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Leaving the Nest

I contemplated all weekend on what kind of photo I could use for today’s post. You see, our kids left for Florida yesterday morning and I needed a photo that would convey our sadness but I wasn’t about to post a crying photo because that’s too personal. And also, I don’t look pretty when I cry.

And then, Monday morning, Mother Nature provided me with just what I needed.

Puddles. To represent the many tears that Dale, Hannah and I have been shedding.

And heavy, gray clouds. To represent the sadness that is weighing on our hearts.

Brant, Heather and Ambrynn were actually planning on leaving Sunday morning after sleeping at our house Saturday night, but they were exhausted from all their packing and last minute errands so they decided to postpone their trip and leave on Monday morning instead. This actually gave us a wonderful day together on Sunday, complete with a Dale and the Duds concert to send them off in style. Except, of course, that Dale dedicated “On the Road Again” to the kids and the whole family started blubbering. It was all just so emotional and overwhelmingly sad and I was a big old mess. Ambrynn, sweet little thing that she is, lightened the mood right up, though as she yelled “Yay, Grampa” repeatedly when he finished singing.


So this little family has started a new chapter in their lives and I suppose we have, too, because we are now long distance parents. And it sucks. Despite the hurt we feel, we did what parents are supposed to do – we let them spread their wings and fly away.

This letting go is awfully hard but we sent them on their way with love and hugs, prayers and wishes for a safe journey, and a huge bag of junk food for the road trip. Along with whole bunch of sobbing after they drove away.

This Post Has 76 Comments

  1. Oh, I was afraid that this move was coming soon. I can’t even imagine how hard this is…

    I remember something my nana once told me:
    “if you love your kids, they will always know ‘home'”.

    *ahem* JetBlue sales are starting…:)

  2. It’s so sad, so hard, to have those you love live far away. I’m sending a big hug to you. Hopefully you’ll enjoy a FL vacation from time to time.

  3. I was thinking of you all on Sunday. Glad you had the extra day together. XXOOXX That’s great family photo!

  4. I know it will be tough!-when i’ve had rough times, knitting has been one of my best friends!!
    I’ll be thinking of all of you!

  5. I’m thinking of you Carole. It must be so hard to let them go. I hope you have the chance to take a lot of trips to FL.

  6. Oh big hugs out to you Carole! Our neighbors also moved down south yesterday (Alabama) and all I could think about was how their parents were handling it. It’s always hardest for the ones left behind.

  7. You’re just going to have to plan lots of road trips down to Florida! After all, who doesn’t want to go to Florida when the snow is three feet high?

  8. Carole, I know how sad you must be. But you really have to see the bright side of this: Vacations in Florida. Summer can happen in winter! And seeing your family is just an added bonus!

    And if you drive there you can hit all of those great roadside attractions. And you can count the Waffle Houses and Cracker Barrels as you go!

  9. I know how hard this is for you, having seen mine fly earlier this year. Just know they are still in your heart and loving you all the more because of the distance. Email photos often!! And plan a Florida vacation soon. None of that eases the immediate pain but it gives you something to focus on.

  10. I’ve always thought that kids who have the strength to go where their opportunities take them were raised right. Doesn’t make it easier when they go, I suppose, but good job, Mom. (Think how great it will be to get out of the car on your first visit and hear Ambrynn shouting, “YAY, Gramma and Grampa are HERE!!”

  11. Speaking as the only child of my family to have “spread her wings” the tears and pain often go both ways, at least a little. You and Dale have been amazing parents and grandparents so they are sure to soar! ((((((HUGS))))))

  12. how sad, I hope they have a safe trip and health and success in there new venture.

  13. Cyber parent hugs to you guys 🙁 If there’s one thing I learned as a parent, is that from the day they’re born, it’s a whole series of “letting gos”. Sucks royally too…

  14. It does suck. I married a Navy guy and we always live several states away from my Mom in Weymouth and my husband’s parents on Long Island. Remember that you are their anchor (no Navy pun intended) for their past and memories. Send care packages- even if it is stuff from Mass. that they can get in FL (I especially love anything from the Christmas Tree Shop that my Mom sends!) and send Ambrynn all sorts of silly girl stuff (my 15 and 11 year old girls LOVE packages from Grandma. Now sit down with Dale and start planning when you are coming to visit them!!

  15. I was actually thinking of you this weekend…wondering. You and Dale are good parents, and will continue to be, even through the miles, I am sure.

  16. Get yourself, if you don’t already have one, a credit card that gives you air miles for an airline with good flights down there – and SPEND SPEND SPEND! 😉

    Seriously, though, I’m sorry. It must’ve been very sad to see them go. I’m only an hour or two away from my family and sometimes it just kills me!

  17. Oh. I’m sorry. After spending 4 years an ocean away from my family and now being an ocean away from my husband’s family, I understand and am thinking of you.

  18. I’m so sorry, Carole. I can’t imagine how difficult it must have been for you to say goodbye… But I agree with Maryse! (I was born there, so I can say it!) My dad’s whole family still lives in Florida, but my folks high-tailed it back North right after I was born… and with any luck, your loved ones will too. 😉 It’s just too damn hot there.

  19. Oh, sweetie, I know that was so hard for you all. All you can do is let them fly their wings and go on with life. It’s definitely hard for all involved. I’m glad you got to spend the extra day with them. I hope they’ve made it there safely. Looks like you will be making trips to FL perhaps in the winter?

  20. As a “flown” child, I’ve been having a rough time the past few days. Missing my family so much. I almost cried myself reading your post! It’ll always be hard but you can make it work.

  21. I was afraid to ask if this was still happening…I’m so sorry – it will be difficult but hopefully you will all get in some kind of “visiting” schedule…thoughts are with you my friend.

  22. I have that feeling every time I leave after visiting my mom in Indiana. I’m glad you were able to keep the tears mostly inside until they drove away, it’s very hard to leave and even harder when your parent is crying. I hope their trip was uneventful and that you get to see them often! *hugs*

  23. Hannah knows she’s never allowed to leave, right?

    I’m sorry, Carole, but I’m so glad that you all had Sunday together. Maybe Dale and the Duds can take their act on the road. ;^)

  24. I’m so sorry. I know it’s hard. I do – Mine are on the opposite from your kids – they’re in New England…
    I’m sending you tons of hugs – there’s not much else I can do.

  25. Carole, I’m so sorry that they had to move away. It’s difficult to do something like that, but I know they are doing what they think is best for their little family. I wish them (and you) all the best, because I know that moving away is tough. Take care.

  26. My heart goes out to you and Dale, Carole. I know how I broke my parent’s hearts when I went off to college, and that was only an hour away. Take care :-\

  27. Oh, let me just offer my shoulder too. We just left my mother-in-law (who also lives in Florida) and we all miss her terribly. Your relationship will undoubtedly change, but it will still be wonderful. I’m sure Ambrynn just blossoms in your and Dale’s presence, and that will always be true.

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