Greatest hits | A half-empty nest

Big changes in my world this summer, as my youngest got his driver’s license a little more than a week ago!

He’s a social one, and in some ways, it’s wonderful that he now has the freedom to get places without having to rope me into driving him, and since his father travels a lot, there’s usually a car available.

The upside? He’s out fishing or swimming or socializing and not glued to a screen. And (for now) the use of a car is a wonderful card to hold when chores need to be done—his room has never been this clean for this long!

The downside: it’s like exchanging precious brain space for precious time.

I’m still at the stage where I get caught up in worrying: “He should be there by now, why hasn’t he texted? But I shouldn’t text in case he’s driving. But he should be there. Has he just forgotten to text? Should I be worried?”

If our first babies teach us about our own crazy, our last babies must suffer our interminable babying—it’s our last chance, after all, to baby someone.

And if we don’t have someone to focus on (teenaged boy translation: nag), we might just have to look at ourselves, and sometimes that’s not such an appealing prospect.

That’s definitely a topic for another day!

In the meantime, I’m continuing to give myself a little breathing room this summer by replaying my most popular blog posts.

This week seems like the perfect time to revisit A half-empty nest, written around the time my daughter got her driver’s license!

Enjoy the replay, and leave me a comment to let me know what stage of parenting you’re in, whether your relationship with your children feels nourishing like kale or toxic like kryptonite, and why. (Don’t want to publicly post about your kids (because it might ruin their day…or their life)? You can send your reply via email, and I’ll keep it anonymous!)


  1. Audrey Acton

    Love this. I remember the first time my oldest moved out. I wondered what he was doing, when he would call me, should I call him to find out if he was ok, how long is long enough to wait to call to check in? And so very many more questions. I love this and it is a transition and opens up precious time for us to explore and play like never before.

    1. Elizabeth Baker

      I’ve already been told in no uncertain terms that he will NOT be in frequent communication once he leaves for college. 😀

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