Down in the Mouth

I hate those low points that must come into everyone’s life. My current low point is the fact that my first born has flown the nest. I must be honest. This has been harder for me than being diagnosed with breast cancer and undergoing all of the invasive treatment the disease entails–twice. For the last year, I’ve been gawping at the all the airmen and soldiers I see on base. Not because they’re attractive, but because they are so darn YOUNG! Of course, I knew my son had plans to enter the military, so that may have contributed to my growing chagrin. My son has gone off to basic training with the United States Navy. I left him looking so young and forlorn in the office of the recruiter last Tuesday, and I cried the whole hour it took to drive home. I haven’t heard from him since.

The summer has gone by in a blur because I purposely over scheduled myself so I wouldn’t have too much time alone with my dread. Toward the end of the summer I couldn’t do one creative thing. Scrapbooking, quilting, knitting, gardening and blogging had all lost their allure. I’m surprised I didn’t walk around in my pajamas all day with dirty, greasy hair. I’m surprised I even got out of bed!

As I look back on all those days of busyness and almost desperate socializing; I think to myself: how did I get through that and why did I care so much because this, THIS is the hard part! I thank the good Lord above that I have another child still in the nest who needs my love and care and attention. I was weepy for the first two days, and believe me, I am not a crier. It has gotten better with every prayer I say. I only tear up once or twice a day now. I must admit that I have panic attacks every now and then, and I must stop whatever I’m doing and pray for my son who is so very far away from me for the first time in our lives. In the last few days these panic attacks have come with the setting of the sun, or at bedtime, but my God is a good God. He has given me His peace, and He helps me to “do the next thing.”

The next thing happens to be feathering my nest, since I now have an empty room to use as I wish. But I still can’t seem to work up the enthusiasm for this little project. During the manic summertime, I remade the man cave into a craft room for my daughter and myself–complete with chevrons painted on the walls. I moved heavy bookcases and furniture in and out of the rooms which happen to be on different floors. Now, it’s just too much to pack a few boxes with my sons clothes and electronics. I decided his room is going to become a huge pantry and to use his closet as a utility closet for the vacuum and such.

I have since told my daughter that when she leaves the nest I will be the neighborhood’s newest cat lady. Well, I’d be the next DOG lady because we’re all allergic to cats.

So…the day of my first born’s leaving has come and gone. My home is a mess, I am steadily gaining weight from all the comfort food I’ve been feeding myself, the apostrophe and delete keys on my keyboard don’t work, and I am enjoying my pity party far, far too much. I need to get it together because the house is starting to smell a little funky. Since I started writing this post–yes, it has taken me a few days–my son called! Bad news: I MISSED IT! While trying to call him back (which was impossible because he used a calling card), he was on my voicemail leaving me a message.

I tell myself that millions of other mothers have gone through the same thing numbers of times. My own mother had to do it ten times (even though two of my brothers came back, haha). So, I’m trying really hard to get with it and get back to life. Have a wonderful day, and do me favor? Hold on to those you love a little tighter and just a wee bit longer.



  1. I believe mothering is the bravest of all endeavors because we know heartbreak awaits. And yet, to do our job correctly, we must encourage them toward breaking our hearts and leaving the nest.

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