An Early Case of the Empty Nest…

When we least expect it June 2, 2024

An early case of the Empty Nest…

It’s springtime…fast approaching, summer.

It’s the busiest time of year on a farm. Planting, mowing, chopping—I can go on and on.

As the kids have gotten older, they have taken on more work at the farm during this time of year.  It’s expected, and it’s welcomed.  You know what they say about idle hands…the devil’s workshop.

Teenagers are no exception to this age-old rule.  I believe many of the addictions and emotional problems of today’s youth stem from not working with their hands enough.  There is too much idle time, screen time, and sitting around time.  But this is a debate for another day.

This year is Sam’s year. He’s 15 and has begun to work at the farm a lot while Tyler and Jacob are off doing summer internships in the Midwest. 

Do you know what this means?

Mom is home.  On her own.

I am trying to figure out if I like this or not.  

It’s a manageable pace.  Peaceful.  But eerily quiet.  

There is nobody to fix lunch for, and dinner is always so variable because he is working so late. I have less laundry to do and more yard work to do —on my own.

These strange feelings have been brewing for the past month, and it finally dawned on me last night: I have an early case of an Empty Nest.  

Boy, I wasn’t expecting this at all.  That’s supposed to happen when the last baby heads off to college.  What is going on here?  

With no difference in timeline or tasks, Sam is following exactly in the footsteps of his older brothers.  Working.  Staying out of trouble.  I wouldn’t want it any other way.

The difference?

When the other two kids started down their path of working more, I always had Sam.

All of a sudden, my little 15-year-old bird is in the process of flying the coop! 

Luckily, it’s not a drastic change; it’s more gradual as I see him daily. But as these longer days of summer have crept in, I have noticed more and more time for myself—to work, to take care of the yard, to do things for myself.  

I am sure I will embrace it, just as I have embraced all of the changes in my life–with openness…and an eventuality of “all in.”

But it takes time. As I have been processing my feelings, it has taken me a little bit to figure out the why of it all.

So, after pruning an apple tree on a Friday evening, when I had a lot of free time, I realized that my problem was that I was missing my littlest bird, my youngest companion. Sam.

With deep love,