My nest may soon be a lot emptier, but wait, I like the nest full!
Each time pregnant, I could not wait to meet my future baby. It was a time of planning, excitement, and daydreaming about what he or she would look like, and how wonderful it would be to hold the precious new life in my arms.
I lived that experience three times and after each birth, the joy and love that followed was immeasurable. Just watching each baby grow, learn, and change daily, and witnessing the way it happens with such precision, is truly a miracle.
The only thing is that with each milestone, the next one seemed so far away. When they are babies, toddlers, kindergartners, and so on, it is extremely hard to imagine them as teenagers, high schoolers, or oh my God, full-fledged adults.
But believe me, and if you are a parent, you know that it’s a mind trick, or maybe a time trick, I don’t know, but those 18 years just sneak up on you. They go so fast, and there’s absolutely nothing you can do to stop it.
Personally, this year has been dominated by preparations for the final high school graduation of one of my own.
Verifying grades and credits, check. Senior photos, check. Ordering graduation announcements, check. College related decisions, check. Senior trip forms, check. Searching for prom and graduation attire, check. Trying to curb senioritis, check.
Controlling my motherly emotions, not so much. After all, it’s my tiniest baby, my little curly girlie, who will be walking across the stage to get her diploma.
Thinking ahead, this graduation also marks a new milestone for my husband and I because it means one day soon, we’ll actually become empty nesters. Our next chapters without daily interaction with one or more of our children have yet to be written.
That’s hard to imagine.
So far, our oldest moved out, attended college, secured a job, is married, and has a place of her own. Our middle child, and only son, is still living at home due to the crazy economy, but he is working, attending college, and counting down the days when he can get a place of his own.
Our third has a job, she’ll be starting college this fall, and is also staying with us for now, but just how long will that last?
Eventually, they’ll all be gone, it’s inevitable, and while part of me is proud of them and kind of looking forward to it, I’m dreading it too. All these years, good and bad days alike, my children, to some capacity, have been part of my daily existence.
I know I’ll survive, and it will be fun demanding, I mean, anticipating, a visit from any or all of them, but I also know that each time one of them leaves, they take a piece of my heart with them.