"For over 2 decades my #1 pursuit was raising my children well,
and now the job is over,
and here I stand like a high-level,
high stress but low paid CEO
who's company just got bought out!"
In the not too far distant future, I will enter the realm of empty nester. And to be honest, I'm not too sure how I feel about that.
If you ask my husband, sure, he is ready to have the house to ourselves again. If you ask my acquaintances who have gone through this phase of their lives, it's wonderful. Enjoy it.
I'm still not convinced.
My son, Brandon, is a rising senior in high school and my daughter, Briana, is a rising junior in high school. So, they will leave to pursue a collegiate education in the very near future, and in back to back events. I won't have the opportunity to get use to one being gone before the other leaves.
Over the years, my children and I have had a great relationship; I can't even complain about the teenage years. I've always spent a lot of time with them and have always nurtured their interest, exposed them to new things and supported their endeavors, as most parents do. I've always tried to respect them as the individual and unique young people that they are. If I must say so myself, my children are good kids. They have good heads on their shoulders and will make intelligent decisions as they explore the next chapter of their lives as they "become" and fulfill their destiny.
So, what's the problem you ask?
To be honest, I'm not sure myself. Yes, I will miss them dearly. Yes, my buddies will be away at college, hopefully not too far, but not too close either. Yes, the house will feel empty without them, without the constant activity and chatter. Yes, they are moving on to the next phase of their lives and they will probably make some mistakes. Yes, they will become productive citizens of the world. And yes, I know they will make us proud.
I will forever cherish their early years: the first day of school, purchasing school supplies, buying the cartoon-character Valentine Day cards, picking the perfect Halloween costumes, waking up on Xmas morning, attending ballet, tap, jazz, basketball practices and games, cheering at cross country events, karate lessons, smiling as they recited Easter and Xmas speeches, attending school functions where they received awards, recited poems, and the list goes on and on and on. Great memories, great times...
I think the moving on means I have to enter the next phase of my life as well.
For so long, my identity has been one of wife, mother and author...I'll feel lost without wearing the title of hands on mom. True, I know I will always be their mom, but I must learn to function at a different level.
Change is good, right? Of course it is. The only thing that is constant is change. Now, I will have more time to spend with my husband, more time to focus on writing, more time to focus on me and me time.
A soon-to-be empty nester---that's me. That's my new title.
A title I will eventually wear with pride because I realize I have done the best I can in raising my children. My job is done.
I won't embrace it like a glove, but I'm sure in time, I will accept it. I have no choice.
For the parents who have little ones, my words of advice is to enjoy them, love them, hold them close...because the years fly by so quickly and one day you wake up and they are young men and women.
That's the beauty of life....it's forever changing and evolving, just ripe for new memories and experiences.
Labels: children, college, empty nest, leaving home, parents