18 and off – week 78

I started writing this in January but baulked at the emotions of having Number One Teen leave home. He’s been gone for a month. And by gone, I mean, Number One Teen is now attending university in the United States. Whilst most of the world is locked down and staying put, its the tenacity of a teenager that gets him into college and then out of a country that’s had its borders shut for nearly a year.

The initial sense of loss is real. Jab in the heart kind of feeling. Profound. Unreasonable? Likely.

Leaving home is a natural path of growing up, maturity, getting on in the world. Yet for the parents, this pathway is wrenching. I have friends who feel this same sense of loss with their Teens moving to another state. So it’s not distance, it has to be so much more. There are physiological neurons at play. A quick google points to research on this topic cited as “empty nest syndrome”, even if there are children still at home. These feelings of sadness and loss are typical in “empty nesters”, as part of the transition from parent to self.

Number One Teen rings daily (special thanks to Jan and Brian) with the vignette’s of his life that feel important. It’s the small bits that parents get use to, hanker for in the everyday madness of parenting.

One month into this transition I am feeling better, am busy with study (I’ve re-entered university life as a student) and have Number Two Teen shielding the next wave.

In two years, the time Number Two Teen leaves home, I’ll be back in fulltime work with an armour of tools in my kit to face another transition!

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