Monday, August 24, 2009

Saying Good-Bye to Your Baby

Last Friday, we took our youngest daughter to college. We packed up her clothes, her bedding, her art supplies (she is an interior design major), and a bunch of this and that and headed down the road. It was really tough on me. When our oldest moved out, it was hard, but not as hard as this time because our daughter is going to college three hours away while our oldest lives down the road.

I have to admit that I cried when we left, and then again that night while waiting to go to sleep. I'm sure that being empty-nesters is going to appeal to me, but maybe not today.

The grief I experienced was not because of the days she's been gone, but because of the days she will be gone. Never again will we enjoy her living here for a long period of time. Our little bird has flown from the nest, and she seemed happy to go!

When I got to thinking about it, I realized that she was confident to leave the nest because we had created a sense of security for her as she grew up. So we did it right!

What does this have to do with writing? Well, when our novel (our baby) is ready to be pushed out of the next, sometimes we're not as ready for it to go as it is. Case in point. My book, Guardian. It needed to leave the nest. I had edited it out the wazoo, and was hanging on to it when I should have let it go.

Now it is in the hands of the publisher, and doing quite well with them. If I had held on to the book, like I wanted to my daughter, it would never have found a new home, and I would have kept it due to an emotional attachment to you, a reluctance to push it out.

The tears? Well, they came too because I got a book contract, so there is joy in being an empty nester. You just have to have the right perspective and be willing to say "good-bye" to your baby.


Donna McDine said...


What a heart touching post today. You did well my dear friend. Your daughter will continue to flourish with your guidance even from a distance.


Paige Ryter said...

Oh my gosh...we're sending our oldest to college next year. I'm already a little sad...and I have a year to go! We have three teenagers, and in about 5 years, all of ours will be out of the 'nest', too.

I feel for you...but hang in there. With the teenage angst in this house, I decided the teenage years were to prepare you to kick them out of the house...but now I'm thinking otherwise.

Barbara Ehrentreu said...

I know that feeling, because we sent both of our kids away. We experienced exactly one full year when no one was home. Then my older daughter decided to come back and the following year my younger daughter changed schools too. They both wound up at the same school, but both have graduated now and are still at home.

They were happy to leave and came home, because they wanted to change their courses. I'm sure they were ready and are still ready to leave, but due to economic reasons they can't afford their own place. :)

See it's possible that you might have her back again, but think of this time as a time for you and your husband. It's almost like a honeymoon when you realize that there is no one there to walk in on you. Think of how much fun you can have.:) Plus there is all that extra time for writing and just doing what you want to do. Have fun!!!