Hope Wissel

Empty Nest Syndrome

For those of you with young children, you may be looking forward to the day when your children are older.  Wishing they were on their on?   For those with high school students who are talking about college, you are probably more concerned about how to pay the college tuition bills than how you will feel when they do in fact leave.

While Belinda was growing up, it was “You and me kid” with help from family and good friends.  We had a GREAT relationship though I am sure that I drove her nuts.  I mean isn’t that a parent’s job to embarrass their kids and drive them nuts!  When Belinda entered high school, she was an average student focused on cheering and working with no real aspirations for college.  I was almost sure I would have to drag her to college every day which could be tough since her original thought was to go to school on the West Coast.  Of course that changed when she realized that she would only get to come home in the summer.  In her Junior year, Belinda transferred to Pilgrim Academy – a Christian School that I credit for helping her to get ready for college.  I won’t bore you with the details only to say that in August of 2007, mom and I drove to Sylva, North Carolina to deposit Belinda for her Freshman year of college at Western Carolina University.  Yes, I missed her.  Yes, we traveled back and forth to see each other on a fairly regular basis.  Life was busy – full-time work, moving, planning a wedding and the list goes on.

NOW, I am experiencing “empty next syndrome”…. you would have thought that I got over that 6 years ago when I drove Belinda to North Carolina that first year.  I actually thought I had until TODAY!  See, for the first time in her almost 25 years of life, I will not be with her when she has oral surgery.  If you are a parent, you may understand what I am feeling.  If not, you are probably thinking that I am just an overprotective mom or CRAZY!  Actually, I am neither – well, the crazy part maybe.

Belinda is having FOUR impacted wisdom teeth pulled today.  They have are not only a dental issue but have also been causing her some medical problems.  So, they MUST come out.  She is definitely her mother’s child because she PLANNED when it would be convenient to have it done.  You know coordinating work time off with school and of course her 25th birthday which is on the 15th.  The timing had to be right – for her at least.  I am grateful for good friends and families who have “adopted” her in North Carolina because I know she will be in good hands even though I can’t be there.

So, today as I head to work at WAWA this morning and then to Ocean Medical Center tonight for Girl’s Night Out – I will keep myself busy to limit the stress.  My thoughts, prayers are with Belinda.  In the past, I would have stopped everything to travel to the ends of the earth to be with her.   I am sure that some will think I should have, while others are thinking that she is an adult.  The truth is that she is my baby girl and will always be no matter how old she gets or the fact that she towers over me in height.

Are your kids still at home?  Are they away at college or grown and no longer in the area?  If you have children, no matter how old or where they are – STOP and let them know that you love them.  Send a text, an email, a handwritten note or make a phone call.  Who else has an “empty next” story?  Please share with us…

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

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