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Empty Nest, Where Did The Time Go?

HocusPocus

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Last week our son (20) was married in a small ceremony in our back yard, he left the nest a few years ago but lives in one of my rentals. Yesterday we dropped off our youngest daughter (18) at a hotel near LAX for the night. Early this morning she was shuttled over to MEPS to finish up her processing and for the final swearing in which we were able to see via Facebook live. She called a few hours ago and was about to board the plane headed to Lackland AFB to begin Air Force Basic Training. It was almost 40 years ago to the day that I made that same trip.

After dropping her off yesterday Momma was a little emotional but I was too focused on getting back home and dealing with traffic but this morning was a different story. The house is too quiet, her room is empty and her car parked outside. We have 4 kids and our house was never quiet and very seldom did we have the house to ourselves. So now we start a new chapter, just wonder how long it will take to get use to it? I'm sure many of you have been through this and others think its too far away to think about. It truly is one of those bittersweet moments every parent goes through. This is her with her big brother just before heading to the airport yesterday.
jaysen and jaydag.jpg
 

monkeyswrench

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I have a girl going into her senior year in HS, a boy starting HS, and one starting JrH. I wonder what the future holds, daughter is looking at NY, and possibly military after...boys are up in the air. I don't know what's going to happen. I am a little unsettled, they are my kids, and always will be. I don't know if the quiet will be deafening, but it will surely be weird.

Proud dad moment though, your girl heading to the Academy👍
 

DWC

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Don’t worry...they’ll be back.
Thought i was the only one! We’re down to 1 of the 3 currently but you never know. My oldest just moved to St Louis in the last month. Youngest moved away “for college”. Middle daughter is currently living here but rarely home. It’s definitely bittersweet. I miss them but happy to see them chasing dreams.

Congrats to you and your wife @HocusPocus. Awesome experience for your daughter. Sounds like you guys are doing it right. Don’t spend too much time/money remodeling! Kids are like a good booger. Sometimes you think you flicked it off..
 

DWC

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I have a girl going into her senior year in HS, a boy starting HS, and one starting JrH. I wonder what the future holds, daughter is looking at NY, and possibly military after...boys are up in the air. I don't know what's going to happen. I am a little unsettled, they are my kids, and always will be. I don't know if the quiet will be deafening, but it will surely be weird.

Proud dad moment though, your girl heading to the Academy👍
I’d say the biggest misconception of parenting is that it gets easier. I’d say it’s way harder when they get older because you can’t decide or fix it for them. It’s their grades, their dreams, work ethic and in the end choices that determine the future. Not sure about you but i didn’t know what i wanted to do at 18. Still not sure when i did.
 

riverroyal

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We are about 5 years from empty. Give or take .
House will be sold. 75% chance we leave socal then.
Wont retire, but will change careers to something less stressful.
12 hour days and waking up thinking about work will end.
We are hoping both our kids leave socal. That will help determine where we go
 

Mcob25rg

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When the last one left, I lost it and started working on adoption. Wife said calm down, they’re both like us, and we’ll have grandkids sooner than later. At 63, we’ve got 5 of those, 10, 2 @ 9, 7, and 5. PLENTY to work on/with. You’ll be asking the same time question in a few years AGAIN when the grandkids are doing things you CLEARLY remember your kids doing!
 

napanutt

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Some figure it out sooner. Some need a little more time.
This December will be 8 years since our only child, 27 year old boy then, jumped on a plane to the east coast. He’d never been farther than Nevada.
Fast forward to now. He’s married to a wonderful gal. They bought a house last year. He has a great job.
Kind of odd though for me and mom with him being on east coast time and we’re still in Califuckme.
Two years and we’re heading to New Hampshire too.
 

monkeyswrench

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I’d say the biggest misconception of parenting is that it gets easier. I’d say it’s way harder when they get older because you can’t decide or fix it for them. It’s their grades, their dreams, work ethic and in the end choices that determine the future. Not sure about you but i didn’t know what i wanted to do at 18. Still not sure when i did.
As a son, I may have been kind of a disappointment. Dropped out of college, hustled cars and worked construction, amongst less than legal things. Got my parents attention when their youngest kid was the first to buy a house. F'd up a bunch again in my mid-20's, but somehow went straight and narrow, 3 kids and a great wife. My parents would be pretty proud now, I'd like to think. With my own kids, all I can do is the best I can...but that is no guaranty. I was raised buy two great people, my mistakes were my own doing. Maybe for some of us it isn't about taking a long time to figure out "what" we want to be. I think some of us took a long time to decide "how" we want to be. "How" we should be, as in work ethic, or treating people, usually echoes what our parents told us when we were kids. Hopefully my kids stay smarter than me.
 

92562

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So we had the same experience with our Son going to MEPS to go into the Navy to be a Nuclear Engineer. Flash forward 3 years and he now is in the Naval Academy to become a pilot. Our daughter left 1 year after him to NAU Flagstaff to peruse a Biomedical Science degree. For all intents and purposes, our 5 bedroom house was empty. Then, COVID hit. Our son was on spring break in New Orleans and ended up back home from April until now. Given his career path, we were never going to see him in our house for this amount of time ever! He will probably go back to the yard in August but to watch him mow the lawn brings tears to my eyes. At our Powell trip this year, he was invaluable to me with launching, retrieving, towing, etc.
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Hypnautic

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It’s weird for me to hear of you parents that will move closer to your kids. I’ve moved to IL then back to CA and now in NV while my parents moved from CA to OR then HI and back to OR. We do large family vacations each year (2020 being the exception). We send our children to them for several weeks during summer break. I guess we never associated being close with actual distance.
 

Spudsbud

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Our house has been empty since 2015. 1 in Fla. 1in Iowa. Havent seen them since Christmas.
You do not get used to it. Although it has obvious advantages!
 

Mandelon

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Both my kids have left and returned. Their college time overlapped, so there has always been one of them here. My daughter just moved out again. Now in a month or so my son will be leaving again to move up to Berzerkely with his girlfriend while she takes a year of grad school.

For 26 years have not had an empty house. I think my wife is scared. Pants? We don't need pants!!!
 
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Ballsdeep

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My kids are 5,8 and just hearing this makes me sad. Thanks for putting things in prospective and making me enjoy the fighting and yelling


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X2!!! My girls are 8, 6, and 4.... Its crazy alot of the time in our house with fighting, arguing, yelling, and all of the other chaos that follows but I wouldnt change it for the world. I have a ways to go, but its super sad to think about the empty nesting.
 

HocusPocus

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You guys are great, really enjoy the comments, I needed a bit of cheering up!
 

jetboatperformance

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One word re "empty Nest" ..... BLISS ;) , wouldnt sell one for a "Gillion bucks", would give a buck for another one
 

SCV2RVR

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Interesting reading these kinds of threads from the prespective of having no kids. Wife and I are in our mid 40's, married for 14 years and no kids. We tried and tried with no luck. But after the last 10 years of not trying and realizing we would probably have no kids, we almost feel like we live the life's of retired people (that still work). We became Elk members, hangout with all the old people at the bars, eat out every meal, go on vacation all the time, etc. But looking around at all my peers having kids and even some grandkids, I am pretty sure we missed out on something special.
 

Halvecto

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I’d say the biggest misconception of parenting is that it gets easier. I’d say it’s way harder when they get older because you can’t decide or fix it for them. It’s their grades, their dreams, work ethic and in the end choices that determine the future. Not sure about you but i didn’t know what i wanted to do at 18. Still not sure when i did.
True. Launching kids, even good well-educated solid people is seemingly harder than it should be. I'd trade early/mid twenties for Jr. Hi / HS. Not sure if its me or them, but I don't remember that period being so tough and extended in reliance on home. Ignorance is bliss for both sides of the kid relationship as young adults. There is a part of me that thinks so much connection via technology has created more dependence, not more independence. Ironically, in a world of unlimited access and connection, people still feel alone. I told my wife, one of the first things the kids will have to deal with is loneliness, whether they realize what it is or not. It's one of the reasons marriage happens. How they deal with it is important. Learning to function, succeed and fight off loneliness is an indicator of maturity.

BTW @HocusPocus , it's great to read how valuable to you and the joy your kids bring you. Terrific! It makes sense they are starting well.
 

rightytighty

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Our son is into his 3rd year civil engineering at NAU- Flagstaff. He’s working an internship for a large construction firm out of Phoenix this summer, and knowing that we won’t get the extended stays anymore is hard.
our middle daughter is 2nd year JUCO and can’t wait to get on with life (covid is cramping her style).
Our youngest is a senior in high school this year. WTF- happened too fast.

it does make me feel better knowing that we are not alone with our feelings.
 

Rajobigguy

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Daughter is out on her own a few months ago and wife is having a hard time dealing with it, it's been particularly hard on her for the last couple of months with me working 13 hr days 7 days a week.
 

farmo83

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It's always interesting reading threads like these. My wife and I are currently enjoying DINK living, someday hopefully though we'll have kids.

My brother in law has lived at home for pretty much 32 out of his 34 years of life. A few years ago my sister in law moved back in with their parents for about a year. During this time we took my wife's parents to the lake with us. After quite a few glasses of wine the subject of "favorite child" came up and my father in law said that was whichever kid wasn't living at home. I about spit my beer up laughing.
 

CoolCruzin

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My daughter just moved out .
33yrs old
The 22 year old daughter still with us .
Will be quite when she leaves one day .
 
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chase8

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Same boat. Our youngest son just turned 20 and he just signed a 1 yr lease with his girlfriend. Now it's an 8000 sq ft home with just me, the wife, and our 2.8 lb Yorkie. Well, we have a fukin cat to but she doesn't count. All she's good for is pukin on the floor and givin me the old one eye when i tell her to get off the furniture. I get a little broke up from time to time but I'm sure that to will pass. For those who still have the youngsters running around the house, be sure not to blink, cuz it goes by damn fast.
 

ridebig

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Mine have been out of the house for awhile. My son live's in our town, work's for me and is in a serious relationship. My daughter just got married last summer and live's overseas about 8 months of the year. The hardest part for my wife and me is the holiday's. Now we have to share them lol. Last Thanksgiving it was just us. We enjoyed it but just not the same as we used to spend that holiday in Havasu together every Thanksgiving. Christmas is hit and miss as well.

On the plus side, to watch them as adult's is awesome. Both are great people. We just want Grand kids now!
 

SoCalDave

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Remember this.
Grandkids are where it’s at.

My 16 YO grandson near shit himself when grandpa gave him a ride in the ol Z51 stingray. His moms still pissed that I bought it.
LOL, took my 6yo grandson to HD last week in the V and he had a few stories to tell his mom when we got back home...she just gave me that look.
 

Boozer

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We’ve got 5 in the house right now. The oldest is going into his sophomore year. The youngest is going into second grade. I’m not sure which one I’m looking forward to more when they’re all gone, a quiet house or not having to sign over a good check of my paycheck every month to my loser ass ex wife. Either way I’m thinking it will be a win.


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E4L

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Interesting reading these kinds of threads from the prespective of having no kids. Wife and I are in our mid 40's, married for 14 years and no kids. We tried and tried with no luck. But after the last 10 years of not trying and realizing we would probably have no kids, we almost feel like we live the life's of retired people (that still work). We became Elk members, hangout with all the old people at the bars, eat out every meal, go on vacation all the time, etc. But looking around at all my peers having kids and even some grandkids, I am pretty sure we missed out on something special.
It truly is the greatest gift I have been given. Their is always adoption they have lots of good kids that need loving homes as well.


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Bullet28

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When the last one left, I lost it and started working on adoption. Wife said calm down, they’re both like us, and we’ll have grandkids sooner than later. At 63, we’ve got 5 of those, 10, 2 @ 9, 7, and 5. PLENTY to work on/with. You’ll be asking the same time question in a few years AGAIN when the grandkids are doing things you CLEARLY remember your kids doing!
Also 63, my grandsons are 12 and 10 awesome time we are having. My son is 38 and left home at 25 only child.
 

CoolCruzin

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Same boat. Our youngest son just turned 20 and he just signed a 1 yr lease with his girlfriend. Now it's an 8000 sq ft home with just me, the wife, and our 2.8 lb Yorkie. Well, we have a fukin cat to but she doesn't count. All she's good for is pukin on the floor and givin me the old one eye when i tell her to get off the furniture. I get a little broke up from time to time but I'm sure that to will pass. For those who still have the youngsters running around the house, be sure not to blink, cuz it goes by damn fast.
Want our cat. I feel the same way
 

parker guy

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My daughter is off to Kansas for college, my son will be at home his Junior year in HS....trying to look down the rode to figure out where we want to live before they get out of school....Texas rode trip to look at land in August.
 

Flyinbowtie

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What a great thread.
We have been empty nesters for about 12 years now. The first couple years were very rough on Cindy. She was born to be a mother.
All the sudden the house was empty. I struggled to a bit, but quickly learned the benefits of "just us" in da house. LOL. We have lots of pictures, and tons of good times with them still. I like the men our sons have grown in to, and watching them raise their own children is a great joy for me.
As someone said, the reward for raising good kids is Grandkids!
We have 4, two boys and two girls.
The eldest, a girl, is 12. Youngest, a boy, is 3...and we love them all.
This week I am getting our family ski boat ready to sell. Every time I look at it the memories come flooding in. All of them good.
It is time, we are planning to move over to northern Nevada within the next 18 months. If we were staying here I would find some way to buy a houseboat, but our priority is to get out of California, and we are focused on that.
So many memories in that boat. Kids learning to ski, the wakeboarding, just great memories.
Oldest son just last week told me he wants me to keep the jet boat and finish it, me may do that. Lake Lahontan will be fairly close to where we land, and even as I approach 62, the hot rodder in me is alive and well.
Grandchildren are a chance to improve your time management skills. I was at work for way way to many birthdays, holidays and sports with my sons.
The damn job owned to much of me. It is my fault, I let it. The overtime paid for lots of great vacations and toys to play with on those vacations, but I worked a lot more than I needed to to make that stuff happen. By the time I knew it and was hoping to regroup I was wearing stripes and planning for the LT job, then all the planning got flushed when my back issues took control of my destiny and ended my career.
Too much work.
That won't be the case with the grandchildren.
 

ridebig

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The dads with kids at home. Please pay attention to every moment. They are so important. At one point I had to ask my wife if I was a good dad. Everything happens so fast it’s easy to lose track of time. Photos and videos are so important!!
 

CoolCruzin

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What a great thread.
We have been empty nesters for about 12 years now. The first couple years were very rough on Cindy. She was born to be a mother.
All the sudden the house was empty. I struggled to a bit, but quickly learned the benefits of "just us" in da house. LOL. We have lots of pictures, and tons of good times with them still. I like the men our sons have grown in to, and watching them raise their own children is a great joy for me.
As someone said, the reward for raising good kids is Grandkids!
We have 4, two boys and two girls.
The eldest, a girl, is 12. Youngest, a boy, is 3...and we love them all.
This week I am getting our family ski boat ready to sell. Every time I look at it the memories come flooding in. All of them good.
It is time, we are planning to move over to northern Nevada within the next 18 months. If we were staying here I would find some way to buy a houseboat, but our priority is to get out of California, and we are focused on that.
So many memories in that boat. Kids learning to ski, the wakeboarding, just great memories.
Oldest son just last week told me he wants me to keep the jet boat and finish it, me may do that. Lake Lahontan will be fairly close to where we land, and even as I approach 62, the hot rodder in me is alive and well.
Grandchildren are a chance to improve your time management skills. I was at work for way way to many birthdays, holidays and sports with my sons.
The damn job owned to much of me. It is my fault, I let it. The overtime paid for lots of great vacations and toys to play with on those vacations, but I worked a lot more than I needed to to make that stuff happen. By the time I knew it and was hoping to regroup I was wearing stripes and planning for the LT job, then all the planning got flushed when my back issues took control of my destiny and ended my career.
Too much work.
That won't be the case with the grandchildren.
I better retire early after reading this
 

RogerThat99

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I have two kids, and will be an empty nester in a little over a year. I have a 17 YO who is going to be a Sr in HS, and a 20 YO who will be a Sr in college. The 17 year old is very easy going and easy to have around the house. She will be going away to college in a little over a year. My 20 YO goes to college locally and lives at home. She is high maintenance, and more challenging to have around.

One thing I don't get, is how much the 20 YO is home. In the times I lived at home, after HS, I was never home except to sleep. It is just weird how times have have changed.

I know I dont have a say, but I don't want my kids to move far away. I would be fine with them living in the same town, maybe in the same neighborhood....just not in the same house. LOL.

All good info in this thread. I will miss them, but right now I am ready for a break. Especially after the C-19 lockdown.

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Done-it-again

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My kids are 5,8 and just hearing this makes me sad. Thanks for putting things in prospective and making me enjoy the fighting and yelling


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X2!!! My girls are 8, 6, and 4.... Its crazy alot of the time in our house with fighting, arguing, yelling, and all of the other chaos that follows but I wouldnt change it for the world. I have a ways to go, but its super sad to think about the empty nesting.
I’m glad I’m not the only, was beginning to think so. My twin girls are turning 8 tomorrow. 🤦‍♂️
 

Sleek-Jet

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The dads with kids at home. Please pay attention to every moment. They are so important. At one point I had to ask my wife if I was a good dad. Everything happens so fast it’s easy to lose track of time. Photos and videos are so important!!
On the day our first daughter was born, mom was asleep and my baby girl was in my arms. Looking at her I quietly recited the Shepard's* prayer:

"Dear God, please don't let me fuck this up."

We all have asked, at one time or another, if we are good dad's. The fact we ask this question means that we are.

8 years and counting till the oldest goes off to college or whatever adventure she chooses.


*Alan Shepard
 

Taboma

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I'm reading these ' Empty Nest ' stories and recalling how last evening as I stepped out of the shower thinking , OK, how am I going to break it to my daughter, who after her recent birthday is now racing towards being 49, that that's IT --- she's simply forbidden to officially turn 50 because that will make me officially OLD. :oops:
Haven't figured out how to designate her remaining birthdays, perhaps like 49 - ver 1.0, ver 2.0 etc. 🤔 ;)
 

parker guy

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Dropping my daughter off to college in a few weeks, son will be home schooled this year. The house will be quite with out her for sure...feel your pain
 

napanutt

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One thing I don't get, is how much the 20 YO is home. In the times I lived at home, after HS, I was never home except to sleep. It is just weird how times have have changed.
Kid's these days, right? Like I said above ours was 27 before he decided it was time to leave.
I met my wife in '83 when I was 19. Within a couple months I was basically living with her at her parents.
Haven't lived at home since. 😀
 
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