Streetlights Down Memory Lane

Empty Nest


My son at the piano.

Where have you gone little boy?

Those days so sweet are past

They said these years would fly by

And here we are at last

 But there you stand so tall and straight  

Discus Practice at William & Mary

A fine young man indeed

You represent all that we love

You are our precious seed

A seed planted in God’s soil

To grow in Christ alone

Rising up to be like Him

And to someday share His throne

Glasses I saved 25 years ago for my son.

After a week of cleaning, de-cluttering and packing, my husband and son loaded up the U-Hall truck. This morning, pulling the compact car behind them, they began the 2004 mile journey to Los Angeles, CA.

Hollywood Bound!

Packed and ready to go.

Four years ago, when my son left for college, every one told me that event was the empty nest. I knew that it really wasn’t. I knew that he’d be home for fall, Christmas and spring break and then again for the summer. I knew that it was just practice for the real thing.

The Empty Nest

Right upstairs is an empty room. My son has moved out. He is gone. And even though this time is a bittersweet one for me, I am so happy for him. He is finally going to do what he’s always wanted to do since he was a child. Pursue his dream in film making.

“I make believe”

God’s Speed… 

Where are you in your journey with your children? How have you prepared them and yourself for the empty nest? I would love to hear your stories, your thoughts, your tried and true tips and suggestions for those who still have children at home and for those on the cusp of the empty nest.

Years ago, when my son was a toddler, a wise woman told me never to wish my son’s childhood away. She told me that someday I would long to have little hand prints to wash off my living room wall.

She was right.

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19 thoughts on “Empty Nest”

  1. My daughter is only 1 at the moment, but I can see how her leaving the nest at an older age will affect what I do. It is crazy how much they becoming a part of everything you do when you have kids. I look at my life 2 years ago and think, man how I didn’t even know what I was missing.

    1. One! How precious! You have so many special years ahead! I’m smiling just thinking about it. 🙂 I know you’ll treasure every moment, every day with her.

      Best, Gilliad and thanks for stopping by!

  2. Darcy, I loved this post. I can remember so clearly when my daughter packed her car and drove from Chicago to Seattle where she wanted to work. My heart was breaking but I managed to tell her how excited I was for her new adventure. If she hadn’t gone she would not have become the incredible woman she is today. But Lord do I miss her!

    1. Karla, that’s wonderful to hear. My son is so happy and excited and just like your daughter, I look forward to seeing how this new season in his life will grow him into an ‘incredible’ man.:)
      I love hearing how even though your heart was breaking, you smiled and shared in your daughter’s excitement! We both know what that meant to her!
      Thanks for taking the time to share your special story!

  3. I have two children–my daughter is a freshman in high school, and my little boy is a 2nd grader. I’m already dreading the day that my girl goes off to college. (Maybe I’ll follow her discreetly and rent an apartment nearby? No… my husband would probably get mad, and my daughter would be horrified!) Anyway, I feel your pain. But what an accomplishment! He’s a young man who is going off to follow his dream. You gave him the foundation to build his life on, the encouragement to believe in himself, and the confidence he needed to go after what he wants. Those are the greatest gifts a parent could ever give their child. Well done!

    1. Martina,
      I have to laugh, I secretly wished I could get an apartment near my son when he went to college! I teased him that I was going to! I can still see the blood draining from his face! LOL
      You know I think as mothers we all feel the same way. When our kids are little we live in the moment because we know our time with them is short. Thank you for your kind words of encouragement:
      “You gave him the foundation to build his life on, the encouragement to believe in himself, and the confidence he needed to go after what he wants.”
      That’s exactly what my husband and I did. It’s wonderful to hear it from someone else. You have made my day! Thank you!

      1. Yes, we are all in this together, aren’t we? Sooner or later, we all experience the same sorts of things: being in love, getting married, having children, and then watching them leave the nest. The human experience can be both wonderful in one moment, and gut-wrenching in another. I’m so glad that we can all relate to one another, so we can draw on each other for support when we need it. Cheers, Darcy!

  4. What a lovely post! I’m a few years away from empty nest, but not that far from from my first going off to college. Sigh. I can’t even imagine it! I wish your son all the best in his career! And I’m sure you will find many things to keep yourself busy. 😉

  5. Aww, Darcy, I’m about to cry. I dread when my kids are ready to move out, but every once in a while I secretly can’t wait too. lol Mostly, I know I’ll be very sad. My daughter’s 18. She’s not going anywhere for a while. College, next year, hopefully, and she’ll commute. She’s not in a rush, and neither am I. My son is just 11.
    I remember when he was 5, and he asked, “Mommy, do I have to move out some day?”
    “No, but you’ll want to.”
    “When I get married, my wife and I will live with you.”
    Great! 😉
    Good luck to you, your husband, and your son.

    1. Jennifer, I’m so glad your daughter is not in any hurry to leave. 🙂 You must have a nice relationship with her! And your son sounds like mine at that age. I homeschooled him during his younger years. Here’s one of our conversations when he was 8,
      ” I want you to homeschool me when I’m in college, too.”
      “Oh, you won’t want me to.”
      His little face crumbled and I realized I’d said the wrong thing.
      “Yes I will,” he insisted, tearfully.
      “Okay, sure, if you want me to.” 🙂
      You never know what your kids will remember from their childhood. My son remembers that conversation and we still laugh about it.
      Thanks Jennifer!

  6. It is a very poignant time, and you’re a good mom to realize it–and still celebrate his going. You did a good job. (My son wanted to live next door to us if we “made” him leave and yeah, he got over it. LOL!)

  7. Hi, Darcy. Crossroads are the stuff of life. How lucky we are that helping our sons and daughters is a little like pushing them out the door, too. My son now has his own little boy and it takes me back when he talks about how fast things are happening in his life.
    Take care.

  8. I love your poem, your photos, your whole post. I wish your son much success! I have four grown children. I worked part-time as a court reporter while hubby and I raised them. They grew up in a flash! Three are married. Two are now parents. My son has a two-year-old daughter, my sweet firstborn grandchild who I was so blessed to witness her birth. Last week we learned she’s going to be a big sister! Yippee!
    Our oldest daughter has a 14-month-old. I’m his care giver. He kicks my butt trying to keep up with him, but there’s nothing better than cuddling and kissing and laughing with a toddler. Since I was a working mother when my kids were little (but I still was very involved with their schools), this is like a do over for me! I’m a stay-at-home grammy!

    Over a year ago our youngest moved out at age 21. I turned her room into a little studio and made some YouTube videos for kids! Funny Bones, a clown skeleton telling jokes and some other silly stuff. Haha! We’ve since had to move to an apartment, so I lost my makeshift studio, and our youngest has since moved in with us. Supposedly ‘temporarily.’ It never bothered me being an empty nester because I’m always so busy, there’s not time to think about it. And I’m close to my kids. Thankfully, none of them have moved away. Like you, I would be happy if they had to move far away to follow their dreams, but I would miss them terribly. Beautiful post, Darcy!

    1. Lynn, I loved hearing about your children. Four! Wow, I can’t imagine. 🙂 I can tell you and your hubby are blessed. I can’t imagine my son being a dad someday and me a grandma! But, I know it will be here before I know it, just like the empty nest! LOL Thanks for your kind and encouraging words. I think I’ll have to do something special with his room. A studio sounds very nice. 🙂

      I hate that my son will be so far away but this is a perfect time for him to go for his dream…no family to raise, no one to take care of but himself. This is his time, for sure.


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