The Almost Empty Nester: The Fine Line

Friday, September 9, 2016

The Fine Line


We took The Girl Child to college last weekend. To be honest, the week leading up was much tougher than the actual goodbye. Looking at her (almost) empty room filled with boxes made me sob much harder than when I hugged her goodbye. Maybe because when I did, she had a huge grin on her face and happily went with her roommates to hang out. Seeing her so happy makes things much, much easier.

When we arrived at home, I cried a bit. And it has been...weird, the past few days without her here. But we are finding our new normal and so far, so good. She has called a few times and sounds awesome. She got an on campus job and likes her classes. Things are going well.

I'm learning how to walk the fine line of parent and not so much a parent anymore. She still looks to us to guide her, and yet, her daily life that I was tuned into, or experienced with her, is now entirely hers.


There's still the venting that happens as she adapts to her new surroundings. I woke up to a string of texts from her one morning ranging from "Do I have to go to every single social thing? I'm an introvert, Mom." to "I can't find my Bible!!! I'm freaking out....Oh, I found it." I sat up in bed reading them and thinking of the roller coaster of emotions that flowed through those few texts.

I've blogged before about a book called The iConnected Parent. And I thought about that. For her generation, it's a knee jerk reaction to tell us everything that's happening. Don't get me wrong, I love that she turns to me and my husband when she needs advice or wants to vent. But with technology it can essentially be done All. The. Time.

I sat and read through her text again and prayed for wisdom on how to answer. I didn't want to just write back my own emotional response. I want to find that balance of still being her Mom but also guiding her to finding her own way. Come to good decisions and responses to life on her own.


And I appreciate that she is calling us even more than texting. In one call she was expressing some doubts she had about herself, all the while chatting with people she was passing on campus and making plans with friends. The Hubby and I chuckled at the irony. In her head, she was working through negative thoughts and feelings, where what was going on around her was all evidence to the contrary. Things are good.

I've had to control myself to not text her a bunch asking her a ton of questions. She knows I care about her and her day. But she needs the freedom to come to me as mom sometimes and as friend at others. Walking that fine line will take us both time to figure out, but we will.

So far, so good...

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