I am on the cusp of being an empty nester! My youngest is a Senior in High School and most of this year has been the typical graduation photos, cap and gown, yearbooks, college applications and half days of school.
When my daughter graduated a few years back, I was just as excited, but also sad. My babies were growing up and becoming adults. They still are – I’ve just come to better terms with it.
I’ve realized they aren’t disappearing from my life, the are just trying to create a new one for themselves. They have their own dreams, aspirations and plans.
This is what, we as parents, have laid the foundation for. We are supposed to teach our children the skills that they will need to become mature responsible, adults. Not to start out as one, but to have trials and errors, that end up molding them into who they will be become.
Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t do a perfect job, but I did do the best I could. I was a single mother for many of their younger years. Which came with sacrifices. I hope that from those early days they learned that hard work, perseverance and a supportive family can help you overcome any obstacle.
I am excited for them both to take in their journey into adulthood. Not that I no longer have to worry about them (because I do), just that I have more free time to start my own sort of journey. And while I think a lot of parents fear the empty nest syndrome, I plan on embracing it. Re-discovering who I am – Not just a mother!
It is also a time for my husband and I. Since we met post-children, our relationship has never been just him and I – it feels kind of like dating again which is never a bad thing in my book!
I have been been able to start this blog, which allows me an outlet to strive for balance, internally and externally.
I’ve started working out, going to the gym, running in 5k’s. Not to say I couldn’t when they were younger, just that I’ve discovered I actually enjoy it!
My best friend and I are finally planning our road trip! We have been planning this trip for 25 years and we are both finally able to make it work! Im so giddy that I feel like a teenager! More to come on that!
And while some of my journey is about self, it is also about re-discovering my relationship with my children. This past year I took solo trips with my children. My daughter and I went to Rhode Island and my son and I went to Colorado. Maybe they both see me still as just their mother, but those trips helped me see them as a person and not just my children.
I saw my daughters awesome ability to find adventure where ever she is, her fearlessness and determination to make the most out of life. We had a great girls trip, filled with shopping, sight seeing and of course eating! She planned the entire trip, start to finish. I hope she never loses that zeal! She has a knack for it and honestly, I enjoyed being able to just go along for the ride!
With my son, I saw his compassion and depth, on his own journey to discovering himself. He has recently become a Buddhist, I am not, and while in Colorado we went to a local meeting. I was able to support him and see him following a path that he believes in.
So here I am, one foot in and one foot out of the next chapter of my life and so far I love the view!
Am I crazy for being excited? Are you an empty nester? How has your journey been? If not, are you looking forward to it or fearing it?