The Almost Empty Nester: She's Home

Saturday, May 20, 2017

She's Home

I'm still trying to wrap my head around it, but The Girl Child is headed home from her first year at college. I can honestly say it feels like a mere few weeks ago we drove her to school and left her there, a piece of my heart staying with her. The Hubby flew to get her and they're driving home right now.

I'm glad I can say that it gets easier, but I'd be lying if I said I’m 100% over this whole Almost Empty Nest thing. I’m not even close. I can see now that until Thing 1 and Thing 2 leave, and even for a while after that, I’m going to be adjusting to this.

And that's okay.

I hate to say this, but I've been disappointed in the lack of understanding I received this past year. I began to feel that people's response to me saying I was sad my Girl Child wasn't at home anymore was either a "Oh, I’m sorry" from those who still have kids at home (and wouldn't understand so that's cool) or a pat on the head from those whose kids are in their 20's and they're on the other side of the sadness. I've met only a choice few who hug me and say they love me and just listen. I adore these people.

Don’t get me wrong. I'm not upset with those who have responded otherwise. I get it. I really do. But I am trying hard to be sensitive to others like me. Moms who struggle with the change and sometimes just need a shoulder to cry on or a listening ear.

I think the biggest lesson I’m learning is that there really is no finish line on this. I imagined that as soon as the last kid is gone, I'd be sitting there sipping a yummy beverage with The Hubby, the two of us toasting a job well done - and we very well may do that - but I can see now that the relationship with my kids will forever be changing. It always has, it's just more noticeable now with them having their own lives. 

I'm excited to have The Girl Child home, but I know that this summer will look different than the last. She's a grown woman with her own life. Yes, she's living under our roof for a few months, but she's lived without our daily help for almost a year now. This changes things.

And we all know how I feel about change.

But I’m learning. I'm seeing the positives in the changes. Our conversations are so rich, full of insight and wisdom and life stuff. Not that they weren't before, but even with all it's drama, high school life is different than college. There's quite a bit more for her to handle.

And I’m happy to say she's handling it beautifully. I could not be more proud. She's adulting like a champ. The woman who will walk through my door in a few days will not be the same as the girl who left eight months ago. And quite frankly, I’m not the same either.

But, she's home. And I’m going to soak in every moment. I'm going to embrace the changes, and thank God that I get to have this precious person in my life and call her mine.

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