Thursday, June 20, 2013

Spring Graduation and Empty Nest

With local graduations now commencing, many parents may be struck with the new and unfamiliar feelings associated with the “Empty Nest Syndrome.” Adjusting to the “new normal” of children becoming adults often entails a certain degree of a type of mourning on the part of parents.  It is not uncommon for loving parents to essentially grieve the loss over a child's departure into their career or school. What is the alternative? Naturally, since loving parents want the best for their children, resolution of this temporary “grief” involves the momentary hurt over the proverbial "short-term pain for the long-term gain." It will ease. The child/parent relationship still remains, it is simply forever different. It has transformed into a deeper relationship with an adult child, whom one has worked so hard to raise. Eventually, parents can certainly learn to more fully enjoy the fruits of their efforts while also learning new ways to now re-discover their relationships with others, including one's spouse.
I believe that Erma Bombeck best summed up “empty nest,” when she said: "When mothers talk about the depression of the empty nest, they're not mourning the passing of all those wet towels on the floor, or the music that numbs your teeth, or even the bottle of capless shampoo dribbling down the shower drain. They're upset because they've gone from supervisor of a child's life to a spectator. It's like being the vice president of the United States."

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