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Old 08-27-07, 09:23 AM   #1
Tom Bombadil
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Heavy heart, once again

We have 5 children, all girls. As they grow up and start to move away, I always struggle with it. When they move away to college, I struggle with it - especially in their 2nd year when they sign a 12-month lease and aren't home very much. In our case our four oldest all went to college within 50 miles of our house, with three of them going to the University of Wisconsin, where I work. So I was able to see them frequently and have lunch with them from time to time.

That actually worked well for us, while I missed them not being home much, we saw them regularly.

But then they eventually graduate and move away. I have to say that I just hate to see them move. I am usually in the dumps for days, even weeks, afterward.

This morning daughter #4 left for Vancouver, British Columbia. Got married last week and her husband will be in a graduate program there for a couple of years. The future looks promising for them.

I am very happy for their success and opportunity. I know Vancouver is a great place and my son-in-law is kind to my daughter.

But today is another struggle with a heavy heart, for the 8th time counting 4 daughters first leaving for college and then moving away.

Daughter #5 is still at home, will be just a sophomore in high school this year. So we are a few years away from being empty nesters. I know there are a lot of positive aspects to that, and frankly in some ways I kinda wish that was our situation as I could really use the reduction in stress and complications. Been raising children for 28 years now and must say that it has been both rewarding and exhausting.

I'm looking forward to riding over the next few weeks and sorting things out. Got to get past the sadness to appreciate the positives.

Last edited by Tom Bombadil; 08-27-07 at 09:31 AM.
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Old 08-27-07, 09:27 AM   #2
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Tom,

I know how you feel. My youngest moved out of our house to Dallas a month ago. I miss her being around and pray every night she stays safe. Hang in there. And BTW, the empty nester thing ain't so bad. Our house is certainly alot quieter and cleaner.
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Old 08-27-07, 10:22 AM   #3
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Oh Tom - both of my girls are grown and flown. And while it makes me so sad sometimes, I take happiness in the fact that I did raise independent self-sufficient young women who can follow their dreams - Way too mnay parents of our generation hold our kids back to satisfy our own needs. You did a real, real good job
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Old 08-27-07, 10:23 AM   #4
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I share in your saddness. My youngest son was home for the summer, but we took him back last Wednesday. It was just this morning that I realized why I've been feeling depressed for the last few days. Of course, this is something I could never tell him. He'd think I was trying to make him feel guilty rather than let him know how much he means to me. Kids! What are you gonna do? Oh, yeah, the end of your post addresses this.... ride.
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Old 08-27-07, 10:28 AM   #5
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The nest is empty.

I followed son #4 to Kansas last Friday to see him properly tucked into the dorm. My wife couldn't go with him. Son #3 left for college last week.

Saturday was the first day in 30 years that she did not talk to one of our four boys. It was a very melancholy weekend around our abode.
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Old 08-27-07, 10:47 AM   #6
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Sorry, Tom. That wasn't a problem for me. Mine kept moving back in so many times, when they finally did move out for good, I didn't know it.
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Old 08-27-07, 11:43 AM   #7
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Want to borrow one of mine?
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Old 08-27-07, 12:24 PM   #8
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Sorry Tom. I know how you feel...all three of ours have flown. Two live a couple hours away and with thier now-busy lives we don't get to see them as often as we would like. Number three is only a couple miles, so we see her often. Actually, after awhile, the empty nest gets quite comfy. You find you start doing things you didn't have time for before. And the visits are now really something special.
Hope the riding helps....
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Old 08-27-07, 12:35 PM   #9
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So now you have more room for bicycles.
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Old 08-27-07, 12:51 PM   #10
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Sadness is to be expected, depression is not.
As someone said, be proud that they are independent and educated.
Life goes on, be happy now, soon you may be enjoying or raising grandchildren.
I won't share the stories of empty-nesters raising grandchildren.
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Old 08-27-07, 12:55 PM   #11
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There are alot of positives to watching your children go learn the ways of the world. Just today I am taking our 2nd son, that we've had home for the last 3 weeks, to catch flights to Spain, he is in the Air Force. He will be in Spain for 3 years. The big positive to that is I see a trip to Spain in my future! The other son lives in CA, and we still have a daughter that is a HS junior this year. I love hearing what is new in their lives!!
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Old 08-27-07, 01:44 PM   #12
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As a follow up to my first response to this thread, I'd just like to add....

At one point my wife and I thought about starting a family business. I wish we had done so. Hearing about them, taking pride in their accomplishments, etc. is all good. But seeing them on a regular basis and being a part of their daily life is better.
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Old 08-27-07, 01:56 PM   #13
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I'll take one of the spare bedrooms.
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Old 08-27-07, 02:04 PM   #14
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Maybe I'll make me a naked room out of one of their bedrooms.
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Old 08-27-07, 02:04 PM   #15
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Seemed to take years for my two to move out and no worries about not seeing them. They both moved to a town about 10 miles away, and I always knew when it was too much month left after the money- They came back to get some home Cooking- For a few days.

Then they both bought their own houses with their Fiances- and both are getting married next year. They both bought houses within 1/2 a mile of where I live and I still know when the Month has got too long- They appear at about 6pm and say "That smells good" as they walk though the door. Even if it is going to be a salad.

They may be flying the nest but the allure of Mum's cooking and dad's "Wit" are too strong a tie for them to stay away for too long.
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Old 08-27-07, 05:30 PM   #16
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Tom, I miss my pumpkins too. The boy is living with his GF and will finish college in December. He's sitting on a hot job offer and has a promising future. The girl has gone to Germany for her third year of college and writes about how great the beer is. Like we didn't know. Her future looks good too.
Rather than brood about an empty nest, we have taken to watching their lives develop from a discreet distance. They are glad to share with us because we maintain a positive attitude and always reinforce forward thinking. You'll get used to it. But you do have to let your birds fly. bk
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Old 08-27-07, 05:51 PM   #17
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Consider and remember the uncounted multitudes of fathers over centuries of time who have watched children leave....including your own father. Doesn't make things any easier... not a bit. But, you aren't alone. I still sit in my daughter or son's room once in a while. A million memories of family times endearing and beckoning.

The kids are out there, riding the wave of maturity and independence throughout their lives to come that you helped create. Chances are, they'll raise their kids in much the same way you raised them.

Better to have had them than not, better for them to be in the world though physically distant, better to go call one of them just to say "Hi"...they're carrying part of you with them always as you do them.

Then, good to go for a ride and dedicate that next hill to what you and your kids have given and will continue to give to each other...whether at home or "out there"-- but always close in your heart and theirs.
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Old 08-27-07, 05:54 PM   #18
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Then they both bought their own houses with their Fiances- and both are getting married next year. They both bought houses within 1/2 a mile of where I live and I still know when the Month has got too long- They appear at about 6pm and say "That smells good" as they walk though the door. Even if it is going to be a salad.
I wouldn't mind it at all if they were 50-100 miles away. One is just 12 miles away now. But the other three are 550, 950, and now 2000 miles away. Hard to see much of them. It would be nice if they were within say a 3 hour drive so we could go see them over a weekend.

Of course it is far, far easier to stay in touch with them using modern technology. Between phones, cell phones, email, instant messaging, and even video conferencing, you can make several contacts a week.

I think back of stories I've read about when families migrated to the USA, or when they moved from the East Coast to pioneer country. Many times they never saw family members again.
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Old 08-27-07, 05:57 PM   #19
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Consider and remember the uncounted multitudes of fathers over centuries of time who have watched children leave....including your own father. Doesn't make things any easier... not a bit. But, you aren't alone. I still sit in my daughter or son's room once in a while. A million memories of family times endearing and beckoning.
Up until the last couple of generations, most moves were relatively short distances. Now they, like we did, move hundreds of miles.

Your point is a good one, although my own father never had the opportunity to see his children move away as he died at 40. I had an interesting contemplation event when I visited his grave a couple of years back and thought about how I was 10 years older than he had ever been.
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Old 08-27-07, 06:06 PM   #20
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I really feel your pain. I just moved my oldest 2000 miles away and the empty feeling in the pit of my stomach has yet to completely go away. I've been completely caught off guard by the after affects. I'm thrilled and very excited for my oldest as she will do fine but I'm still very much concerned for her.
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Old 08-27-07, 06:07 PM   #21
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As time goes on, rest assured, your kids will miss you even more than you miss them.
They will be thinking of you often, sometimes several times a day when things aren't so easy and they wonder, "how in the heck did my parents ever manage this?" Some kids will 'fess up to this readily, others won't want to tell you 'cause it's so "mushy". Just pointing out that you and your kids have a heartfelt bond that will NEVER go away. So, try to smile and feel the love!!!!
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Old 08-27-07, 06:46 PM   #22
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Not to be too maudlin, but, Tom Bombadil sounds like a great dad.
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Old 08-27-07, 07:45 PM   #23
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You need a puppy!! And what a coincidence, I just happen to have one beautiful 8 week old male Jack Russell still available! His sire just won the Working Terrier Conformation Championship this past weekend at the Chicago area JRTCA trial too. He's pretty nice and I know you're tempted.....

Seriously, I know what you mean. We have sons close and daughter and grandsons far. I like close better. The seasons of our lives....
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Old 08-27-07, 08:07 PM   #24
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I don't have children of my own, but my niece is leaving very soon for school in San Diego. I'm already missing her, yet she is only a phone call or email away. Though she is not my own child, it helps me understand how you must be feeling.
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Old 08-27-07, 09:00 PM   #25
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You need a puppy!!
No!

We have a 4 year old golden retriever and two cats. And, as noted above, a 15 yr old daughter going to high school. We do NOT need a puppy!
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