My Empty Nest

Two years ago, as I sat in a weepy funk after dropping my middle child off for his freshman year of college, my husband asked me, “Why the tears?  Are you worried, sad, or just feeling an overall melancholy?” I said, “a bit of all 3”, but mostly it was the general sadness that comes with the mothering job, and more specifically, the feeling that it’s over.

I tried to explain to him what all mothers understand.  That there is a visceral connection a mother feels with her children that is beyond words (hence hard to explain) and very raw.   And while once a mother the job is never over, there is a point in which you need to sit back and give your child the space to realize their own destiny.

So, as I sat in the car on that hot August day trying to find some way to comfort myself, my mind quite naturally went to Lucy, the last little bird who was still in our nest.

Lucy arrived into the world after 5 months of bed rest, and we wept tears of joy and relief when she was placed safely in my arms. After 2 little boys, a little girl was so unexpected that I asked the doctor to “check again”, and after delivering meals to our home for 5 months the entire neighborhood leapt with joy.

She was dubbed Lovely Lucy by Miss Meena, her beloved pre-school teacher.  And she has lived up to that name. She is kind, gentle, intelligent, arty, quiet, and beautiful, but can also be surprisingly sarcastic and very funny.

She has been my near constant companion for close to two decades.   And while we have different approaches to life we truly “get and enjoy” each other’s vibe.

And now it is time for her, too, to leave our nest.

Today we will fly across the ocean to help her start the next chapter of her life. I know when I return our house will feel unbearably quiet.   Over the past few weeks I have felt a deep sense of sadness about this parting, and find myself wondering if I have adequately prepared her for the world.  But in the moments that follow I have also felt a deep sense of satisfaction knowing that Lucy is confident, following her dreams and charting her own course for the future.

So in my heart and my quiet moments I think “Brava, my lovely Lucy!”

Zen Mom’s Toolkit

In moments of deep sadness I remember the wisdom of Pema Chodron.  In her book, Living Beautifully With Uncertainty and Change , she shares the cycle of emotion.   

She reminds us that the actual sensorial experience of feeling either joy or sadness only stays in the body for 90 seconds.  It is the mind that prolongs the sensation. 

So for all of you Mom’s who are experiencing that deep sense of sadness at dropping your little one off at Kindergarten or the joy of a new engagement allow yourself to lean into the feeling.   You’ll notice over the moments that follow the feeling will flow out as easily as it entered.

Author’s Note

When one chapter comes to a close another one always begins.  And so it goes with both my life and work on the zen of slow cooking.  As Lucy embarks on her life as a college girl, I am excited to share my extra hours will be spent on our growing business.  With the help of our new Account Manager, Melinda Hill, we are quickly expanding our reach throughout the entire Midwest.  We will also be launching our 3rd meal kit (Vegan) with Peapod in 2 weeks and signing with a large US distributor with the intention of becoming a national food brand!

So, we are looking for friends and followers who are interested in hosting Zen parties in their homes to help us build brand awareness. If you want to learn more about how to host a party or would like to share our new sample packs with your friends, please drop me a note at meg@thezenofslowcooking.com.

We are excited about the opportunity of encouraging more people to slow down and spend time together over a shared meal.

Zen Moment

The best part of being a mom to me is the unconditional love. I have never felt a love as pure, a love that’s as rewarding.

-Monica Denise Brown

10 thoughts on “My Empty Nest

  1. With but one little bird in the nest for another year, my contemplation of emptiness begins. Your description of the feelings involved is the most beautiful and complex description I have read. Blessings to you, your family and Lucy as your new journeys begin. Taking the time to live in the moment is never easy but always rewarding.

    Namaste.

    • Ahh-thanks Laurie! We are sitting at the airport right now and I am looking forward to enjoying the next week with Lucy. And I’m comforting myself with the thought that I’ll have time to deepen my own friendships. So I look forward to seeing you more more after your little bird flies…xoxo

  2. Beautiful piece Meg. Bravo to you and Steve! Don’t worry, they will always return to the nest for a stay and bring others with them that will enrich your flock. Xo

  3. There is a noisy gaggle of girls and music 🎶 in the bedroom next to me……but in a mere 9 days, the last of the last, #6 of 6 will fly the nest for Baylor……..leaving a stunning silence for me to return home to!
    While I am sure in the knowledge that she is exactly where God wants her, and taking further steps toward her life purpose, like you, like all the mothers in this position, I cannot help but feel bereft. She makes my heart giggle, she delights my soul, she challenges my mind.
    We should post/hold a celebration-consolation for all the empty nest Moms who are about to don the skin of a new lifestyle, hoping desperately that it can fit! I thank you for your blog and thank God everyday for the blessing of my Cailie…..

    • Carolyn – What a sweet note! Yes we should all gather together to celebrate and comfort ourselves in September:-) Take Care – xoxo

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