On Tuesday last week I waved my son off on a journey that will propel him into the real world. I closed the door and burst into tears.
I could not really explain the tear. They just came and the more I tried to stop them, the more they flowed. I was a bit taken aback as I thought I had my head around it all.
From birth our role as a parent is as a nurturer. We feed our children, keep them safe and do everything we can to make them smile.
I am a proud Mom
I am incredibly proud of the young man who is my son. My son is a hard worker who is passionate about everything he does. In my opinion he has unusual clarity about his life’s goals and is now on the way to a wonderful future.
He has had a fascination for computer games and programming for since his early teens and has worked steadily away in tandem with finishing school and then completing a degree in Theoretical Physics. And, now he embarks on his new adventure as a games play programmer working on his dream game. Yes, I am proud, extremely proud. But, this job is near Manchester in the United Kingdom. So he is not only starting out in his new career and a whole new chapter of his life, but he has moved to another country.
Of course I will be visiting, and I have already started looking at flights and planning get-aways, but ultimately this week marks the end of my role as a mother to a child and the beginning of true adulthood for my son.
So an empty nest. What does that mean?
In some ways I feel a fraud talking about my empty nest as he and I have lived apart for a while now between college and other things. I did have the joy of having him under my roof for a couple of months after college which was a gift which I cherish.
An empty nest for me it marks the end of an era. My child is now a tax paying adult! It changes nothing about how I feel about him. I will continue to worry about if he is eating well and meeting nice people, and that he is happy. That part of mothering never turns off. I do know however that as he left the nest, he is ready to fly.
I am sure that he will feel the excitement I once felt when I started out on my own and moved into my first flat with my sister. The day I was shown my first desk at my first job, and the day I received my first pay cheque.
I have allowed myself a few days to get used to the idea that we no longer life in the same country, never mind the same house or town. I have had a glass (or two) of Prosecco to celebrate his success and talk endlessly about how I feel, but now it is time to face up to what this empty nest means for me.
An Empty Nest as a launch pad?
I am at a stage in my life when I too can stand on the edge of the nest and decide where to fly. What changes can I make in my life? What destinations can I choose to fly too.
I know that many people of my age face the same challenges. In a way it is an exciting phase for us empty nesters too. We can play the game of reinvention. I am putting myself in the way of opportunities. I am determined to embrace my creative side and work on my art with the long-term aim of holding an exhibition.
You don’t get to 53 without accumulating. I have so many ‘things’ in terms of items that need dusting and tidying. So instead of shopping I am looking to spend my time and money on experiences. I have booked to go to the National Gallery to see the Vermeer exhibition, signed up for an international craft class, and am playing short away trips.
South Africa is my destination in October and I am planning on spending time creating some wonderful new memories with friends old and new during my trip. I will also stop off in Dubai for some special family time with my sister.
I have decided to consciously consider myself a Mommy bird who looks at her nest and instead of seeing it as empty sees it as an opportunity to fly.
As I continue to celebrate being fabulous in my fifties I hope you come back to share my journey here.
Thank you for reading.