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  1. #1
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    O.T. Why is it....

    ...that after over 21 years of preparations for this day it is so hard to make it through?

    Our baby (by 8 minutes..twins) is moving out tomorrow. She will only be 400 miles down the road, but she's moving out just the same...lock, stock, and barrel. She's arranged to live in an apartment with a roommate and continue her education (post graduate), and hopefully also find some work.

    This is our last one out. The oldest moved accross the country to L.A. 2 1/2 years ago. While that was difficult we were still quite consumed at that time with the twins as they were between freshman and sophmore years in college and we were still quite involved with their lives. The older twin (attending college in Milwaukee) was setting up temporary housekeeping in Chicago and working a Summer internship. We had moved her in just prior to our oldest leaving for L.A.

    We didn't realize it at the time, but the Chicago internship would keep the older twin in Chicago every Summer through-out her four years of school. She was, for all intents and purposes, moved out!

    Our younger twin however came home every Summer for eight to ten weeks. Well, she graduated this past week with Highest Honors and is heading out into the world to see what she can do.

    The older twin will graduate in May so we can still look foreward to helping her move into an apartment in Chicago, though she most likely won't need us..she didn't for her moves over the past two summers. So that's it. The house will be empty, and quiet, indefinately. One is 3000 miles away, one is 800 miles away and one is 400 miles away. Visits will be few and far between as travel is expensive.

    We spent their entire lives preparing them for this big step, but we seem to have forgotten to prepare ourselves.
    Last edited by cranky old dude; 12-29-10 at 08:04 AM.

  2. #2
    Century bound Phil85207's Avatar
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    I feel for you, as we have done the same thing some time ago. We had six and they scattered from coast to coast. It's tough to handle sometimes especially Christmas time. Its nearly impossible to get them all at one place at the same time as they all have there own agendas with there own families. 21 grandchildren and 3 great's. If we want to see them it's up to us to make the effort, and that even goes for two of them that are within 50 miles of home. They are so busy with there own lives, and I guess thats how it should be, but I don't have to like it.
    Chief Executive In Charge Of Diddly Squat.

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  3. #3
    Life is good RonH's Avatar
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    I know how tough it is. All mine are long gone. My youngest is 30.
    The toughest move out for me was when the first one left. She only moved 3 miles away but still...
    My bikes --> 2001 Litespeed Tuscany---2013 Cannondale CAAD 10 2 (5) "Racing Edition"

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  4. #4
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    To be honest- I was glad to see my two making it out in the real world instead of the safety of the parents home. And it did not really have an affect on me as they both moved close enough for them to turn up at the doorstep saying they were Hungry and needed feeding.

    Both my daughters have made it -married- buying their own home and moved back to the home town and live within 1/2 mile of us so it hasn't really affected us at all. In fact- if anything I may even see a bit too much of them as I now need "My" own space but I can see it from your point of view. Going long periods without seeing them would be difficult but just think of the times you will have when you do meet up. Makes the Journeys worthwhile.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


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  5. #5
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    I know how to cure your problem.

    Start by having sex in every room in the house - her's first.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
    I know how to cure your problem.

    Start by having sex in every room in the house - her's first.
    Good God Man!

    That's how this all started in the first place!!!

  7. #7
    Team Poseur Metric Man's Avatar
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    We have 5 kids and they started moving out in 1999. The youngest turns 18 on Friday and we are staring at the empty nest very soon. I tend to look at it with pride...raising productive decent members of society is no easy task, but the downside is they are spread around the country and holidays are especially tough. Most always we have some of them home, but not since 1999 have we had all of them...until this year. This Christmas we actually had all 5 kids, their spouses and 5 grandkids. What a blessing it was. Chaos to be sure, but a wonderful experience. And we got a great new family picture the day after Christmas. Only one spouse here, one daughter is divorced and the other is married to an anesthesiologist (he's a cardiac superstar) who was in surgery this day. My sons are still single.
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  8. #8
    Uber Goober StephenH's Avatar
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    Well, the kids are gone, and that's not so bad. The bad part is, they're off to college and I'm paying the bills. I'll be glad when they're graduated and working, so I can waste their inheritance on more trivial things like better bicycles.
    "be careful this rando stuff is addictive and dan's the 'pusher'."

  9. #9
    Senior Member NOS88's Avatar
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    We're dealing with the empty nest syndrome this year too. My friends who have dealt with this a few years before us assure us that it won't take long before new patterns are built and the emptiness of the house doesn't seem so pervasive and deep. I do know that text messages and the Internet will keep us much more connected than phone calls. While they were in school they always responded to text messages and email, but almost never called. Heck, with my oldest one, we've even learned to watch a baseball game together at 200 miles distance by using text messages during the game. It keeps us connected. Hang in there Cranky and embrace whatever contact you can get with them.
    A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking. - S. Wright

  10. #10
    Senior Member miss kenton's Avatar
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    I hear you, Cranky! My first-born-male-child moved to NYC this fall. As I told a friend with a son who just joined the Peace Corps and will be living in Kenya for the next two years, when we do our job as parents properly, when our children become successful and self-sufficient, and grow into people we can be proud of-we get to be left alone and sad because they've made their way!

  11. #11
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    I'm jealous -- you must have had some kids who didn't act stupid as teens! I love all of mine (from other marriages and all), but I know there's not a one I won't be sad to see move out.

    2 have come back; I'm so ready for those two to get back on their own even keel and get out that I can't hardly stand it!

    I think my 'mourning phase' happens when they hit those teen years, and are no longer the cute little playmates who hug and cuddle with selfless abandon. SO, by the time, they move, yeah -- I'm ready.

  12. #12
    It's MY mountain DiabloScott's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
    I know how to cure your problem.

    Start by having sex in every room in the house - her's first.
    Or turn her room into the man cave. Add bikes, beer, dartboard, computer, electronics to your taste.

    Best thing my parents did for me was make me not need them. Good job.
    http://diabloscott.blogspot.com/

  13. #13
    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Andy is always nearby, and we see him regularly.

    Tim was especially hard for us as he went off to Stanford, me driving the huge 1983 Chevy wheelchair van with the raised roof, pulling a trailer absolutely loaded with stuff necessary for him to live and study, and a female aide. Nora and her sister were both crying as we pulled out of the driveway. Except for the breakdown on Altamont Pass - where they had to tow us into Livermore and replace the radiator hose - we made it to Stanford.

    Each summer he did a clerkship - first in LA, and I flew out and moved him to LA for the summer, and then in DC, and I also flew out and then drove the van from Palo Alto across the country to DC, where I met them as they flew in.

    Tim moved to Washington, DC, working for the firm he had the clerkship with, and met and married the perfect daughter-in-law who was his supervisor on a huge case. They worked for a high powered attorney firm there - like 18 hours per day - and then decided to move to DENVER, where they started their own firm.

    Now they love to see us, and we have holidays together and visit when we can around their extremely busy travel schedule. It has worked out great.

    And, you will adapt quickly to your quiet home.
    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

  14. #14
    Senior Member jgjulio's Avatar
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    Having my second of two move out was one of the hardest things my wife and I had to go through.
    It gets better with time but it is one of those life events that are crappy even though it is a good thing.
    Best of luck to you and your wife on the transition.
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  15. #15
    Banned. The Weak Link's Avatar
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    Tough times. I've gone through it three times now.

    It was also very tough to give the two girls away in marriage.

    We came up with a couple of solutions:
    1. Have grandkids. We have 4 now. It's a blast.
    2. Adopt. Just make sure they're already housebroken.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Bare Feet's Avatar
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    First, Congratulations on your DD's recent college graduation and admission to grad school!

    As for the empty nest . . I can hardly bear the thought myself. My son moved out years ago already, and that left a big hole in my heart and in the family because he was so much fun to have around. He's 45 mins away and I'd say we see him monthly. One daughter is in her third year of college and she plans to eventually live near her brother. The baby,17, will be off to college before you know it.

    NOS88 mentions texting and email to stay in touch with them. Let me suggest in addition: Skype with a webcam- its nice to have the visual and it's free.

    Good luck tomorrow, and hug yourselves extra tight.

    P.S. Just want to say Cranky, you really are a talented writer.
    2011 Cannondale Synapse Carbon 5 - WSD
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bare Feet View Post
    First, Congratulations on your DD's recent college graduation and admission to grad school!

    As for the empty nest . . I can hardly bear the thought myself. My son moved out years ago already, and that left a big hole in my heart and in the family because he was so much fun to have around. He's 45 mins away and I'd say we see him monthly. One daughter is in her third year of college and she plans to eventually live near her brother. The baby,17, will be off to college before you know it.

    NOS88 mentions texting and email to stay in touch with them. Let me suggest in addition: Skype with a webcam- its nice to have the visual and it's free.

    Good luck tomorrow, and hug yourselves extra tight.

    P.S. Just want to say Cranky, you really are a talented writer.
    Thank you very much for the generous compliments!

    The Skype idea was spot on as our daughters have been using it for some time now to communicate with each other and freinds. In light of that, I had commissioned our daughters to pick out a webcam with built in microphone as a Christmas gift for the wife. They took the 'Bull by the horns' and purchased and installed the cam right under my brides nose and she was none the wiser. They even downloaded Skype and set up an account for her. Imagine her suprise on Christmas morning when after unwrapping that empty webcam box the girls led her into the den and showed her the 'Setup'!

    Though she's a bit skeptical about any new techno-gadgetry, her first lesson on it will come this evening when Karen calls from Chicago. As we put Karen on her train last night she promised to give Mom a call later today while Susan is still home (she flies out tomorrow morning), so they can coach her from both ends of the call.

    Barbara leaves for NYC later this morning. I'm sure she'll be on Skype a lot with her mother once she gets her new apartment and Grad School schedule all squared away. Then the bride can teach me how to use it, maybe.
    Last edited by cranky old dude; 12-30-10 at 04:36 AM.

  18. #18
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    Thank you everyone for your kind words, advice, and understanding.

    Just to sorta keep this bike related, I did spend about an hour out in the snow last night ensuring that Barbara's bike was 'Good to go'. She changed bikes on me. She had been using a Wally-world RoadMaster but decided that it really was a bit too heavy and opted instead to take along the old Performance 403 that I had picked up at a garage sale for $20 several years ago..... so I ended up installing head and tail light mounts, a rear reflector and a couple of spoke reflectors. The brakes and shifters checked out O.K.! (Now I need to order parts to replace the ones I stole off of my own bikes to set up hers.)

    And so the wife and I have gone through yet another 'Rite of Passage'. I'm not sure what's next but please oh please don't tell me. It would spoil the suprise!!

  19. #19
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cranky old dude View Post
    opted instead to take along the old Performance 403 that I had picked up at a garage sale for $20 several years ago..... so I ended up installing head and tail light mounts, a rear reflector and a couple of spoke reflectors. The brakes and shifters checked out O.K.! (Now I need to order parts to replace the ones I stole off of my own bikes to set up hers.
    Uh - huh.

    Buying up cheap bikes at garage sales - check.
    Recumbent ownership - check.
    Moving parts from one bike to another - check.

    You've definitely got CBTB
    Last edited by Retro Grouch; 12-30-10 at 06:04 AM.

  20. #20
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    Couldn't help but reflect on he "too sedate" thread while I was reading this. Sharing emotional topics like family stories, thoughts and wishes like this is what brings our maturing lives to a clarity. That we choose to share is what distinguishes this forum. I think it's important to spend time still figuring out who we are. It's also great to have friends to have a give and take with. Some of these conversations might take place at the local pub or on a warm afternoon ride. Given the technology available and the number of folks involved, shared journaling like this is great option with an open door.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by cranky old dude View Post
    Thank you everyone for your kind words, advice, and understanding.

    Just to sorta keep this bike related, I did spend about an hour out in the snow last night ensuring that Barbara's bike was 'Good to go'. She changed bikes on me. She had been using a Wally-world RoadMaster but decided that it really was a bit too heavy and opted instead to take along the old Performance 403 that I had picked up at a garage sale for $20 several years ago..... so I ended up installing head and tail light mounts, a rear reflector and a couple of spoke reflectors. The brakes and shifters checked out O.K.! (Now I need to order parts to replace the ones I stole off of my own bikes to set up hers.)

    And so the wife and I have gone through yet another 'Rite of Passage'. I'm not sure what's next but please oh please don't tell me. It would spoil the suprise!!
    Phone rings and you hear "Hi, Grandpa"

  22. #22
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    cod, I was a single parent for years so the empty nest was a real bear to become accustomed to, but I did. I still have all of the cats and dogs they 'adopted' over the years so it's anything but quiet.

    We all stay in touch primarily via telephone, often every day and social networking sites.

    Brad

  23. #23
    Elmira>Taiwan>Elmira flatlander_48's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cranky old dude View Post
    We spent their entire lives preparing them for this big step, but we seem to have forgotten to prepare ourselves.
    Funny thing about that. My wife (1st wife) made her peace when our daughter left to go to college. Mine came 4 years later after she graduated and I was driving home after moving her to DC for her first post-college job. I was in the car by myself and it occurred to me what had just happened. We had been so busy for the last few days (packing her stuff and loading the car, staying with relatives, looking for an apartment, moving her into the apartment) that it just hadn't caught up...
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  24. #24
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Our Seattle daughter and her family flew back to Washington yesterday afternoon. She has 3 little kids so the lever of uproar while they are visiting is a bit more than I like. On the other hand it was nice holding them in my lap for short periods. I was happy to see them come and I'm looking forward to our next visit. I'll have to admit to mixed feelings about seeing them go. I guess that's how it's supposed to be.

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