One Year of the Empty Nest

0 comments Posted on September 14, 2017

Sarah Sundin green 1by Sarah Sundin

A year ago, we sent the youngest of our three children off to the Navy, emptying our nest. Besides the joy of decreased grocery and energy bills, I’ve found unexpected joys in the sorrows.

Sorrow: Loneliness. I miss my kids! I miss having these delightful young people in my house every day.

Joy: Their visits home have become events to anticipate. Skype chats and text messages and phone calls are highlights of the week. In a way, I appreciate my children more because of their absence and I treasure the moments we spend together.

When Tides TurnSorrow: With our children 400 to 6,000 miles away, I can’t leap in and help when they face problems and heartache.

Joy: Watching them solve their own problems and weather their own heartache. My husband and I are here for advice and commiseration, but not to fix things. How satisfying to watch them put into practice the lessons we tried to teach them—and often thought we’d failed to teach—and to come up with clever solutions of their own.

Sorrow: Losing the baby, the little boy, the little girl, the time of being a full-time, hands-on mom.

Joy: Gaining independent young adults who are making the world a better place. And after all those years of saying, “I’m not your friend—I’m your mother,” I can now say I’ve gained three wonderful friends.

If you’re facing the empty nest, don’t deny the sorrows. But actively seek out and embrace the joys.

Sarah Sundin is the author of nine historical novels, including When Tides Turn. Her novel Through Waters Deep was a 2016 Carol Award finalist and won the INSPY Award. A mother of three, Sarah lives in California. Please visit her at, on Facebook and on Twitter.


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