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Friday, July 18, 2014


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joie in carmel-by-the-sea

They spread their wings, but always remember where the nest is.

Eileen deCamp

Hi Kristin,
Sweet story today and good luck to Max on his new adventure! We just finished moving Tara into a new apartment last weekend!

Bill in St. Paul

I remember so well when our son, having graduated with a masters in Computer Science, decided to go to Taiwan and teach English. We watched as he walked down the boarding ramp, turned and waved good-bye to get on the plane for the first leg of his trip. We didn't know how long he would be there, it was an open-ended commitment. However, a little over two years later he returned with a beautiful woman who became our wonderful daughter-in-law (no, she wasn't from Taiwan, she was from California!).

Catherine Abou-Sakher

Such a sweet story Kristin. I also remember sending all 5 of mime off to university. It is hard but it has to be. New adventures....


What a delightful story! One that will tear the heart strings of many of your readers. Bon voyage Max! Vollez bien de vos propres ailes. Many thanks for your French Word a Day column. I speak French to my little grandson to expose him to a language other than English. Your posts are both very useful and very enjoyable.


A beautiful story!!! I can feel your emotions right through my computer screen. Best of luck to Max (he will be just fine)! And I must say something I have been meaning to tell you for a while now: I love your sense of style! Your clothes are fabulous.


A poem that brought me great comfort when my last baby girl flew the nest: "In Reference To Her Children, 23 June 1659" by Anne Bradstreet. She compares her children to baby birds fleeing the nest for the last time. I came across this poem when I was first married and it has touched me each time I read it. It's rather long so I won't post all of it here, but you might Google it, if you desire. Here is an excerpt:
"My fifth, whose down is yet scarce gone,
Is ‘mongst the shrubs and bushes flown
And as his wings increase in strength
On higher boughs he’ll perch at length.
My other three still with me nest
Until they’re grown, then as the rest,
Or here or there, they’ll take their flight,
As is ordain’d, so shall they light.
If birds could weep, then would my tears
Let others know what are my fears
Lest this my brood some harm should catch
And be surpris’d for want of watch
Whilst pecking corn and void of care
They fall un’wares in Fowler’s snare;
Or whilst on trees they sit and sing
Some untoward boy at them do fling,
Or whilst allur’d with bell and glass
The net be spread and caught, alas;
Or lest by Lime-twigs they be foil’d;
Or by some greedy hawks be spoil’d.
O would, my young, ye saw my breast
And knew what thoughts there sadly rest." My babies flew the nest and have done well. Many good wishes to Max and Momma!


Brilliantly written! A gem of a vignette ...

Sharon Auckerman

It doesn't matter whether it is the first born, the middle child or the youngest, we all feel the pain and fears of our children's first steps into the unknown. Nicely written Kristen.


This was a wonderful topic, and I would have liked it even more with more translations of French words and expressions (eg. colorful words such as "yammers", phrases such as "my hand strangling hers"). In my opinion your own writing in English has improved dramatically.
I first began reading your articles about 3 years, not every day but often. Thank you.

Karen McClung

Kristin, I was just in Aix on Wednesday... I had studied there 32years ago ( gulp) I was showing my daughter (age 7) my old stomping grounds. It had been my first time living away from home... And I did surly voler de mes propres ailes! My older boys need to s'envoler un peu!! I'm sure Max wool do great!

nancy robillard

nicely done story, kristin.

Faye Stampe, Gleneden Beach, OR

Such a bittersweet time ----- but it is so important for both of you. Congrats to Max - he is so handsome and kind to his mom -- he will be fine!

Great photos --- sweet post. Thanks!

Stay well!

Cynthia Lewis

Kristen, as always, you have expressed your feelings beautifully. Every mother knows exactly your emotions as Max is beginning his life away from his home. You, Jean-Marc and all the members of his family have well prepared him for this moment in his life. Best wishes for all!


It's true what they say....being a mother is the most selfless, hardest, sometimes unappreciated job...but yet look at the rewards! When we see our children grow, stumble, and succeed, we know we have done a good job. Of course those four magic words don't hurt either..."Mom, you were right!" Great story and tribute to a job well done!


Oh I remember those pangs so well. You have captured them brilliantly. All his life you have been preparing Max for this moment when he flies on his own. Too bad we don't prepare ourselves as well, though I don't think there is any protection if you have loved well.

Barbara Kornfield

Many, many years ago, I was on a junior year abroad in Geneva program, and my mother developed warts on her hands. Nothing would cure them. She came to travel with me, and two weeks after her arrival, the warts disappeared. "Worry warts" for sure!

Kathleen from Connecticut

Max looks so much younger in this photo...the glasses and haircut. He will have the girls swooning all over him. But don't worry Kristen, I'm sure that he will be OK.
Lovely story.


Christine Dashper

A fantastic post Kristin. Exciting and challenging times. Wishing Max all the best as he moves into this new phase.

Warm wishes


My what a long way your young man has come since he wrote about "toads in the pool"!! You and Jean-Marc would be very proud!


Our dear Kristin,
This post is so beautifully written and so poignant (especially the last two lines!) that I have tears in my eyes.
You(once again) have truly wrapped us in hugs.
Bonne chance to Max!
Natalia XO

Leslie in Oregon

What is Max going to be doing (school? work?) while he is living in Aix? Exciting times... Congratulations!


Oh, this reminds me so much of being in Aix - we enjoyed it there very much! How wonderful and how difficult for you, all at the same time! Hard to let those wings take flight! But, I'm sure you and Jean-Marc are so very proud of Max.

Tina Malen

I have been following your blog for a while, but I am not a good commenter xD I love to read it and its even better now that I am visiting friends close to the places you write about :) Thank you for a great post:)
Tina, who is going to Aix today^^,

Chris Allin

Dear Kristin,
Many emotions emerge at a time like this.
Heartache, pride, excitement...but ultimately joy for parents witnessing their children taking hold of life as they become young adults. The feelings you so beautifully described seem to be universal.
All the best to Max as he starts his new adventure!

Patricia Sands

Kristin, you have captured so perfectly the emotions of every mother at a time like this. Bravo!

Lupita Mueller

I loved your story. My son who was very much attached to me spread his wings when he was 17 to study English in an Internat in Ely, England
near to Cambridge. I must tell you I was broken and very sad. After three months he wrote me that he would never come back home.
His father forced him to make College in Mexico with the promise he could then go to live in England, but he found love here and cancelled his studies in Oxford.
I wish Max the best in France and if he stays there don't regret it. You will then have the chance to visit him and France.
C'est la vie.

Carolyn  in Vermont

Thanks for sharing the latest family news. Best of luck to Max during his stay in Aix. I look forward to hearing all about it!

Hope you're having a lovely weekend!

Hugs to all, including the pups!


Betty Tuininga

I just read your mom's Facebook reference to this story. You are one most sensitive young woman that I "know". The one reader's interpretation is definitely a need to fulfill their own grief as we all have in our way through this incident (and others). It is best for Kristi to realize that at times like these, people sometimes need a scapegoat. So sorry Kristi, there is so much pain in the world right now...we all are feeling it, Fortunately some work it out more constructively than others.
Loved this piece, never even made a connection when I read it. I remember sending my daughter off to college...ah those wings

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