The Your Child Leaves Home Season

your child leaves home

Seasons change outside my kitchen window. Seasons change within my own home. 

A month or so ago, I stood at my kitchen sink mindlessly washing a glass and noticed the home of my neighbor across the street.

I am not alone at this crossroads. Many families that surround me find themselves at the same juncture as I.”

I’ve lived in the same neighborhood for 17 years. Much against my personal taste, I intentionally moved to this planned community when my son was three. I knew it would make a wonderful and safe haven in which to raise him. Complete with movie theater and sandwich shops, organic markets and play parks, it provides enough of a microcosm of real life in which to allow your offspring more and more independence as they age.

I am not alone at this crossroads. Many families that surround me find themselves at the same juncture as I. All those runny-nosed toddlers turned into snotty middle-schoolers turned into snooty teens are leaving home in droves. Leaving behind fairly sizable empty nests.

The Changes Outside:

My across-the-street neighbors have three boys. The middle one being the exact age as my son. For the last six years, I’ve witnessed their front yard be ground zero for what seemed to me like a never-ending game of pickup basketball. All three boys, along with their chums, spent countless hours dunking a bright orange ball into a netted basket. 

Then, there was one less (along with a few of his friends). A year later, another one (and his friends) disappeared, leaving behind the baby of the family to singularly take on the perpetual basketball game. It happened by degrees. Similar to the change in seasons. Almost imperceptible, the scene outside my kitchen window mutated. Just like mother nature turns leaves into an explosion of color and then sheds them in Fall, our neighbors shed their offspring – one by one.

The Changes Inside:

Turns out it’s more a mini-series with countless episodes that allow us to relive the departure.”

None of it struck me at the time. Heck, I was focused on the changing seasons in my own home. With only one offspring, my debut and closing night of Your Child Leaves Home (for the first time) was a singular event last year. Added to the rarity, the event was overshadowed by a pretty awful skydiving accident that left me with three broken vertebrae on the very day he was headed off to school for the first time.

But hold on… Did I really escape starring in theYour Child Leaves Home play? Turns out it’s more a mini-series with countless episodes that allow us to relive the departure. I’m at episode number two. And for all you very seasoned mothers of adult children, I know I am naive to believe that departures only happen in the Fall as they head off to University. I know, many of you experienced unanticipated homecomings and departures during the pandemic years. And, even beyond that – I get that life is long and circumstances can provide us many opportunities to relive the child leaves home scene.

The Ongoing Saga Of The Child Leaves Home:

This year I played a supporting role in our very own production of Your Child Leaves Home. Lists created and double-checked, Amazon packages clogged the front stoop, packing cubes stuffed with clothes near the breaking point, I was present and accounted for. 

Due to some special circumstances, it made sense for his Dad to drive him and his treasure trove of new apartment living items to school. The three of us packed the truck and the two of them shoved and melted themselves into the little room they had left to be included in the move. My son took the first shift driving and pulled away from my driveway. I watched as he drove past the neighbor’s now empty basketball court reminding me that seasons change on both sides of the street.

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9 thoughts on “The Your Child Leaves Home Season

  1. Cat Coluccio says:

    My youngest, (now nearly 30) has moved to LA while my eldest, with wife and child in tow now live with us on the rural fringe of Auckland, New Zealand, after a few years in Australia You think they are gone come uni years, but life is an adventure – for them and for us as parents – and we are all the richer for the experiences and surprises we encounter along the way.

    • Kuel Life Membership
      Kuel Life says:

      LA? That’s really, really far for you. But, it does sound like life is long and full of ever-changing situations. Hope the boomerang child is working out well. (And, yes I know boomerangs are Australian!)

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  3. Marie-France | Lifebook Leader says:

    My daughter graduated high school this year. She is going off to college which is only an hour away, but since it is closer to her dad’s place (we separated when she was 4) she’ll be living there while she continues her studies. I’m grateful that her and I built a strong bond over the years, as this change in season simply means our relationship is shifting and will be even more beautiful. I’m excited for her and the adventures that await her!

    • Kuel Life Membership
      Kuel Life says:

      I have been thinking…. I would LOVE to turn my son into a daughter right about now. I loved the ease of having a teen boy but definitely wish we were more “besties” now….

  4. Nipa | Fashionipa says:

    My husband and I dropped off our oldest at college last year, with mixed emotions of excitement and heart-break. After a summer at home, I’m gearing up to say goodbye to him again, hoping it will be easier this time. xo Nipa

    • Kuel Life Membership
      Kuel Life says:

      Curious… was it easier? It was much harder this time for me than last. BUT, I was dealing with a pretty serious accident last year and was quite distracted.

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