If you can’t say something nice…shut your pie hole.



Since we moved Oldest and Youngest away I’ve had good days and rough days. I think it’s going to be that way for awhile. Two of my all-time favorite people have moved out of reach, and it’s just hard. Some days it’s going to be harder than others. Today is one of those “harder than others” days.

One of the things that’s bugging me most right now is those know-it-alls who have been through the empty nest thing and who seem to enjoy making light of what I’m going through; the ones with the hearty comments like “You should be celebrating! You’ve got the house to yourself now! Now the fun begins!” People who have the emotional IQ of an earthworm.

Things I would like to say in response (but which I’m too civilized to actually say):

1 – Remember when you lost your job in the recent recession and you felt like crap and didn’t know what to do with yourself? I just lost the biggest part of the best job I ever had. Remember how that sucks?

2 – Only a loser would trivialize someone else’s grief, no matter what the source of it is.

3 – Yeah, if my kids were as rotten as yours, I probably wouldn’t miss them, either.

The thing is, we have totally awesome kids. They’re intelligent, funny, and engaging. They have a wide range of interests and have exposed me to some really cool stuff I would never have seen, heard, or thought about otherwise. I never went through a stage when I thought “Wow, I’ll be glad to have this kid out of the house.” I delighted in every age. Even in those “dreaded” teen years when there was some occasional talking back or acting out, I could accept that as the place they were in and the state of their brain development. Sure, I got frustrated sometimes, even angry. But every meaningful relationship has those moments.

If I had the energy today, I’d  have more concern for parents who enjoyed their children so little that they’re glad to see them gone. Maybe tomorrow.  Or maybe not.


9 thoughts on “If you can’t say something nice…shut your pie hole.

  1. Amy, thanks so much for sharing this with me. I am always amazed and sad to hear friends say how happy they are that their kids are gone. Even back in elementary school when kids reached milestones, while I was crying inside, they rejoiced that they were a step closer to their own independence. How sad for the kids being parented by people who couldn’t wait to be free of the children they brought into the world. I treasure the memories of sitting around the dinner table for hours after dinner is finished discussing how race is defined, the difference between “past” and “passed”, Semitic languages, belly laughing about crazy irreverent topics, and just enjoying each other. Like you, I’ve learned so much about things I’d otherwise never heard of or music I’d never been exposed to. I’d feel sad for the parents who don’t have these memories but I’m too busy missing my own kids in the house. I am fortunate that right now my kids are close by. I send hugs to you because my daughter wasn’t always close by, and I understand your pain and grief.


    • Though your beautiful words made me cry, I so appreciate your thoughts, Laura. What a blessing that our girls found each other and continue to be friends.
      I echo your sentiments – it’s always broken my heart to hear parents to complain about their kids; about having them home for the summer; about rejoicing when they get out of the house. Many thanks for reading. 🙂


      • Truly a blessing they found each other—I hope their friendship lasts forever. Besides missing watching the achievements and activities of Rachel in school and being a part of the support team, we miss the two of you very much. The four of us, among others, made an excellent, fun support team! I’m happy to hear that my post echoed your feelings and helped you to feel not so alone. And, thanks for the comments about my art!


  2. I have had the same comments. My daughter graduated from HS early, and moved 2800 miles from us at the age of 17, to enter college. She graduated from college early, but refuses to return to our new home in the South. Our oldest moved away (about an hour) 6 months before my daughter. And recently, the youngest has moved out–thankfully, close by. Even though the youngest followed a different drum beat, we had two nerds that provided us with countless new ideas and fodder for discussion.

    I would give anything to have them living with us again, however, I know that this is the natural way of life. As I sit in my quiet, lonely house–trying to figure out which step to take next–the quietness is almost deafening, and I want to cry.


    • Thanks for stopping by and for commenting. It helps (just a little) to know others are in the same place. In fact, that’s what prompted this post – a friend on FB posted how much she missed her fascinating, fun, amazing daughters. Best of luck to you!


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