Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

Empty Nest

Posted August 15, 2007

What words of wisdom do you give a college freshman?

What advice would you give parents who are about to become empty nesters?

Our baby is bound for Boone this Friday. So does that make us empty nesters? How will we deal with the trauma?

Well, we’re getting a bit of a break.

Son Will enters Appalachian State as a freshman on Friday. Yes, we’ve bought all the freshman stuff: laptop computer, bed spread, towels and warm winter coat. My wife and I have given Will the freshman pep talk. Enjoy the adventure but be good and make us proud.

Cindy and I are really going to miss the big guy. His upbeat personality, great sense of humor and willingness to work hard are just a few of his attributes. We are avoiding the empty nest syndrome at least for now. Our daughter Lauren recently began teaching first grade in Wake County. She has decided to live at home for a while. This will give her a chance to save some money. Plus, those first days of teaching can be demanding. It's nice to come home to the warm family cocoon including home cooked meal and sympathetic ears.

Eventually, Lauren will find that apartment and the nest will be empty. But for now we sure are enjoying the company.


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  • DEPUTY Aug 16, 2007


  • SaltyOldJarhead Aug 16, 2007

    Hi Bill, We raised three boys and sent the last one off to WCU last year so I can give you the 1 year perspective on the empty nest thing.

    Leaving the big guy in his dorm room and driving away was bad, really bad. We tried to engage in small talk on the way back but mom suddenly had no one to be mom to and dad had just lost his best buddy so the silences were pretty long.

    At home, you begin by wondering how in the world the house became so quiet. Then you wife discovers that the constantly trashed house wasn't totally the son's fault so things liven up a bit.

    You get to re-discover the girl you married all those years ago - plan on reserving that night out each week that you always planned but never got around to and stick to it this time because she really needs the company. And September is the perfect time to start Salsa lessons together. Oh yes, and learn how to talk to your wife again. Big lesson there.

    As for college, 2 words - Christian Orgs! Best thing for the kids.

  • urbudelar Aug 15, 2007

    Dad, because you can never say too much: thank you. I don't know how I could be making it without you, Mom, William, and even Sparky. It's a privilege to come home to such a positive atmosphere, with superb dinners, eager faces ready to hear about my day, comforting hugs, supportive advice, and a family (and dog) to unwind with each night. Not to mention a fun and slightly competitive round of Jeopardy to boot. We're all going to miss William but I'm happy and thankful to be sticking around for at least a little while longer :)

  • ganma Aug 15, 2007

    I dreaded the day my children both left home. Our son is 28 and living and working in Durham. Our daughter is 24, married, 2 children, and lives around the corner. We used to wonder what we did with our time after the children were gone. Now we wonder what we did with our time before the grandchildren came along. I have no idea! The next step in your life will be even better than the last. Just enjoy every minute you have and enjoy watching your children become wonderful adults. We couldn't be prouder.

  • bleslie Aug 15, 2007

    Celt, I agree - this is a great group. I should pay money for all of this wise and seasoned advice.


  • Higgins Aug 15, 2007

    My advice in all aspects of life, even the empty nest, is the same as my father always gave me. His advice was, "Wait three days." The "three days" is a reference to the three days that it took for Christ to rise from the dead. Even after the horrible death of Christ, a three day wait gave Christians hope for everlasting life. This advice has gotten me through many of life's trials and everything always seems to get better by the end of those three days.

  • Celt Aug 15, 2007

    The night before my now 23 year old daughter went off to college, she came into our bedroom and said, "Can I sleep between you two tonight?" She had not asked that since she was 3. I think she just wanted to hold onto her childhood one more evening, to feel that for just a moment, nothing had changed.

    Man, now I am crying! We are all quite the group, aren't we??

  • commpropsusan Aug 15, 2007

    I have enjoyed reading your blogs. Your children are very lucky to have two wonderful parents as you and Cindy. In the rush of today's world, it is great to hear about a family with values.

  • Question Aug 15, 2007

    Ferguson--you made me well up reading your comments! Hang in there. I have 8 year old twins, so it's a ways off for me, but the thought of them moving out gets to me even now!

  • taxwoman1070 Aug 15, 2007

    Bill - I have one son out of the house now and we are working on our baby (our daughter is a rising Junior at Campbell U.). This is a great time for you and your wife to do some of the things you have put off doing for yourselves. Sometimes you lose sight of what brought the two of you together in the first place. Make special time in your busy schedules to put eachother first and bring that spark to a flame! My husband and I have taken time to just enjoy eachothers company by putting eachother first again. The kids are young adults now so most of the hard part of raising the kids is over. We take long drives in the country, etc. Just going on dates again - walking together holding hands. Soon they will come home again but this time they will bring more people with them (Ha Ha)! Enjoy the quite and restfullness the empty house will bring - because a few years from now our kids will bring home kids of there own for us to enjoy.




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Bill Leslie