DH and I are going to be empty nesters. We will be coming home to an empty house within the next 48 hours. After eighteen years of tears, laughs, fights, hugs, hard lessons, and all that parenting involves, our job will be done.
It is the night before we leave to take our only child to college. Tonight will be the last night she spends in her own bed. The last dinner we’ll have as a family in our home, at our table. Tomorrow morning will be the last time I get to make her dairy-free pancakes.
Well, until that first break. I do realize she’ll be back. But you know what I mean.
It’s been a revolving door all weekend with The Kid’s friends coming to say goodbye to each other. Some of these kids I have known since birth, some since the age of five when she befriended them in Kindergarten, and some only the last four or five years. But it all feels the same. It sucks. And I’m trying with everything I have not to cry and blubber like a big fat baby.
Don’t get me wrong. I am excited for The Kid and her friends. I look forward to seeing what the future brings them. I know they are going to have the time of their lives.
It’s still going to suck. For me. These first few weeks, they are going to suck. I know they will.
But then, I hear from some well-versed empty nesters, that once they are gone, and you get used to them being gone, it’s not so bad.
For some, it’s more than “not bad” but down right awesome. Every once in a while I will catch a glimpse of some empty nesting friends on Facebook and it looks like they are having the time of their lives.
A few weeks ago, The Kid visited with my family down south for a week and a half, so we got a good taste of what it would be like.
I have to admit that we had a great time. We didn’t feel (as) worried, or stressed. We were at ease. It was like before we had a child. And it was kind of nice.
Because let’s face it, as wonderful and rewarding as it is to have children, it’s stressful as hell. I don’t care how many offspring you have.
Will I sob as I turn to leave her behind in a place that is completely foreign to her? Will I bawl like a two-year-old in the car during our three hour drive home? Will I cry every time I walk by her “empty” room the first few days?
Then after I get all that out and get used to the idea, I think I.m going to be alright.
It’s still gonna suck though. This initial feeling. And I’m not looking forward to it.