Just a day after the goose hatched her five goslings, they left the nest, crossed the street and now live in the marshy area next to our work site. I haven't seen them since the day I took pics of the cute cuddly balls of fluff. After she vacated the nest I took another pic of the empty nest - it's got rocks all over in the bottom. It was not the nicest or coziest place to lay her eggs.
Speaking of empty nests, I have an empty nest too. About 6 years ago my son graduated from highschool and moved into an apartment that same night (possibly a little in a hurry to get away from home?) and then within the week my daughter flew to Illinois and began her basic training in the Navy. It was an awful week. I cried a lot and continued to cry off and on for about a year.
I don't know why empty nest is so hard on the moms but it was on me. Even 3 or so years later, something would happen and I would be in tears because I missed my kids so much. It didn't help that one was living in Norfolk, VA (clear across the US from AK) or that my other was in Missouri (and sometimes Japan). Now the son is back in Anchorage for a time (he'll be leaving in February) and the daughter is still in VA....but we have frequent phone calls and she's come home to visit several times bringing her husband and new babies each time she comes. That part has been wonderful! I get to visit her in August when the third grandchild arrives. I'm so looking forward to it, yet dreading VA in August where it gets to be 100 degrees fairly regularly.
It gets easier over time. There are benefits to the kids growing up....I've added a daughter-in-law, son-in-law and two (almost three) grandchildren as well as getting to go visit places I wouldn't have in the past. I have my own art room thanks to Travis moving out, and Sweetie has his own room thanks to Katie moving away. I don't spend nearly as much on food, nor do I have to plan and cook meals like I used to. We don't have to plan around more than two schedules and the two cars are always in the driveway in the right order. At one point we had 6 running and non-running vehicles in our driveway which the kids had to shuffle around to make sure I could back out easily when it was time to go to work.
All in all, it's good kids grow up and leave home and become responsible adults. I've adjusted and look forward to the coming phases of life, such as retirement (someday) and eventually great-grandkids. Life is good!