Our Eleven Year Old Daughter Has Moved Out

There is never a dull moment at chez Black and this weekend has been no exception. But it has been a little quieter than usual. The reason? Rebecca, our youngest daughter, has been sleeping over at her Granny’s house in Belfast. This was initially meant to be a single night sleepover but she announced to Fionnuala yesterday, who had called to pick her up, that she was staying another night as she was having so much fun.

Adam and Hannah were overjoyed at the news. No more annoying little sister barging into their rooms and asking a million and one pointless questions. Hannah actually punched the air in delight when I told her. Ahhhh, sisterly love. Biscuit and crisp supplies have also been notably healthier. Who knew an eleven year old girl could eat so much? The house has also been considerably tidier.

No more trainers lying on the floor where they have been hurriedly kicked off. No bicycles or scooters abandoned in the front driveway just waiting to be stolen by the first opportunistic thief who wanders by. Dishes have been washed, dried and put away instead of left in messy piles by the sink or found three weeks later cultivating alien organisms in the dark abyss that is her bedroom.

I have been missing my comedy sidekick, however. She is the only member of the family who appreciates my Dad dancing and rapping. She laughs at all my jokes even when I know they’re not funny. We talk in silly voices and watch Nickelodeon together. I now feel like I am an only child, sharing the house with three disapproving, eye rolling ‘grown ups’. I am Embarrassing Dad as opposed to Cool Daddy. It’s a tough gig.

I messaged her last night to express my loneliness. I expected empathy, understanding, perhaps compassion. Her reply was a suggestion that I play with Charlie, the border terrier. Sheesh! Eleven year olds can be brutal. And besides, Charlie seemed much more interested in licking his nether regions as opposed to entertaining the human who feeds and homes him. There’s gratitude for you.

She will return later today and normal service will be resumed. It will be World War III. Fionnuala will scream at her for not bringing down her clothes for washing, Adam will scream at her for barging into his room unannounced and Hannah will scream at her because well….that’s what older sisters do to their siblings. Her and I will talk in silly voices, exchange jokes about unicorn poo and binge on Haribos.

The house has felt empty without her. We have all missed Rebecca in our own ways, just like I know she would miss one of us if we were away. It’s weird and a little disquieting to see her empty bed in the morning. We are a family and when one of us is away it feels as if we are missing a limb. Maybe I’m getting sentimental in my old age but I like having us all under the same roof at the end of the day.

Sometimes you only appreciate your most precious commodities when they are not there. Fionnuala and I joke about the joy and freedom we will experience when the kids eventually move out but I also dread that day. We need to harvest hay while the sun shines and make the most of these times. The together times. For one day my little girl will be all grown up and unicorn poo jokes will be a thing of the past.

How do you cope with an empty house when family members are away?

Jokes about unicorn poo are hilarious. Discuss?

What are your views on Dad rapping?

Published by Fractured Faith Blog

We are Stephen and Fionnuala and this is our story. We live in Northern Ireland, have been married for 17 years and have three kids - Adam, Hannah and Rebecca. We hope that our story will inspire and encourage others. We have walked a rocky road yet here we are today, together and stronger than ever. We are far from perfect and our faith has been battered and bruised. But an untested faith is a pointless faith. Just as a fractured faith is better than none at all. We hope you enjoy the blog.

43 thoughts on “Our Eleven Year Old Daughter Has Moved Out

  1. My little one is with her dad a lot this summer—sometimes from waking to sleeping. But I can’t give in and let her sleep anywhere but with me. He’s a teacher and so I get more ‘me’ time. I desperately need it but oh how I miss her too. She’s only three, but I already dread the day I don’t have her with me every night. I even put up with her dad more than I want so I can be around here more. Overnight somewhere else? I don’t think I could do it. Loved the post. I teared up a bit and could see it all happening before my eyes through your writing. Thank you for liking my post and for sharing your writing with us too!


  2. I just love this. My sister and I took a road trip for the weekend and I imagine my parents may be thinking of us though we are in our 40’s and no longer live with them. Sometimes and empty house can be good. The house will return to its noisy state soon… 😉


  3. It took me ages to adapt when my kids first moved out – and then yeah, little things like food still being in the house, and no piles of stuff on the floor won me over. Now that our grad student moved out, the hubby and I miss her (she wasn’t ours biologically, just of the heart) we really enjoy having some quiet and goofy times of our own.

    It’s a colorful subject, and one where you have to watch your step.

    Dad rapping? Ohhhh, myyyyy….. It could be worse, right? Like, ummm…. Give me a minute….


  4. You are funny! And that’s really saying something significant, because I, apparently like your older children and wife, am a very serious forward thinker who does not “waste time” seeking out comedy. God bless you and your family, and thanks for
    visiting TheLordIsWithUs.com!


  5. We arent away from our girls very often, but we have been staging and cleaning our house for an open house all month so they have been with the grandparents a lot. It’s been a big stress. My girls are gorgeous and revolting at the same time. They would sleep in a rats nest of their food wrappers and dirty laundry if I wasn’t a compulsive neat freak… so keeping the house spotless everyday is Insane. And having the girls gone all weekend while we cleaned was weird and so quiet…. And dad rap? It’s always welcome. We have our own MC Daddy and crew and frankly, Many raps revolve around poop and farts. Endlessly hilarious to 4 and 8 year olds. Hold on it as long as we can right?


  6. She is so gorgeous and I can tell by the picture a little spunky. I don’t have children but I know whenever my husband and I are separated, I feel like a part of me is missing and I don’t sleep well. My husband makes endless poop and fart jokes however I have never heard unicorn poop jokes so please feel free to pass those on.


  7. Ha!! Oh dear! Firstly dad rapping is not even worthy of a discussion! I must confess however that when it’s all quiet and they’ve gone, husband and I look at each other, nod in unison, I slap on some face, grab my bag and out we go! Date night, date day, date anything. It’s marvellous! Do I miss them? Of course … nothing better in the whole wide world than having my two boys together with me, laughter, chatter and banter … heaven! I don’t know much about unicorn poo, but being surrounded by boys there have always been jokes about ‘bottom burps’ which they seem still to find amusing (as does the Colonel and I thought he was a grownup…) But dad rapping? No Stephen, no! 😩😉


  8. Unicorn Poo! That’s great. My family had a favorite funny word. The first time they heard “curmudgeon” they thought it sounded like whale poo steaming on the bottom of the ocean. We’re empty nesters, now, and all our kids were difficult during their teens, so it was actually a relief when all five had finally passed through and everyone came out of that phase fairly unscathed. You gradually get used to the peace, freedom, and travel opportunities. 😂


  9. My sister and her family just recently moved 5 1/2 hours away to South Carolina. I’m going to miss them so much but thank the good Lord for FaceTime! 🙂


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