The First Signs of a Preschooler’s Independence to Empty Nesting

It happened today … the day my little girl said, “Hi Mom,” and walked by me to sit with her class at chapel. I had gone to chapel to sit with her. There is no doubt that I have been preparing for her to be independent and to have the confidence to not “need” me, and still I sat sad and proud at the same time. I teared up in joy over the brave little girl she has become. But why did she have to be brave to me?

You see, I am an “older” mom, and in today’s world that doesn’t mean a lot, thankfully. However, it still means that many of my best friends, who are near my age, are either empty nesters or about to be empty nesters. Is the feeling that I had today at chapel a mini feeling of what my friends with graduates are going through as this fall semester begins? I heard a friend say that she and her family have always been contributors of our school, and after her children graduated, they were not approached to be donors and she was saddened. Another friend told me she is moving and another told me “it’s bad.” So one day you are in the mix of children and other parents, and then one day you are not?

At the time, I had a hard time identifying with what my friends with graduates were saying. Today, though, I got a taste of Helena’s independence. The independence I created by holding her responsible for picking up her toys, bringing her dirty dish to the sink, not accepting tantrums as acceptable behavior, and holding her responsible for her actions. I want Helena to soar in life and to be a kindhearted contributing member of society. We still have a mighty long way to go as she is ripe old age of 4, but today I saw her shine as a brave little girl, and I was warmed from head to toe.

Before we were blessed with Helena, I was told several times that having a child is like your heart living outside of your body, and that your heart is always with your child. I couldn’t relate. But I get it now. When Helena is happy, I am happy. When she is sad or hurt, I feel it too.

I suppose as her independence grows, mine will too or maybe I will just go to college with her. Just kidding but not sure if I’m kidding.

Alison is a Lafayette native and is proud to be a member of the last graduating class of USL (University of Southwestern Louisiana.) Alison received her degree in Interior Design and has affection for all things creative. Alison says there is no other place to raise her daughter, Helena, with her husband, Tim, then the community that knows and loves her family. Alison’s affection toward all things creative took a turn toward food when she was diagnosed as gluten intolerant and moved into full force when Helena’s dairy intolerance was discovered. Alison opened her kitchen in July of 2017 to share with the world what she has been up to in her food blog, Savoring Presence. Besides being active in her kitchen, Alison can be found practicing yoga and pilates, playing tennis, gardening, painting, and volunteering. Alison is a room mom, an active past president of the Junior League of Lafayette and serves on the Board of Directors at Catholic Services.


  1. Ughhhhhh, that is such a struggle that I have! I want my little one to be independent and not anxious to leave me. But at the same time, I love those tight hugs when he tells me not to go, he just wants to be with me. So hard!

  2. It is so hard. Let them be little rings in my mind and I love it when she is little. Then she does something mature and I smile because I know that she is growing and thriving. Thank you for the response 🙂


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here