nest [ nest ] 1. bird or animal home: a structure that birds and other animals such as mice build to shelter themselves and their young, using available natural materials such as grass, twigs, and mud, 2. community of animals: the community of animals living in a nest, 3. cozy place: a cozy, protected, or secluded place.
They don't have "empty nest" in the dictionary. These are the definitions that I found for empty and nest. There are many possible combinations that work as an explanation of what I expect in the coming years. Years? Yes, I believe that this is a process that takes years.
My example, our daughter moved out of the house into a dorm three years ago this coming August. She moved things home the next May and back out again a month later. She was in that house with other students for 18 months and she moved home for two months before she packed her bags and went to Wales to study for four and a half months. I thought it was very funny that she came home this last Sunday evening and moved back out on Monday afternoon. She has been here for her meals since and I expect this to continue for the rest of the week and we get all the supplies and "things" stocked up for her. I'm not sure she will ever move home again. Although I did tell her that if she needed to she could. My dad told my sister that he wouldn't break her plate. Funny, he never told me that.
Our son is a busy senior and comes in to eat periodically and to sleep every night, so I don't see him very much now. I guess the experience of an empty nest is coming at me in bits. He will be moving to his first dorm room in September of this year. I expect that there will be a few moves back and forth for him also. His adventure is just beginning.
For Steve and I the adventure is in the journey.