When Children Move Far Away

When They Go

When I was raising my four children I felt that I was living my destiny. Ever since I was a little girl all I wanted was to be someone's Mom. I was the type of girl who was still tucking my dolls in at night when I was thirteen, even though I had ceased to play with them. I worried that they would be cold although I knew they were not flesh and blood.

When my eldest son was born I was two days past my twentieth birthday. I knew absolutely nothing about babies except one thing, I was desperately in love with that tiny creature and something inside of my soul sighed and said "this is what you were made for." I know it doesn't sound noble and grand but it meant the world to me to be privileged to be someone's Mom. As the years went by and I had three more children I only felt blessed, never burdened in spite of the many difficult times. Laughter outweighed tears and the years flew by. One by one they left home and boy did they! Our second son fell in love with a British girl and moved to England to marry her. The day he left he, his father and I cried the whole day. I have never hated an airport so much, even when they lost my luggage. I felt that a piece of me was missing for the longest time. Then my eldest son moved to a city that is a six hour drive from us. He too married and settled there. Next our youngest daughter fell in love with a young man from the East Coast, three provinces away. Devastation again when she married him and settled there instead of here. Finally our third child left to teach in Asia for a year, came home for a few months and then moved to England as well in order to teach. More tears.

Recently my cousin, whose children also live a far distance said we should be proud that we have raised such independent kids. I suppose she is right, but all I know is I miss them all. However, I realize that I need to make some lemonade with these lemons life has handed me. My husband and I, having been married very young and starting a family right away are now just rediscovering each other. The dust has settled, the tears have been dried for now and it's kind of nice to get to know my partner all over again. I am also at the age where I am completely comfortable with who I am and feel that life has many fewer demands on me and that I am under little obligation to meet most of them. That is refreshing.

Yes it is hard to have my children so far away, especially now that the grandchildren are arriving at a rapid pace. Four in two years. But I think of the joyous Christmas we will have this year when everyone comes home for ten days. We will go from two and a dog in our house to thirteen and a dog. It will be chaotic and challenging but I know that I will have a smile on my face for ten days straight. On the eleventh I will be crying unabashadly. By New Year's Day life will be back to normal and I will be looking forward to the next visit.

Sometimes I wonder why God gave me such a desire for motherhood and not much of a desire for anything else only to have things turn out as they have. It doesn't seem fair. However I am proud of my children, and happy that we can all get together and have a good time and I'm sure those times are most precious for all of us. I cherish my memories of their childhood all the more and still pray daily that at least one of them might decide to relocate closer to us. If that doesn't happen I will be content with Skype, a real blessing in my life. I keep healthy and fit so that I can travel with ease and visit my family as often as possible. I maintain good relationships with my daughters -in-law and son-in-law so that they never mind me showing up (I think), nor do they mind visiting us. I appreciate all the times I get to spend with my children, even as I did when they were young. One cannot predict how life will turn out, so even as I often lament I am grateful that each one of them is alive and well somewhere in this world.

Comments 11 comments

Andrea 6 years ago

Oh my, I couldn't have said it better. Although my kids are still near, one is getting ready to go to Taiwan (to teach) for a year and the other seems a bit antsy to get and go also. I miss them already and my heart aches for when they were young. I can't help but feel bittersweet that they are independent - selfishly I want them near!


Justine 6 years ago

I have two kids. My daughter is married and has a son (my beautiful grandson) and my son is in the military. I am proud of them and happy/grateful that they are healthy, strong, independent young adults BUT...I want them near also. I am still at the point where I feel like I am in mourning 1/2 the time and in a denial fantasy land (where I think they will move home any day now)the other 1/2. Quite the roller coaster! I have to get to a place where I can have some peace about this. I tried skype, I feel it makes me worse. Oh well, I will just keep praying for peace and acceptance.


Mom of 3 5 years ago

I feel your pain. My oldest is married, has 3 children and has been in the military for 6 years. I see them once or twice a year if I am lucky. My middle and youngest son has is married has one child of his own and is about to join the military as well and we don't know where they will be going. Only time will tell. My youngest lives nearby but is so busy I don't see her as often as I like. I am thankful for now that at least for the time being she is near. The most difficult thing for me is not being able to spend time with the grandchildren, hearing other grandmothers talk about all the time they spend with their grandchildren tears at my heart. We use Skype but it will never replace that hug and joy of seeing my grandchildren up close and spending time with my grown children and grandchildren. They are growing up so quickly!


orly 5 years ago

I come from an international family. I raised four children alone in every sense of he word and all but three are now independent and living in different locations. My 21 year old son just moved to Berlin. It's very conflicting , to miss then so much yet wanting them to live large . I remind myself every day to share the joy in their wanderlust and open minds, but in spite of it all. tears form whenever I stand in an empty bedroom.


Kat 4 years ago

I wish there was a support group for all mothers who's children move far away...


margaret gonzales 3 years ago

I am 73. My whole life was dedicated to my husband, children and grandchildren. My 55 year old son is dying. He moved up north and other than skype I have not seen him in about 6,7 years. My oldest daughter whom I have helped tremendously is moving out of state with her family. I am so sad.


Mom of 4 2 years ago

I am just the same, had dedicated my whole life to children and family. Now its quite an empty nest. Now, still no grandchildren. They are busy with work or just busy with being newly-weds or with girlfriend, or with studies. Left me feeling quite neglected. My daughter is married to a faraway land. We talk on the phone but its not the same. Just feel sad and heart-broken.


LoveMySon 2 years ago

I don't think that wanting your children to stay near is selfish, but maybe I wouldn't know really because I only have one child and he is 18 and is going to move from OR to CT in less than a month. We will both experience extreme separation anxiety. I mean heavily. It has just been the two of us always. His dad was in the military and gone 8 months out of the year and then passed away in 2008 so we clinged to each other even more. I'm on a mission to find a therapist to actually understand this and give us the tools to deal and to realize in the moment of despair that this feeling is only temporary, and not DISMISS me like 3 other therapists have. I made the mistake of not developing my self fully while I was raising my son and let my only happiness come from him. So what now? Sorry I am babbling, I appreciate your blog and will follow you.


Joan baker 2 years ago

My son just moved to San Diego he's only 20 he's the middle child but the one that we were the closest and he just decided to move after a vacation there I've been crying since he left he wants to try other things I know I'm being selfish but we own our own business that he could run I just miss him so much


Estela Johnson 19 months ago

thank you for your story, it help me a lot. my son is moving to Asia to teach for one year and I'm so attach I feel like I'm going to die.


Lolo 8 months ago

My son is 31, my daughter 27. Both single. She us near, but my son had been living across the country for 9 years. He came home a year ago...he was homesick...HALLELUJAH.Was so so good to all be together. Weekly dinners, visits...like a family again. Bro and sis were together often. Well, now he misses where he was for 9 years. I am devadtated. He leaves in 2 days and i cant stop crying. I am a mess. We have a good relationship, and i encourage him to follow his heart, nut it is sooooo difficult. How will i getthru this again...

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working