I well remember experiencing this phenomenon prior to the birth of my first child, who turned 19 years old this past weekend. I remember putting the finishing details on the nursery, stocking the freezer with meal options, and washing and arranging all the little clothing items (many of which didn’t ever fit him, because he arrived much larger than anticipated, at 9 pounds 7 ounces).
Our family “nest” has changed over the years, as we moved from one home to another, and added other family members. My oldest is preparing to “leave the nest;” soon I will help him set up his dorm room for his first year of college. I hope that someday he will establish his own “nest” as he makes decisions about education, career, family, ministry, friendships, and more. Many of you may be a few steps beyond me, having “empty nests” as your children have grown and moved on to other things. (Since I also have a two-year-old, it will likely be awhile before my nest is empty!)
These changes may go smoothly for some, and less smoothly for others. For various reasons, some people may never fully leave the “nest,” but may rely on their parents longer than others. I think, however, that these are instincts that are instilled in us, whether or not we are able to fully indulge them. There are many ways we as parents can prepare our children to leave our nests and establish their own, beginning at a very young age, and continuing throughout their childhoods. Next week I’ll write more about those.
Where are you in this “nesting” cycle? Have you set specific goals and action plans (next steps) for continuing to move (yourself and your children) forward successfully?
Best wishes as you make the most of the “nest” you’re in currently, and make plans for any “nests” which may yet come your way!