Birds Leaving the Nest: A Mother’s View



Written by Maddi Roman |

A year’s end brings on a lot of emotions. Seniors are conflicted: sad, happy, excited, and terrified. Quite frankly, we don’t know what to feel. The students are not the only ones experiencing a dramatic and major life change; our parents are too. From the day we were born through 18 years of carpooling, school lunches, a shoulder to cry on, and advice that we learned to take, we are about to leave our nest. This is such an incredible change in a parent’s life that there are books available on coping with it. We are their children; they have watched over us our entire lives. We are about to walk across a stage as children and step off as adults. Graduation and college are famous times in the lives of both students and their parents.

No matter the home, life will change drastically from the way that it once was. Stephanie Bradley, mother of Liz Bradley, is experiencing this for the first time; Liz is the oldest of her children. Mrs. Bradley commented: “Well, she’s the only other girl in the house. She kinda helps a lot with driving the boys around and stuff like that. It will probably be more quiet. I’m happy that she has the opportunity, but I’m going to miss her. Even just missing one of the kids is going to change a lot, especially when we’re hanging out at home. I’m losing my carpool driver.” Many mothers feel similar emotions.

Eileen Smith, mother of Rory Smith, described the absence of her daughter, “We won’t hear the beautiful sound of her piano anymore. I think we’re always going to feel like there is a piece of the pie missing…not whole…incomplete.” I even asked my own mom, Lisa Roman, about how things will change in my own home. “It will be quieter. There’s going to be less music in our house, less towels to wash, a little more worrying and missing you, and less entertainment. It will feel like a part of us is missing.” The transition is going to be anything but subtle.

For many parents, it feels as if they are finally on good grounds with their children.They say that the early teenage years of fighting and frustration have ended. Lisa Roman explains: “We were together when you were younger, and then there was a period of time in your early teens where we kind of grew away from each other…It was difficult. And now I feel like we’re coming back together, and just when it’s getting good you’re leaving.”

I am sure many parents and graduating seniors can relate with these feelings. Mrs. Smith has a similar viewpoint: “She’s an adult now so she’s fun and we can have adult conversations. She is easy to reason with because she is an adult now. On the other hand, she’s starting to distance herself knowing that she is leaving soon. She feels free knowing she’s going. It’s a mixed emotional time all-around.” I can certainly agree with the part about it being a “mixed emotional time.” Mrs. Bradley and Liz’s relationship has not seemed to change throughout the years; they have always been close. “I’ve never felt not close with her. She has always told me mostly everything. I’ve always been close with her. I think we’re getting closer because she has a little bit more of an understanding as she’s getting older of what it’s like for parents. I think we’re just as close. It’s not any less than it always was.”

When it comes to their children, all parents can agree on one huge concern: safety and well-being. Mrs. Smith commented that she is worried about Rory. She is afraid she will be too homesick, and she worries about whether she’ll be safe. “Rory’s very confident, but I don’t want her to be too confident. Like, walking alone at night and being worried about her surroundings. Other than that I’m proud of her and happy that she’s really succeeded so far, and I think she has a lot ahead of her.”Rory will be attending the University of Delaware in the fall.

Mrs. Bradley has to worry a little bit less since her situation is slightly different from the others. Liz Bradley will be commuting to Southern Connecticut State University next year. Mrs. Bradley’s stated, “I think I have a little less concern than the average parent because she’s commuting. Safety is a concern, walking back and forth to the car, knowing that she is safe and that no one is going to hurt her. I know she is going to be able to get focused.” These are all resonable concerns. My mom commented on her concerns as well, “Your ability to pay attention to the details. I’m not worried about you making bad choices.” I will be attending Hofstra University on Long Island next year; it reassures me to know that she is confident in my ability to make good choices.

To end the interview, I asked the mothers when they think their child will come home for the first time. Mrs. Smith reasoned, “It is about five hours so I would imagine Thanksgiving, but we are definitely going down to see her before then. We’re going down in October.” My own mom has a similar thought, “I think you might come home before Thanksgiving break, but I don’t think you are going to come home often.”

Now that it is time to make this major life change, we learn the value of a moment. We cannot hold onto a single time forever. It is important to move forward into the future, however difficult this task is. All of these mother’s love their children to no end, and we are thankful as we love our moms too.