I admit it. I wasn't prepared for this. I always knew my kids would pick up and fly, but I always was looking at them in this picture. Their excitement, their adventures, their growth and experience. I didn't take time to turn around and look at me.
And now I realize, with tomorrow afternoon bringing my son's departure, that when they leave . . . they leave. And I'm still here. And now . . I"m alone. I have a wonderful husband who I have so much fun with and adore. I have friends I enjoy meeting for coffee or lunch. But for the past 30 years, I have poured my life into these kids. I changed diapers, nursed endlessly, slept with--and walked with when not sleeping, held, soothed, encouraged, fed, read to, dressed, and watched over these children. They were my life. And now . . . . they don't need me to do any of that. They are flying away, and while I couldn't be happier for them, I have to admit I am struggling. I miss them. I really, really, really miss them.
I want to hold on and ask them please not to leave, but really, how can any mom have the right to do that? Stay home with me instead of explore the world. Come on! I know better. But just because I would never do it doesn't mean I don't want to do it.
Life is about change and adaptation. Not all of it is easy. For me, this phase is not easy. I am not one of those moms who is eager for her kids to get out and move on. I enjoy their company endlessly and when they leave, it is not just my sons and daughters leaving, but some of the closest friends I've ever had.
I will adjust. I will accept. But I wish someone had told me to prepare myself for these days. I wish someone had reminded me that when these wonderful people spread their wings, I would still be back in the nest, noticing how empty it is.