September’s New Beginnings

FamilySeptember 1st has always felt to me, more like the start of a new year than January 1st.  For 20 years of the first 25 years of my life, September marked big changes; new teachers, new class mates, new friends, and sometimes new schools.  And then, when I had children, it all began again.  For the last 17 years, September has been a time of big changes for my children as they moved from child care to elementary school to high school and now to college and university.

This year, the changes are greater than ever.  My youngest child moved out on the weekend to start her first year in university.  The changes are enormous for her.  She is living away from home for the first time; living with people she does not yet know; and taking courses that she never knew existed.  But the changes are big for her father and I as well.  In the same way that my son’s birth made parents out of Dan and I, my daughter’s departure has made empty nesters out of us.

Empty NestersFor us, nothing has changed and everything has changed.  We are in the same house, living in the same neighbourhood, doing the same jobs, but everything feels different.

My husband and I were listing all of the good things about the kids being gone: my daughter’s room is clean for the first time in months; there are no packs or shoes cluttering the front hall; the kitchen counter is not buried in a pile of dishes; the fridge stays well stocked for several days; we no longer have to provide taxi service for early or late night work shifts; and we longer have to juggle our schedules around our daughter’s work and social calendars.  We have fewer responsibilities and more freedom!!

And yet, we have both been walking around the house feeling full of sighs. Parenting really is an ambivalent calling.  Yesterday’s irritations and constraints have become today’s longings.

About kp

I am a woman and a mother, a sister and a wife. I have called myself a socialist and a feminist, an environmentalist and an activist, a pagan and an atheist. But, at this stage in my life, none of these labels feel right. I am searching; trying to find an inner calm; trying to make peace with life's disappointments; trying to answer the big questions in my own small life.
This entry was posted in Empty Nest, Healing & Compassion, Life, Parenting & Family, Personal Growth, Relationships, Stages of Life, Writing, Writing for your life and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to September’s New Beginnings

  1. I’m sorry Kim :( sending lots of hugs!

    • kp says:

      Thanks Chatte…it is part of the circle of life. We are thrilled for both my daughter and son; they are making new friends, learning new things and chasing dreams of their own. We are in the grieving stage but I know that we will fill the void with new relationships and projects and dreams. Kim

  2. Pam Bickell says:

    All the tenderness, emotion and pains-in-the rear of parenting so beautifully written in so few words. I hope a whole lot of expecting first-time parents get to read this some time. :) Pam

    • kp says:

      Thanks Pam…it is funny how we dream of a quiet moment to ourselves when they are home, and then miss them so much when they leave!! Kim

  3. Pam Bickell says:

    P.S.–I love those fence posts! I love their pictures. Do you get to live near them?

    • kp says:

      Hi…the “fence posts” were in a private botanical garden in Tofino on Vancouver Island. These people have this beautiful piece of property that extends down to the ocean. They could make a ton of money selling it to developers, but instead they have created a beautiful little botanical garden, with trails, and little art pieces. Really beautiful and peaceful place. I left saying that I would like to create a place like it some day. Kim

  4. Deliberately Delicious says:

    I’ve been writing about the changes in my household as my eldest son takes his first tentative steps into young adulthood. This summer he got a job and a girlfriend, and overnight it seemed like he disappeared. This is his last year of school and it is beginning to dawn on me that this time next September, he might be gone. You’re right that parenting is an ambivalent calling. I’m beginning to understand what you are facing. I hope that you and your husband find your way to enjoying this next stage.

    • kp says:

      Hi Sally….That sounds like a big change for your household. I hardly saw my daughter over the last two years because she spent so much time working (5-10:30 shift) or with her friends. It gave me a tates of what has become. It is really wonderful that Dan will be home for all of Sept this year so we can transition together. And, he has admitted that he has been in denial and now understands why I’ve been talking so much about the changes we want in our future. So, I am feeling less alone with the changes, and hopeful that we can create some new dreams together. Take care….Kim

      • Deliberately Delicious says:

        How comforting to know that you’ll face this change in your life together, Kim. It is a loss, but as Pema Chodron reminds me, every ending is also a new beginning.

  5. It will get better Kim, although to begin with the house seems empty, a bit like when you have lost a beloved pet…
    The good thing for me was no longer ironing clothes or picking up pots left on the floor and that dreaded task of cleaning their rooms, as woe betide me if I moved anything I shouldn’t hahaha…. :-)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s