The First Leaves the Nest

Last month, Chad and I delivered our first born to college. What a memorable day! The night before, many aunts and uncles provided an official Irish clan send off. Several aunts even threatened to attend Siblings’ Weekend. The few hours spent at the college streamed by in a blur, visiting with students and staff, the memorable mob of students who helped unload, Opening Convocation, the tears and hugs between students and parents, giving a blessing to our child, the quiet drive home…

Patricks send off

Despite attempts at mental preparedness, the first leaving home proved a bittersweet transition. While Patrick will be home for vacations and summer, he truly no longer lives with us. What an odd adjustment. As parents, we spend so much time teaching life skills: Independence, a strong work ethic, the value of education, etc. When our young men and women take those first steps towards independence, a part of every parent holds on and hesitates before finally letting them go.

Fortunately, a busy routine greatly aided this transition. Between high school football, an increased teaching load, the fall harvest, and other responsibilities, my mind focused on other things. The many activities also limited communication with Patrick, so he could begin his new journey without a nagging parent.

I composed a short poem about this experience, remembering high school English class when Mrs. Bell taught iambic rhythms:

The First Leaves the Nest

Our summer path was filled with joy,
Yet time draws near for our dear boy.
Goodbye full house, he’s out the door,
And now our numbers slip to four.

Thanks for reading! Happy Fall from Cairn Hill Farms!

Fall at Cairn Hill Farms



  1. I have felt your sadness & joy several times, but you know what ? It’s OK & wonderful. It’s OK to cry whenever you want, too. Best wishes to all of you..

  2. I know he’s doing great! We may not go for siblings weekend, but I think a visit will be in store! Maybe that’s what we’ll have to do for our “girls night”…except we’ll have to plan a second so we can crash Gracie’s dorms too! 🙂

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