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I woke up one morning…near the holidays last year 2013 – in a sort of panic. I looked around the house and began to think about what it will be like when my youngest daughter-Hanna leaves home next year to go to The University Puget Sound in Washington (out of state ouch!). “My second “chick” is leaving home”, I thought. I am so busy all the time-I am a full time realtor and my husband is an architect. Hanna’s senior year at Dos Pueblos High School-she was pretty self sufficient…she drives now and was in two very intense programs at school-golf and engineering. Hanna said, “Mom I think this year will make it easy to let me go in the fall..I am never around Mom.” The feelings I had when she said that were sort of “I will believe it when I see it.” I am the emotional one, my husband on the other hand -thinks an “away four year college experience is essential.

My friend Laurie called me around the same time…kind of like me…freaking out a little about our youngest daughters leaving home. Laurie is a full-time Mom-so the “pangs” of loss created by her youngest daughter leaving are perhaps deeper-her daughters and family are her life. Where as I have a career. We often walk dogs together, have coffee,swim at La Cumbre Club…our daughters are golfers and we met because our daughters both play.Though we may have very different lives-we feel the same…we miss our youngest daughters already.

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The realization that other Mom’s and Dad’s (and folks who may not be actual Moms and Dads -yet they do the job) might feel like us-kept popping into my mind.The idea forEmpty Nest Santa Barbara came one night as I was “attempting” to cook dinner-(I am not the cook in the family my very patient and willing husband is).I could even say-they might be leaving home to get away from my cooking…Anyhow- I was getting really sad thinking about my youngest leaving home..and then a light came on and I came up with the idea.

“When your kid’s leave home what’s next?”

Empty Nest Santa Barbara…is about parents…aunts ..uncles..brothers and sisters…anyone who has raised kids ..or helped raise kids…been the cupcake mommy-the athletics volunteer…sitting in uncomfortable bleachers…chaperoning long road trips…the ones that show up and care..and devote a lot of time for the 18 or so years it takes to get these “chicks launched”. They are now leaving home-for college,careers,Gap years and life in general. We are looking for ways to productively and creatively interact,help the community and have a good time.

Always open to suggestions-we want to create a new “Nest”-for the Empty Nester!

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