 10th grade and Island Boy is absolutely stoked about 1st grade. I continue to earn my name of Running Girl, by hitting the roads of WNY every afternoon. During the day, I’m back at work, teaching music to my totally awesome students.
With Subway Dude away at school, some might wonder if we have Empty-ish Nest feelings. I say “empty-ish” because we obviously have many, many years before our nest is truly empty. Our 1st grader has seen to that.
According to my internet research, feelings of Empty Nest, hit women more often than men. It can be displayed through depression or feelings of sadness and grief. Often it is experienced by people who view change as something to be feared rather than something to be embraced. It can be people who are dissatisfied with their relationships with their spouse. It is usually those who identify themselves as full time parents, without employment outside of the home.
Of course, this is not the case for everyone. In fact, at Kay Nou, the member of the family who seems to miss SD the most, exhibits none of the aforementioned qualities. In fact, he thrives on change. He is generally satisfied in his personal relationships. He has not been a Stay-at-Home parent. He has a busy life outside of the home.
You may have figured out that the person who misses SD the most is The Major. He is not depressed or showing signs of grief or sadness. He just missed his son an awful lot.
At drop off, TM quickly offered to bring SD his dorm fridge the following weekend. SD thought that would be okay. Once we returned home, TM posted a Facebook status which read, “The pretense: ‘We are bringing you your dorm fridge.’ The reality: ‘We really miss you and can’t wait to see you.’” SD’s witty response was, “The pretense: ‘I can’t wait to see you.’ The reality: ‘My drinks are getting warm.’
Most experts say to wait several weeks before visiting your son or daughter at college or having them return home for a visit. In reality, this is good advice for parents of young adults who may be experiencing difficulty adjusting. SD is not that kid.
We drove out the following Sunday afternoon and took SD out to Wegmans, a deluxe grocery store, for lunch. We anticipated that it would be a treat for SD to go to Wegmans in order to purchase snacks for his room. He informed us that he had already mastered the bus schedule from campus and had made several trips to the store. Still, we enjoyed a leisurely lunch with SD and loaded up a small cart for him. We drove back to campus and dropped him off where he met up with a group of friends.
The following week, TM wondered allowed if we ought to invite SD home for a visit. The Fashionista and I quickly said we didn’t think that was necessary. ”He’s enjoying himself.”, we said. ”Give him some time. He wants to be with his friends. He’ll let us know when he wants to come home.”
“Are you sure?” asked TM. ”Maybe he thinks we don’t want him here.”
TF and I assured him this was not the case. There’s always Homecoming, Parents Weekend and Thanksgiving to look forward to.
Careful what you wish for, TM. Haven’t you heard about Boomerang Kids?
About the Author: Running Girl is the mother of 3, a wife, music teacher and long distance enthusiasts who lives in Western New York. Please visit her blog at kaynou.wordpress.com
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