Sunday, February 03, 2013

The Empty Nest

So I read this page called Mamapedia. There was this one post where the mother wanted to know if An Empty Nest is Cause for Celebration. Well, yeah... Duh!

I posted an answer over there and since I really liked my answer, I'm going to post it over here for posterity.

Every step children take is a step away from mom and dad, but that is how it should be. 

I've been called "overprotective". I've called "over-involved". I've been called "a terrific mom". I've been called a lot of names over the years, but so what? I do what is best for my family, my children, and me. Yes... me. (It's not selfish. It's self preservation. I'm more than "just a mom".) We are a close knit family, but everyone needs space.

Heck, I'm the mom who clicked her heels when the kindergarten bus drove out of sight. Does that make me a bad mom? No. It makes me an honest mom. 

When it is time for my daughter - my youngest - to head to college this summer, I will be more than happy and extremely proud of her and her accomplishments. It is time for her to go and live her life. Her. Life. 

Will I click my heels? Maybe. Will I shed a tear or two? Probably. Will I grab Mr's hand and run for the car? You bet! It will be time for us... time for us to go back to being the couple we were 21 years ago before we had children.

We have worked toward that day starting with small steps of letting go. We got babysitters for date nights. We let them walk next to us without holding hands. We let them go to birthday parties and day camp. We let them make decisions - even if we thought they might make the "wrong" ones. We let them learn consequences. We let them go to overnight camp. We took them to the DMV to get the driving permit. We let them apply to colleges near and far and we let them choose the institution that they believe will serve them best.

Upon graduation from their colleges of choice, they will go on to see the world and do amazing things. I'm sure that they will come home -- to visit. So - am I looking forward to my children leaving? Yes. Yes I am. When it's time, it's time.

They will always be in our hearts, but they don't have to be underfoot forever...

LLB is getting ready to head off to college this summer. Where? We aren't sure just yet, but wherever she ends up it will be the right place for her. It will be bittersweet when we drop her off, but it will be time.