as they fly the nest ………..

by Sharon Santoni
As you may know I have just settled one of our daughters to start her studies in Nice.  With this comes the  practical side of course: the move; the settling in; decorating the flat; – and I loved that she let me share the fun in all of that, – but then there is the emotional side to it all.
The empty nest ….  what most of us dread.  It’s looming shadow was one of the reasons that pushed me to start my blog ” to reinvent myself !”
With four children the empty nest doesn’t happen overnight, they slip away one by one, sometimes temporarily before they return – also temporarily –  filling the house with urgency and fun then re-disappearing for longer, maybe for ever.
So what do you say as they finally flap their wings and jump overboard on their own, solo in this big wide world?  Do you offer words of advice or do you just say, “what they haven”t learned by now, it’s too late to start teaching”.
Is it more difficult to watch a girl go off than a boy? not because your affection is greater of course, but because the dangers sure seem to be.
Is part of our need to still be with them, an underlying need to keep them little, or are we wistful for  our own youth and wishing to live vicariously through their new experiences?
I guess it’s really a mix of all the above and more, but I wondered about  the best adieu …..
Good luck!
Be brave!
Be kind!
Be on your guard!
Eat proper food!
Wash your socks!
Spend wisely!
Come home often!
Write me!
Work hard!
Tell us all about it!
Maybe the very best words are simply to say,
I love you, I believe in you, I trust you,
I’m here if you need me, 
you will do well 
I wish you all a beautiful Sunday, with or without your family.
Be kind to each other, enjoy.


hundredsofideas September 25, 2011 - 12:41 pm

They do slip away…. Be smart in every decision you make, what you do today determines how you live tomorrow.

Elizabeth Eiffel September 25, 2011 - 1:12 pm

What to say when our children leave home? I gave our daughter a copy of one of her favourite childhood stories, "Oh the Places You'll Go" by Dr Seuss. I love the wisdom in this timeless, charming book.

cose di lino September 25, 2011 - 1:46 pm

Che bellissimo post!
Io ancora i bimbi li ho piccoli ma spesso nei miei pensieri affiora il momento in cui andranno via…allora ripenso alla poesia di Gibran:

"Et une femme qui portait un enfant dans les bras dit,
Parlez-nous des Enfants.

Et il dit :
Vos enfants ne sont pas vos enfants.
Ils sont les fils et les filles de l’appel de la Vie à elle-même.
Ils viennent à travers vous mais non de vous.
Et bien qu’ils soient avec vous, ils ne vous appartiennent pas.

Vous pouvez leur donner votre amour mais non point vos pensées,
Car ils ont leurs propres pensées.
Vous pouvez accueillir leurs corps mais pas leurs âmes,
Car leurs âmes habitent la maison de demain, que vous ne pouvez visiter, pas même dans vos rêves.
Vous pouvez vous efforcer d’être comme eux, mais ne tentez pas de les faire comme vous.

Car la vie ne va pas en arrière, ni ne s’attarde avec hier.

Vous êtes les arcs par qui vos enfants, comme des flèches vivantes, sont projetés.
L’Archer voit le but sur le chemin de l’infini, et Il vous tend de Sa puissance pour que Ses flèches puissent voler vite et loin.
Que votre tension par la main de l’Archer soit pour la joie ;
Car de même qu’Il aime la flèche qui vole, Il aime l’arc qui est stable."

Un abbraccio
buona domenica

elsy September 25, 2011 - 1:50 pm

both mine went last Saturday to uni…..i had been preparing for a whole year, mentally and ensuring i have enough going on in my life to help with the void but its the sad realization that even though they will undoubtedly be back soon, this is the very beginning of their independent lives…and my role from now on will be very different to the last 20 years.

Shabby soul September 25, 2011 - 1:57 pm

I love this post.
Thank you for opening your heart, I have two children and I know it will be not easy to let them leave when it will arrive time…
Have a nice sunday!

helen tilston September 25, 2011 - 2:18 pm

I know your children will do very well and your words of wisdom
"what they haven"t learned by now, it's too late to start teaching". says it all.
Someone once told me that when you are worrying and missing your loved ones, particularly in those dark hours of night, to hold your pillow tightly and send them your love and imagine you are holding them tightly.

Helen xxx

webb September 25, 2011 - 4:03 pm

But you are smart enough to know that your job is to get them ready to go, and strong enough to let them go.

A dear friend of mind is still holding on to her daughters at 48 and 51, and now dragging like an anchor on her 19 year old GRANDdaughter. She doesn't understand why they don't include her in everything they do — could be that they crave a bit of space away from her. A sad proposition that!

Good luck.

shooting star September 25, 2011 - 4:11 pm

I guess even for the children..leaving the nest is an unnerving proposition..i can say that from personal was such an unnerving experience for me to leave my parents home when i got married and settle in with my new partner…..took me around a year and them some more to finally find a relaxing space!!

Mouse September 25, 2011 - 4:28 pm

Before you were conceived I wanted you
Before you were born I loved you
Before you were here an hour
I would die for you
This is the miracle of life.

La Dolfina September 25, 2011 - 4:36 pm

So beautiful and so poignant.
I feel you completely my friend.

Trish Murphy September 25, 2011 - 4:51 pm

I have just had my first born leave the nest at 26 yrs a son!
We miss him but I have encouraged my children to travel and see the world whilst they are young and have the opportunity.We live in Sydney, my son and his girlfriend have gone to live in the UK which I did at 22yrs.The greatest gift that you can give your children is your blessing. We all have to make our way in the world and when you have support and love from your family it is so much easier for all.
Besides they all come back for periods of time before the final flight.We tend to do too much for our kids today so they need to learn to fend for themselves. Hope that it is not too sad for you.

Bienvenue chez French Girl in Seattle... September 25, 2011 - 5:21 pm

Beautiful, touching post. Even though my only son is just eleven, I know the day will come when he will finally leave the house… I just hope he is as lucky as your daughter who gets to study in Nice, of all places. This way, I will get to visit him often 😉 Veronique (French Girl in Seattle)

becky September 25, 2011 - 6:17 pm

"Parting is such sweet sorrow," seems appropriate?

Stolzer Cecilia September 25, 2011 - 6:37 pm

When my two daughters left the nest almost at the same time I though I will not survive. Like you Sharon, I started to reinvent myself: changed the empty nest for a new one, got a cat, started new hobbies, found new friends… There were a couple of hard years, but now I am a again a happy mother and a very happy grandmother.

Blue Muse September 25, 2011 - 6:54 pm

I have only one, and his leaving is very near. This post is so close to my own immediate heart pangs that it made me teary. It is never too late to teach them, and by your wonderful example you are teaching the perfect things by giving her that loving and positive message, "I love you, I believe in you, I trust you. I am here if you need me. You will do well."
You are a great mom 🙂 thank you for this touching post.
xo isa

Burlap Luxe September 25, 2011 - 7:29 pm

I hear every word you write, I too have a daughter in college and even though she still lives at home there is still this empty nest feeling with there moving on into life and the braveness they take on.

What a beautiful post (Tear)

That little bird has chosen his shelter. Above it are the stars and the
deep heaven of worlds. Yet he is rocking himself to sleep without
caring for tomorrow's lodging, calmly clinging to his little twig,
and leaving God to think for him.
– Martin Luther

There are two lasting bequests we can give our children:
one is roots. The other is wings.
– Hodding Carter, Jr.

Please visit soon would love to hear from you!

Sarah September 25, 2011 - 9:09 pm

I think you said the perfect thing. Thanks for sharing all these wonderful photos of Nice. I spent time there ten years ago and your photos brought back a flood of beautiful memories.

Lorrie September 25, 2011 - 9:33 pm

This post touched my heart today. My youngest daughter (24) and her husband left this morning for a year in Europe. They are taking their computers and their jobs with them. They are starting in Germany in a furnished apartment until December and then they'll head off to another country. My mother's heart, like yours, aches a little. But at the same time, I'm excited to see her become all that she is meant to become, and to experience life to the full.

I read once that being a parent means that you have pieces of your heart walking around outside your body. So true.

Anonymous September 25, 2011 - 10:52 pm

What a beautiful post! You are an amazing MOM to write such beautiful feelings! Someday, your children will find out how lucky they are! Glad you found the blog world! Keep sharing please! Happy Sunday to you!!!

Bonnie September 25, 2011 - 11:07 pm

Beautifully written. Touched a cord with me. Mine have been gone a long time but I still want to warn them about dangers, share videos or articles and I must refrain.

Mona Kay at Blissfully Refurbished September 25, 2011 - 11:50 pm

You've captured it so beautifully….my daughter is away in college, and my son is old enough to have one foot out the door, so my empty nest looms clearly in front of me. I share your beautiful sentiments!

Janet September 26, 2011 - 12:48 am

Remember, you will always be their Mother, no matter how far they may roam. I could say this is the circle of life or your job was to raise them to leave the nest, but that doesn't make it any easier on you. Think about when you first left home and then take the time to review your life. It's time again for changes.

Today's Treasure by Jen September 26, 2011 - 1:07 am

It can be overwhelming if you think too much about our children leaving home…not needing us on a daily basis. But, we have done the world a great service, we have raised good citizens, caring, loving souls who will make this world a better place. In thinking of my life, with my sons now 19 and 23, I am not now truly reinventing myself, I am simply picking up where I left off before they were born- I just took a 25 year hiatus to raise these incredible young men. Thank you for the post Sharon, it is a real bitter sweet chapter that will lead to your next great adventure.

Mary Anne September 26, 2011 - 3:10 am

A beautiful touching post. . . our children have all left the nest. My words to them, this is home and we will always be here to catch you if you fall.Make the best decisions you are capable of making . . . if you do make a mistake, you are surely to learn by them. Believe in yourself and just BELIEVE. Just said goodbye to my sons beautiful baby boy. We have had it for the weekend. I thought my heart would break when he left. . . .and he is only a mile away.

I think when we get right down to it, change is not easy. Saying good bye to a child, the most difficult thing a MOTHER can do. You will all adjust, I promise!

Mary Anne oxxo

mary anne September 26, 2011 - 3:13 am

Re: The above comment about,"We have had it for the weekend. Correction, We have had him for the weekend.


Francesca Muir September 26, 2011 - 6:50 am

As a mother of a 15-year-old – this is the day I am dreading the most – thank you your wonderful words – I am new to blogging and this is one of the main reasons I started – to have something well and truly established and encompassing for that day. I am glad I am not alone! Thank you

5th and State September 26, 2011 - 9:56 am

I am thinking of you

vicki archer September 26, 2011 - 12:26 pm

I know just how you feel Sharon…..xv

Sarah (Snippets of Thyme) September 26, 2011 - 1:52 pm

Thank you for posting this. My first (a girl…) is going through her final year at home. We don't know where she will be for college and we don't where we will be living as well. It's nice to read someone else having the same emotions because I am working hard on not holding on and letting her go.

Millie September 26, 2011 - 2:06 pm

Yes I do know a little about this Sharon! We gave each of our 5 boys one free pass to come home again if ever they were stuck. All but one used their pass & then we changed the locks on the front door! MOTH reckons they are like possums – just when you think you've got rid of them from the roof space they turn up again under the house.
Millie xx

Stephanie September 26, 2011 - 4:27 pm

Lovely lovely post! I know I have a few years until the oldest begins college, but when I think how quickly the last few years have gone – uh, oh! What can we do? We teach them what we can, we love them as much as we can, and we try our best to support them as they make their way.


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