a mother’s intuition // the backside of the empty nest

Tuesday, January 12, 2016
Debbi DiMaggio



A Mother’s Intuition

Lacrosse bag & sticks, snowboards & boots, multiple shoes and sweatshirts all lined the entry, now gone. Simply vanished as if they were never there.

The kids are gone.

A few Coronas are left in the refrigerator.

Dust bunnies line the floors like boxed snacks line the freezer and cupboards.

An empty bed with clothes left behind, cozy bean bags where they once slept

are now put back upstairs next to our Peloton Cycle where Biscuit sleeps while we pedal.


It’s the backside of the empty nest.

It’s gotten easier, I must admit. Hopefully that will offer some peace of mind to other empty nester parents and soon to be empty nester moms and dads.

I recall how it all began. Bianca went first and four years later our son Chase and his posse headed off in their own directions.

When the first child embarks, leaving one or two behind, it is a heart wrenching reality to stomach. One leaves and the other, or others, are not far behind; and that is when it dawns on you, life will be different. Than the next goes and it is difficult, but you have some sense of peace knowing you are going to be together again soon.

When the first leaves you chart their comings and goings and your visits to see them. You realize it’s not over. They aren’t dead, they’re just doing what they need to do. It’s the natural progression of life.

The backside of the first year, aka second semester, is lining up to be much easier. Christmas vacation provided almost an entire month of activity with our kids and their friends.

You will see, they all come home; they are all still the same great kids who left you just a few months prior. Nothing much has changed. Sure, maybe more facial scruff, a few more pounds or longer hair. A few of the boys even seemed to have gotten taller.


But in the end, the day ends with the crew back together again in “their” room, “our” dining room, that turned into “their” room sometime during those bustling high school years.


And they are as excited to be with one another as you are to see them.


The backside of the empty nest.

They survived first semester. And so did you!

And they returned to the nest, still yours. And their friends still happy to gather together in your home sharing stories about their time apart. ( A bug on the wall, I heard some funny tales, while lounging in the next room. )


It’s so wonderful and assuring to know they have one another. To know they are happy and can make it without you.

Well .. Almost…

So I stopped into the bank today, the day after Chase left to go back to CU and I said to the bank teller, “let’s check Chase’s checking account,” “what does he have in it?” She replied with a smile, “zero.” I rarely go to the bank, if ever.

It must have been a mother’s institution… no doubt.

I miss you all.




As crazy as you make us when we are trying to go to bed at night, we love you all — Bianca’s friends and Chase’s friends — and of course our own dear children, Bianca and Chase — and wish the world for you all 🙂


But I can still spoil them from afar – Care packages were sent to greet them for Halloween– as far away as Switzerland and to Michigan, to California and to Washington. They will always be my children, even when they are grown and married. I adore these kids!

IMG_3252Bianca now a college graduate of the University of Colorado at Boulder


( did it in 4! even while taking a semester abroad in Florence, Italy )


with a degree in Communications, is now living the life in Australia, working, traveling and making new friends. We could not be prouder of them both!

orphan christmasBianca and her friends spent Christmas on the beach, Down Under…. their “Orphan Christmas” as they call it 🙂

Looks like fun!!!


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One Response

  1. Warren Crandall says:

    Regarding Australia, I remember spending Christmas of 1985 in Fiji. OK not Australia but still in that part of the world. It was Christmas Day and it was sweltering hot at the beach. That’s not unusual of course for those in that part of the world but it sure was strange for me, being from California.

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