It’s a difficult thing to do – this letting go business. I’m “almost” an empty nester but most days I feel like I’m there already. My oldest, Tony is 23. While he lives at home he spends his time with his special girl, his job, his friends and those games that entice almost every member of his generation. And my “baby,” Maria is on the threshold of 21. When she’s not on campus or working at the bridal store, she’s out gallivanting around the big apple during her NYC co-op. She’s turning into the woman and designer she’s always wanted to be.
But WAIT one cotton-pickin’ minute! Who the heck gave them permission to be that old? Not me! It feels like I just had them last year. I remember the years but they slipped by so fast that it seems surreal. Did I take enough pictures? Probably not. Did we dance and sing and play enough – we sure did try. Did I fill their stockings and hearts equally well? I think so. Did I teach what they needed? I pray so.
And today I stand with my feet stretched across the chasm of change. One foot slipping on the memories of their childhood and the other firmly planted on the edge of their leaving. I’m not really enjoying the splits move in which I find myself. Ok, most days I’m just busy and don’t take note of how fast that empty nest label is rushing at me. Denial is an art you know! But days like today, I feel every second. I want to rush back and watch one more soccer game, drive one more carload of kids, and welcome one more batch of cold and revved up teens when the football game is done. I want see one more improv fashion show and have one more craft day. Please – just one more.
But we go on, sliding forward into the change that in inevitable. I hope my kids remember some of the sweet things that I do about their time under my wing. And when trouble comes and they knock on my door, I’ll give them a hug and in my heart will once again sing “You are my sunshine” and rub their hair. They’ll need me once again – just in a different way, and the nest won’t feel so empty that day.