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Kate Beckinsale Sniffing Her Daughter's Socks Is Every Empty Nester

There is this thing that happens when your kids leave for school that is almost impossible to imagine. The person you are for most of your adult life evaporates. I don't want to get dark but yeah, it's terribly dark. Your house is empty of the people who once filled up its spaces. Their stuff is gone. Their smells are gone. Where do you go from here? What do you do now? Well, if you're Kate Beckinsale, you smell your daughter's laundry while she's away for a little pick-me-up. And maybe you do this if you're also me, because my theory is kid smells belong to parents.

Kate Beckinsale has been going through a bit of empty nest syndrome since her 20-year-old daughter, Lily Sheen, (with ex-partner Michael Sheen) left for college. As I might have mentioned before, it's sort of a tough time for parents and we all deal with it differently. I might have done a lot of staring off into space and going for depressed walks, while Beckinsale is keeping her life full and exciting in another way. As it turns out, she likes to hang out in her daughter's bedroom and do a little sock-sniffing, as she shared on Instagram Sunday.

The Underworld actress shared a photo of herself sniffing an item of Lily's clothing with the all too real caption: "I think kids think when they grow up and leave home you have nothing to do all day-when in fact one can have a rich and full life huffing one’s way through their sock drawer and wearing all their pants at once."

The picture only shows Beckinsale from the shoulders up so she could well be wearing all of Lily's pants at once. TBD.

As for Lily's reaction to her mom's homage? She didn't seem terribly concerned, joking, "When u smell my sock my foot bursts into flames so I always know." Ha!

You can go ahead and laugh at the Click actress but there is actually something to be said for her method of going down memory lane. The British website Fifth Sense notes that smell is directly connected to memory. So I guess Kate Beckinsale has some pretty powerful memories about Lily's socks.

The bereft mom did actually clear up on a recent episode of Good Morning America that she was just trying to get a rise out of her daughter with her sock-sniffing post, admitting, "Actually, I mainly did that to embarrass her. I said if you leave home, just know I’m going to be going through your underwear drawer, just huffing everything while you’re gone."

I guess the real trick to dealing with your kids leaving home is to have a sense of humor about it. Social media makes this exponentially easier, of course, but also keep yourself busy. Do fun things without kids.

And when you just can't stand the thought of being without them for another moment, feel free to give one of their socks a sniff. Just make sure it's clean first.