Leaving Behind Empty-Nesters
Start writing a post
Relationships

Leaving Behind Empty-Nesters

My parents are worried about how I will fare without them, but I worry about how they will cope without me.

17
Leaving Behind Empty-Nesters
The Internet Bird Collection

As a younger sibling that is headed to college in six weeks, having to leave my parents is weighing heavily on my mind. My sister just recently graduated college, and I look back now on her freshmen year. When she first moved into her dorm and left the house, I don't think my parents really knew what emotions to expect. Everything felt a little weird: going out to eat and having to say three instead of four, only setting three places at the table and readjusting schedules and typical seating arrangements. We, as a family, had grown so accustomed to being a unit of four that it took some time to recalibrate. But, of course, my mom and dad still had me. I was still there to live in the house, to drive around, to watch out for, to guide and advise and fuss over on a 24/7 basis. And I think a part of me, subconsciously, felt the need to double the girly, teenage drama to fill that void in my parents' life. I certainly wasn't going to let them miss out on all that excitement. Of course, my sister was still close enough to come home for holidays, birthdays and such, so I don't think my parents ever really felt the full blunt force of their child leaving. They weren't true empty-nesters yet.

But now, here I am, on the cusp of leaving home. My sister moved out very quickly after her graduation and is settled into her new job, apartment, and lifestyle as an independent 20-something in the real world. So the house will truly be empty, vacant of children. I see my mother silently counting down the days, crossing them off on her calendar even, until I move in. Now, call me egotistical, but I don't think it's because she's waiting to turn my room into her own personal yoga studio (if you're reading this, Mom, it's not big enough anyway. Where would you burn the incense?). Naturally, I'm worried about them. My parents are about to send off their baby, the last bird is leaving the nest and, while I, too, will be coming home often and welcome their visits to my school, there are a solid eight months, give or take a few weeks, that I won't be home to watch after them. Yes, my parents do an awful lot of taking care of me, but I do my fair share of keeping them on the right track, too. Who would help them work their iPad, or remind them that we already have three bunches of bananas and two loaves of bread at home (and no, Dad, you don't need to buy any more)? Who would help my mom navigate while driving or remind my dad not to try that "funny" joke on the waiter?

My parents have never been exceptionally social, nor have they acquired any impressive multitude of friends. In fact, most of the other adults they talk to are my friends' parents, except for a few college pals. They really don't get out much and I worry that with me gone, they'll become shut-ins. Call me crazy, but I have seen how much my mom plays online solitaire and how often my dad plays war games on his laptop. It's not promising, folks. I can't leave them alone for a long weekend without my mom claiming my dad is driving her crazy. When I leave, I hope they'll find a new groove, one where they go out often and revert back to that exciting, newlywed, pre-children behavior. I want them to go on adventures and have fun (but not too much) and not sulk that their daughters are gone. I won't be out of college for another five years, and I don't particularly desire to live at home for long after that. I hope they can learn to love being empty-nesters and being independent again. I think my parents need me just as much as I need them and I know this transition is going to be difficult on all of us. Luckily, we live in the 21st century and even though I won't physically be there, we always have cyberspace to close the distance. That is, if my mom can ever figure out how to use Facetime without me.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
I'm Tired Of Being Told My Standards Are Too High By People Whose Standards Are Too Low

There is no question that our generation has put a whole new spin on the dating scene.

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics

What If The U.N. Actually United The Nations?

This is me taking a break from being cynical and imagining how the world could be one day.

1573
Unsplash

By now, people are probably sick of hearing me talk about myself, so I’m changing it up this week. In keeping with the subject of my J-Term class, I’m asking myself a political what-if question. What if we could create a sovereign global government firmly grounded in justice that could actually adjudicate Earth’s many disparate nation-states into one unified world government?

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

100 Things I'd Rather Do Than Study

Procrastination Nation, unite.

2880
Panda Whale
Here are 100 things I'd rather to than study. I know the semester just started, but

    1. Watch a movie
    2. Take a nap
    3. Have a dance party
    4. Eat ice cream
    5. Bake a cake
    6. Cry just a little bit
    7. Knit a blanket
    8. Learn to ride a bike
    9. Build a crib
    10. Watch a hockey game
    11. Watch any game
    12. Play with my hair
    13. Dye my hair
    14. Go grocery shopping
    15. Learn to crochet
    16. Do 50 jumping jacks
    17. Drive cross country
    18. Take a bubble bath
    19. Squeeze lemons for lemonade
    20. Sell the lemonade
    21. Make heart-shaped ice cubes
    22. Moisturize my knees
    23. Paint my nails
    24. Find the cure for cancer
    25. Run a marathon
    26. Just kidding, run down the hall
    27. Squat my bodyweight
    28. Eat my bodyweight in French fries
    29. Hibernate until Christmas
    30. Cuddle my body pillow (unless you have a boo)
    31. Think about all the work I’m not doing
    32. Wash my bed sheets
    33. Vacuum my apartment
    34. Play mini golf
    35. Go swimming
    36. Tan in this Texas heat
    37. Sing like I’m about to win American Idol
    38. Blow up balloons
    39. Pop the balloons
    40. Make lists
    41. Write an Odyssey article
    42. Pet a puppy
    43. Adopt a puppy
    44. Pay my rent
    45. Order a pizza
    46. Start a garden
    47. Cook a turkey
    48. Find new music
    49. Clean my waffle iron
    50. Learn to make jam
    51. Jam to music
    52. Play scrabble
    53. Volunteer anywhere
    54. Celebrate a birthday
    55. Watch a makeup tutorial I’ll never use
    56. Go through old pictures on my phone
    57. Make a playlist
    58. Take a shower
    59. Clean my room
    60. Curl my hair
    61. Climb a rock wall
    62. Get a massage
    63. Play with Snapchat filters
    64. Roast a chicken
    65. Go fishing
    66. Chug some Snapple
    67. Ride in a cart around Walmart
    68. Count the days until the semester is over
    69. Overthink about my future
    70. Think of my future baby’s names
    71. Pin everything on Pinterest
    72. Text anybody
    73. Pray about life
    74. Watch a sunset
    75. Watch a sunrise
    76. Have a picnic
    77. Read a book (that’s not for school)
    78. Go to a bakery
    79. Snuggle a bunny
    80. Clean my apartment
    81. Wash my dishes
    82. Rearrange my furniture
    83. Physically run away from my problems
    84. Make some meatballs
    85. Learn to make bread
    86. Google myself
    87. Ride a Ferris wheel
    88. Get stuck on a Ferris wheel (that way, it’s not my fault I’m not studying)
    89. Wash my car
    90. Get on a plane to Neverland
    91. Find Narnia in my closet
    92. Jump on a trampoline
    93. Learn to ice skate
    94. Go rollerblading
    95. Ride a rollercoaster
    96. Carve a pumpkin
    97. Restore water in a third world country
    98. FaceTime my family
    99. Hug my mom
    100. Tell my friends I love them
    Featured

    The Basics Of The United Nations

    As the General Assembly convenes, here is the United Nations 101

    2452
    WikiMedia

    For an organization that literally unites the nations, it amazes me how little is taught about the United Nations in schools, or at least where I went to school. It wasn't until I went to college and got a higher education that I learned the basics of the United Nations. I believe that every American should know at least the basics of what the United Nations does, especially since our country is one of the 5 permanent members. So here are the main "organs" of the United Nations.

    Keep Reading... Show less
    Student Life

    Wine Wednesdays!

    How to get through the best Hump Day get together.

    4290

    What would Wine Wednesdays be without wine? Grab a bottle of red and a bottle of white so that you have some variety. If you feel like splurging, get a bottle of Rosé too.

    Keep Reading... Show less

    Subscribe to Our Newsletter

    Facebook Comments