Quinte, On. real estate agent: On His Own

On His Own

I have always believed that it's much better to rip a bandaid off quickly than to try to remove it slowly and prolong the pain. That was something that my dad taught me.

Unfortunately the last couple of weeks have felt a lot like slowly peeling off a bandaid. Today it's almost over though.

The last couple of weeks have been a flurry of activity with all the college preparations for my two kids. Both of them are going off to their first year of college, one a couple of hundred miles east of here and the other a couple of hundred miles west.

Today my son is on his own, in his own apartment, anxiously (or maybe not so anxiously) waiting for Tuesday when his classes start. He decided that he wanted to go and spend the weekend in his new place and I don't blame him one bit. The last little while has felt like a really long goodbye. He and his sister are twins and they have rarely ever been apart for long. I know it's hard enough for me watching them go, they are only 17, but I think that twins have a bond that transcends anything that I can share with them. I have sensed that they have both been a little depressed about this lately, and I'm glad that the deed is finally done.

His mother drove him away and I could physically see Sarah deflate a little bit as the car rounded the corner out of sight. Who is she going to fuss over now? She has spent her life acting like a mother hen to him.

On Monday I will be taking Sarah to Ottawa where she will begin her studies. She wanted to stay at home until the bitter end. Fortunately for her, she managed to get into residence, so really there is not terribly much for her to sort out once she gets there. Her kit is all prepared, she has her outfit and utensils, she has a place to stay and a meal program, so it's a rather simple affair for her.

I'll be honest, I have been dreading this for quite some time, but I'm glad that we're under way and that the inevitable has finally happened. Both of them have been very excited about moving to larger cities and both of them are fortunate to be studying the things they want to study.

The future looks very bright for both of them, and really, Thanksgiving isn't all that far away. They will be home for that. I hope.

Comment balloon 17 commentsMalcolm Johnston • September 02 2011 03:43PM



My heart goes out to you as a fellow parent, now grandparent.  One down, one more to go.  I remember how depressed I was when my only child and her family moved from Erie to NC, ten hours away.  It is not easy to let go even though we know that is what they want to do and need to do.

Yes, Thanksgiving is just around the corner, sort of.  I will be thinking of you.


PS  My daughter decided to move back to Erie after five months in NC, but she needed to go through that experience to really know what she wanted.  It is part of growing up.

Posted by Mary Yonkers, Erie/PA Real Estate Instructor (Alan Kells School of Real Estate/Howard Hanna Real Estate) almost 9 years ago

Hi Mary, no, it's definitely not easy, and it's much more difficult for their mum. I'm glad your daughter moved back. I'm hoping my kids don't though, they need to get out in the world now.

Posted by Malcolm Johnston, Trenton Real Estate (Century 21 Lanthorn Real Estate LTD., Trenton, Ontario) almost 9 years ago

Hi Malcolm~ Well, I didn't expect to wipe tears from my eyes as I read your post!

You have so much to be proud of your beautiful twins! Your empty nest will soon be filled with all sorts of new joys as the next season of life brings you graduation celebrations, and eventually new family members to adore! 

Best regards from Seattle,

Posted by Judi Boad (ACCURATE REALTY GROUP) almost 9 years ago
That must be hard for them....and you. But I imagine they will both grow a lot in this experience and will be in touch via text, Facebook, Skype, etc. I remember going to college and having just the shared phone on the dorm floor! Good luck to all of you.
Posted by Christine Smith, Exclusive Buyer Agent & Attorney, Canton, MA (Buyers Brokers Only LLC - www.BuyersBrokersOnly.com) almost 9 years ago

your post really brings back memories for me.. my girls are now 25 and 26.... it seems like just yesterday we were driving my oldest to VA to start to University.. time really flies.

Posted by Sheila Newton Team Anderson & Greenville SC, Selling the Upstate since 1989 (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - C. Dan Joyner) almost 9 years ago

Hi Malcolm,

Wonderful and touching family experience shared with many other families this time of the year, it is very much a mixed emotions time of life. celebrate and cherrish it.


Posted by Peter Pfann @ eXp Realty Pfanntastic Properties in Victoria, Since 1986., Talk To or Text Peter 250-213-9490 (eXp Realty, Victoria BC www.pfanntastic.com) almost 9 years ago

Malcolm - Oh, this is tough.  I didn't realize your children were twins.  Doubly hard to say goodbye to both at once.  My daughter, Maddy, went to McGill for 2 years, but now she's taking a year out and is living at home with me again.  An adjustment for both of us, but it seems that teens these days seem to come and go.  Be flexible and go with the flow.  Also, this is the time to rediscover yourself.  Embrace it!  Virtual hug sent your way...

Posted by Sally Weatherley, Vancouver Home Staging, Home Stager Vancouver, B.C (EXIT STAGE RIGHT) almost 9 years ago

Hi Malcol, We want our kids to grow, at least that's what we're supposed to want, but deep down I think we don't want them to. In the ongoing play of life the trick is to not let the tradgedies upstage the comedies. Besides, everyone I've talked to on the subject says grandchildren are forever more fun and this is one step closer to that!

Posted by E H (None) almost 9 years ago

Malcolm, congratulations on sending your two beautiful children to college!  What an exciting, stressful and anxious time for all of you.  I remember when I headed off to college (not too terribly long ago) I was very nervous and didn't want my parents to leave once we arrived at my college.  After a week or so I still missed them but was excited to be on my new adventure.  I spoke to my mother more often, 1-5 times a day and she sent care packages at the beginning.  After several months we had all adjusted.  I am sure this will take time for you and your wife to adjust to as well, including the twins adjusting to being apart.  I wish them and you a happy transition!  --Krystal

Posted by Krystal Knott, Breckenridge CO Real Estate & All Summit County CO (LIV Sotheby's International Realty) almost 9 years ago


This is a tough time, but it;s important for them.

I had 5 leave, and of course, come back for summers.

Look forward to Thanksgiving!


Posted by Brian Madigan, LL.B., Broker (RE/MAX West Realty Inc., Brokerage (Toronto)) almost 9 years ago

Malcolm. I can feel the varied emotions you must be feeling.  To be "losing", if only from your home, two children at the same time, you and your wife will also have to adjust to the quieter and emptier home.  Time flies, you have provided us with a glimpse into our future.

Posted by Chris Smith, South Simcoe, Caledon, King, Orangeville Real Esta (Re/Max Chay Realty Inc., Brokerage) almost 9 years ago

My parent had to go thru it double whammy when my twin and I were sent to Marquette.....I feel for you, and them :-)

Posted by Kristin Johnston - REALTORĀ®, Giving Back With Each Home Sold! (RE/MAX Realty Center ) almost 9 years ago

Hi Judi, yes I'm very proud of both of them, and I'm sure you're right, there will be a lot to celebrate in the upcoming months and years.

Christine, that's for sure, it's much easier for kids to stay in touch these days.

Sheila, time really does fly, it doesn't feel all that long ago that we were fussing over high school matters.

Peter and Linda, the cherishing part seems a little difficult at the moment, but I do realize that this is a necessary part of life, and as such, should be cherisshed.

Sally, I'm a little nervous about rediscovering myself, God alone knows what I may find.

Evan, hush, grandchildren are a few steps away (I'm hoping and praying anyway).

Krystal, thanks, and you're right, I'm sure we will all adjust to this new reality.

Brian, it is important for them indeed, and I'm already looking forward to Thanksgiving.

Chris, yes, indeed it will be very quiet, and there is a certain sense of loss, but really I shouldn't look at it so selfishly.

Kristin, it is tough indeed, especially for them, they have been each other's pillars of support their entire lives.

Thank you for the kind offer Valerie, and I will take you up on that coffee when I visit Ottawa soon. The last two weeks have been a real whirlwind though, and we have been zipping back and forth to meet deadlines, aptitude tests, apartment hunting, etc. etc.  the work is all done now, so my next visits will be far more relaxed.

Posted by Malcolm Johnston, Trenton Real Estate (Century 21 Lanthorn Real Estate LTD., Trenton, Ontario) almost 9 years ago

But seventeen is sooooo young. Have you hired some paparazzi to keep up with them? lol

Posted by EC, JF, Double R and Zoey the Cool Cat (Russel Ray Photos) almost 9 years ago

Malcolm. What a tough weekend for all of you. I hope gas is cheaper in Canada than it is in the USA.

Posted by Ellie McIntire, Luxury service in Howard County & Catonsville (Ellicott City Clarksville Howard County Maryland Real Estate) almost 9 years ago

Malcolm, almost an empty nest! Don't worry Dad, these days the kids come home to roost again. This is another one of those times when they assert their independence and you lose a little more of that control over them. The hard part is no matter how old they are you still see them as your kid.

Posted by Janice Ankrett, Staging Professional (Janice Ankrett Home Staging) over 8 years ago

Thanks for sharing your family experience. It reminds me of years ago when we took my twin sisters off to different colleges.

 Life is good!

Roy and Dolores Kelley Photographs

Posted by Roy Kelley (Realty Group Referrals) over 8 years ago