Melancholy Weekend

lynninnewmexicoMay 29, 2012

Just returned from our long holiday weekend, getting our sweet DD signed up for college at the University of Oklahoma. Did the whole parent/ new incoming student, day-long orientation thing and they do it so well at OU. Got her signed up for her first semester of classes and all that. This is our baby girl. Been there, done that with her big brother (also at OU) and am feeling both the proud mom and the sad almost-empty nester. I'm now wishing she'd wanted to stay closer to home at UNM but what can I say? We raise Sooners, even though we live in New Mexico. Three more months and she'll be off on her next life adventure. Gosh the time just flew by; one day she was a little kid and the next she was graduating from high school!

Sorry . . . I'm kind of melancholy tonight.


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I hear you Lynn, I was only 40 when all of my kids were gone and it was a difficult adjustment. I loved bringing them up and missed them so much but then marriage and grands came and the sunshine was back so, take the time to be melancholy, it's part of the process. Then think about all the housework you won't have to do with them gone lol.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2012 at 1:23AM
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I was weepy at DS1's preschool graduation last week. I can only imagine how you feel!

    Bookmark   May 29, 2012 at 7:25AM
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I often wonder why people think when the kids go off to college they are empty nesters. You are not! My husbnd always liked to point out that (after paying the tuition) that our girls seemed like they were home from college more than in college with all the breaks etc.
As you probably saw with your son, you are still involved in their lives. Next up you will be going to parent's weekend. Then Thanksgiving, then Christmas break. Lots to look forward to. And of course the summer.
Since I had to go to a local college, I really wanted my kids to experience going away. They get a chance at independence, yet have the security of family backing them up. Lots of time to explore and grow. Honestly, I don't think going local can compare.
So, take the time to feel what you are feeling. But, know too that you did a job well done:)

    Bookmark   May 29, 2012 at 7:55AM
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oh, I hear you..... when my youngest went to kindergarten, that feeling shocked me -somehow I hadn't realized I'd be on my own all day until after I dropped her off. She'll be heading to college in two years, and is an adventurous one, so I'm sure it'll be a plane ride away. Our son is at college 1600 miles away, so we're experienced at this now, but it is something altogether different with the youngest. Many years ago, a wise friend told me (when I was trying to decide whether to be a SAHM), "It's the leap, not the landing." And she was right... so much angst beforehand, followed by a wonderful landing. Here's hoping this will apply to you here...

    Bookmark   May 29, 2012 at 8:40AM
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ellendi, you're spot on. When the kids go to college you're not an empty nester. At least we're not. Gosh. I sent DD off to college last year thinking MY time had come. I didn't count on all those breaks and parents events and the times she needed us to drive out to campus because of an emergency. We still see a lot of her. She calls home frequently to talk to me or her Dad. It's not like she's gone really even though school is almost 5 hours away and she lives there during the year. Is this empty nesting? Um, not by a long shot. Maybe this changes as they progress through the next grades.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2012 at 9:05AM
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I know exactly how you feel Lynn. When we sent our dd off to school 4 years ago, I cried most of the way home. I still catch myself thinking I have to be available for mom duty 24/7. It's taken some time but watching her (and I) grow has been a wonderful experience.

Lots of phone calls, emails and visits kept us right in the thick of her busy life. We feel like we've never missed a beat - before you know it you will feel that way too

    Bookmark   May 29, 2012 at 11:49AM
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My youngest just graduated from college at the end of winter term. It didn't hit me so hard when he went off to college, because he was very social in HS and not around much, plus he and I didn't do that many things together. Also, he went to college in state, just a couple of hours away, and came home farly often. But I am still missing my daughter, who went off to college in another state in 2005, and is now living in the "big city" a plane ride away from us. Whenever a movie is out that I know that my DH doesn't want to see, but that my DD would love, when I just want to hang out with my daughter, when I just want to be more involved with her life, I get so sad, and it's been 7 years!

    Bookmark   May 29, 2012 at 12:50PM
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I can sympathize. My DD will be leaving for college in the fall, too. Even though she is only going to be a few minutes away because we live near the university, I don't know how I will adjust to not seeing her every day. And I will still have three at home -- it will really shock my system when the last one leaves.

It's hard to face change and loss, even when "independence" is for the best. I don't blame you a bit for feeling a bit melancholy. At the same time, hopefully you will find slivers of silver lining where you can... I am thinking that it will be nice to see my DD over a cafe table when we go out for lunch instead of seeing her sleeping on top of muddled laundry all over her bed... that kind of thing ;-)

    Bookmark   May 29, 2012 at 11:20PM
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Thank you all so much for your kind replies. I feel embarrassed for having posted such a downer thread. But, your thoughts and experiences have really lifted me up. Tonight as I sat here starting to iron DH's shirt for tomorrow, my sweet thoughtful DD brought us both a cup of hot tea. We sat watching Katie Couric's special on the Royals together as I ironed, chatting. I'm going to miss these times together, but realize that we have 18 really wonderful years of memories behind us . . . and many more new-but-different ones to come.
Have I mentioned lately how much I love and appreciate this site?
Thank you for understanding!

    Bookmark   May 30, 2012 at 12:21AM
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Oh, I remember that time in my life, too. My son went to Boulder and we live in PA. I flew out there with him and then came home to a very empty house. After years of having teenage boys hanging around and going to their activities,especially all those graduation activities, prom, etc., the house was just sooooo quiet.

I flew out for Parents Weekend and he came home for all the holidays but he never really lived at home again after that.

So, you get on with the next stage of life. It's different but also fulfilling. As you know, it is just so wonderful to watch them blossom into young adults.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2012 at 7:47AM
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I appreciate these posts so much, as I have a 9 year old and will certainly try to remember when our time comes for him to go to college, BUT, my hope is to have him be a Sooner also, which is just about 5 miles from us!

There are six of us couples that run around together, and we were at the home of one couple this weekend with all our boys and rest of the brothers and sisters. They have been to preschool together and to watch them grow up together is so nice. I made the comment that I would love to see them all at OU, in the same fraternity, and us all going to the football games, etc. Of course, so far, I am sure one will be going to Harvard, etc. since he is so brilliant-HA! I can wish though....

    Bookmark   May 30, 2012 at 10:37AM
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lynne, it really does get better with time- you somehow adjust to what you need to. I remember dropping my kids off at college and feeling so sad. One of those kids eventually found a (wonderful) husband overseas, and lives there, and I can't believe it, but I've somehow come to feel somewhat at peace with it (most of the time). And I thought I wouldn't survive when they went off to kindergarten.

What becomes the most important is that they're happy. We can somehow eventually learn to live a happy life ourselves even when we don't get to see them every day.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2012 at 10:50AM
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You live that close to OU? Lucky you, as I love Norman! (This trip we stayed at the newish Embassy Suites Hotel there, as our old fav, the Residence Inn was sold and turned into condos). Maybe we can meet for lunch someday while I'm there to visit DD, Olliesmom.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2012 at 10:53AM
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lynn, would LOVE that! We can meet at The Mont! I'm sure you know the place with your son having gone to OU. I'm actually going there tonight with a bunch of girlfriends, celebrating our kids being out of school!

    Bookmark   May 30, 2012 at 11:06AM
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I LOVE the Mont! I love Campus Corner . . . and I love the Antique Garden, too (LOL!).
I'll let you know when I'm heading back next.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2012 at 11:17AM
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Lynn, I know it's hard when they finally grow up and are entering a new phase in their lives; but it's also a new phase for you too! It may take a little time to adapt and just like with your son, you are always going to miss her, but life has a way of filling in those gaps of time and allowing you to find new things to enjoy and spoil yourself with. It's also going to be a new phase for your relationship with her, one that can be, will be equally rewarding. As I write this, I think of Judith's recent post about her new grandson and how she's helped all of her daughters to deliver their babies. How joyful and amazing is that. It's the relationship behind that that makes them leaving the nest worth it. Right now I'm helping my daughter decorate her new home, the laughs and giggles are memories I'll never forget. It is so fun and rewarding to see them experience each new stage of life. Yes, take a moment to be a bit melancholy and maybe even morn for the past, but you don't need to worry, it's no where near over, there is still a lot more fun ahead of you too!

    Bookmark   May 30, 2012 at 11:57AM
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Ollie, since dh and I both went to OU, and I also worked in the business school for 5 years, we just assumed our kids would go there. We'd drive them to Norman so they could look at campus, and of course we are HUGE football fans.

Guess what they did instead? They went ORANGE. We are truly a "House divided!" lol

Norman's a great town though. We lived 1 block from the stadium and made tons of money on game days by selling parking spaces. And we had 2 driveways! Great college memories!

    Bookmark   May 30, 2012 at 12:20PM
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Don't worry . . . my eldest son and youngest daughter just graduated from college last week and my middle son graduates next week. Never thought they would all graduate the same year (they were on different paths). Anyway, the time just flew by and now . . . they are all coming back - at least until they find jobs, earn enough money to move out etc. I've missed them - it's nice to be able to spend time with them as young adults back here at the house again. I think they actually appreciate our "wisdom" now because prior to moving out they didn't have a CLUE about what it's like to live without mom and dad. I know they won't be here forever but they are actually a pleasure to have around at this point. (OF COURSE I COULD CHANGE MY MIND - IT'S ONLY BEEN A WEEK). I think I'm going to avoid the "whats for dinner" question directed at me by giving each of them a night that they will be responsible for cooking too. I have to say I really enjoyed not having to worry about meals while the kids were gone - I guess I'll have to step it up a notch. Anyway. . . cheer up . . . stay in touch with them . . . the years ahead will be a time they will never forget. Congrats to you for getting them there - you must have done something right.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2012 at 11:42AM
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I work for a distributor that sells equipment for a corporation with its factory in Norman, and went there for a business trip last year. If you go there, stay at the Sooner Legends hotel. It is family owned, and has amazing food. Their restaurant has this amazing red velvet cake (crimson and cream) and there is all this really interesting sports memorabilia there. The woman who runs the place is wonderful.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 9:44PM
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