Reading, Teaching, Learning

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Slice of Life - The Empty Nest


I love participating in Slice of Life, started by Two Writing Teachers and writing a story, reflection, or musing at least once a week.
 
 
     Last Saturday, August 23rd, my husband, oldest daughter, Libby, and I moved our youngest daughter, Katie, into The Ohio State University for her freshman year.  Libby had moved back into Miami University for her senior year a few days before, but graciously joined us to send off her sister.  OSU has the moving-in process down to a well-oiled machine.  While we had to wait for a long time in our car in a long line waiting for the chance to pull up to the hall, it was worth staying out of the heat and not having to lug all her stuff up to the 7th floor.  We were greeted by cheering, red t-shirt clad students who were there to whisk all her stuff out of our cars (yes, we brought two!) and up to her room.  By the time we made it up to her room, they were right behind us with giant red carts full of her stuff. 
 
     After we made up the bunk bed (that is NOT an easy feat on the top bunk), hooked up the printer, moved around furniture until it was just right, and unpacked most of her stuff, it was time to go.  We took empty plastic bins back down to the lobby, Ed hugged her and said goodbye, and I said my goodbyes while waiting for Ed to get the parked car.  I have to admit I fought back tears after hugging Katie twice and watching her take the elevator back up to her room so she could make the first hall meeting that evening.  Time sure does fly.  How did all those years go by so fast?!Fortunately, Ed knew of a fabulous Greek restaurant in Upper Arlington where we could sit, relax, and start realizing we were empty-nesters.  I am blessed to have a wonderful husband with whom I can spend the next phase of our lives. 
    
Sister time at home after packing and loading!
 
Checking in at Schottenstein Center
 
Schottenstein Center and the Residence Hall banners
 
Katie (right) and her roommate, Jess - the journey begins!
 
     I am also blessed to have wonderful friends, as well.  This Labor Day weekend, we took our annual girls' weekend.  We usually take our trip earlier in the summer, but that was pre-empted by my Czech Republic trip.  They were SO understanding when we had to postpone it, and we rebooked the trip to a closer venue.  It was a little more rustic than we are used to (wink), but we ended up loving it anyway.  Jill, the one on the far left, also recently became an empty-nester.  Her only child started college in Pittsburgh a few days before Katie. This is a group that I can't imagine living life without.  We share laughter, tears, and life's journeys together.  I love them all so much!  It was great to be with them on this long weekend.  It will be interesting to navigate this new time in my life.  I am one who tends to look forward with anticipation, so I know the future is filled with good things. (But it sure is quiet around here.)
 
 
 
 

20 comments:

  1. I am feeling the same things, Holly - happy for the fact that the kids are off and doing great things, and yet the house feels empty.

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    1. Yes - I'm so proud of them! I'll need to adjust, but I'm already seeing the benefits, too. :-)

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  2. In looking at the list of slicers, I was drawn to yours right away. My only child starts UCLA in a few weeks. Last week we dropped her off for a three day orientation. On the third day we joined for parent day. I cried all day behind my sunglasses. I am really excited to start the next phase, but the grief over leaving her childhood behind is getting in my way. Your story helps me know it can be done.

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    1. Aww - crying behind sunglasses. :-( I totally understand - it's all going to be okay, though. Enjoy this next phase!

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  3. How wonderful that your oldest came back from MU to help her sister move into college. LOVE THAT!

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  4. It's a journey many of us have taken, Holly. Sending hugs your way. Now I'm saying goodbye to grown children returning home after a visit. It's great you had your friends weekend, probably a lovely time of support! Have fun with your husband!

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    1. We are having fun with our newfound freedom. I look forward to the girls' visits! :-)

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  5. The first year of empty nest was the hardest. I threw myself into the National Boards process. Now that we've been at it a few years, it's really quite nice. One of our daughters is living with us again,but as an adult with her own job, the dynamics are different. I like it. She's more like a roommate. I know you are proud of your girls and ready for what great things life has in store for you.

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    1. I've always wondered about the National Boards...I am definitely proud!

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  6. What an exciting time for Katie, and what a beautiful picture of your two daughters. Loved seeing the sites of OSU...I moved from Columbus five years ago. And...wondering what Greek restaurant you had dinner....we lived close to the Big Fat Greek Kuzina. Jackie http://familytrove.blogspot.com/

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    1. YES! That's the restaurant! It was DELICIOUS!

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  7. I just took my first one to college and the house seems quiet down just one! Thanks for sharing all of the pictures--your girls are beautiful!

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    1. Yes - even just the first one makes a big difference! Thank you for the compliment. I think they're beautiful, too. ;-)

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  8. Empty nester is an interesting time in life. I have had an year to adjust, but I'm not sure I'm there yet. Blessings for this new time in your life!

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    1. Thanks, Jaana! Life is full of adventures!

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  9. It's a bittersweet time, to be sure. We're so excited for our kids as they begin this phase of their lives; so many possibilities for them! Yet our homes are just not the same. Until Thanksgiving :-)

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    1. Bittersweet - yes. Thanksgiving will be fun! :-)

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  10. I have always believed that every stage is wonderful when it comes to raising children, and I have to believe (although I am not there YET!) that the empty next years will be also. I look forward to that time when it is just me and my husband again, building that love and relationship after all the years of putting the kids first. Enjoy this time and continue to look for the celebrations.

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