I've had the weekend to digest the wonderful news about my daughter's college acceptance. Today we planned our visit there for next month's accepted students day. She seems relaxed, happy, more at ease than she has been for a while. I'm hoping the physical ailments that have been bothering her lately will also ease - not that it was all stress, but that surely didn't help.
So now I sit back and realize - next year she will be away and my husband and I will officially have an empty nest. It doesn't seem possible. Has it been so long since I wore my big, dark sunglasses to cover my teary eyes as the school bus took her to kindergarten that first day?
When we celebrate a student's birthday in my class we always invite the child's parents to share a story about the day their baby was born. My students love to hear these stories and I have found that parents love to share them. I've had stories from birth parents, surrogate parents and adoptive parents. I've seen mothers cry when recounting the day their child was born. I've witnessed the glow on parents' faces when they talk about the moment their child came into the world.
I, too, can recall with great detail the day my daughter was born. The moments leading up to it, and that wonderful, exhilarating, fantastic, breath-taking moment when she was born and placed on my chest. She was perfect. Still is. I cried that day and I'm crying now just thinking about it. No doubt I will cry when I drop her at college in the fall.
I'm proud of the woman she has become; happy that I shared in her parenting with my husband who has always been the ying to my yang. So though I may shed a tear looking back, I look forward to seeing all the great things that are still ahead for her.
Empty nest? Really?