On a Personal Note: The fear of empty nest, by Rabbi Susan Silverman

My spouse and I are now empty nesters.

I have dreaded this since the day I became a mom. Really. I was actively haunted by it—having to calm myself with the number of years I still had before each kid would launch. Yes, them growing and heading into their own lives is what we parent for. We wish nothing short of this for them. But, wow, is it hard to let them go.

Working in the foster care space, we see children removed from families not because they are young adults striking out on their own, but because of challenges in their families of origin. Thus by necessity, in the placement and foster family side of things, we focus on the children in our care. However there are two things I think about every day. One, is that the well-being of the family of origin is deeply tied to the well-being of the child. Moreover, the other is that these separations are heartbreaking for everyone in that family, and that some of these removals do not have to happen or can at least be repaired.