It’s happening to most of my friends at this time in life. The children are leaving home and it’s as if someone has died. In an instant, the once, revolving door becomes still. There’s no chatter and laughter drifting downstairs. All of sudden you have way too much food and don’t even know how to cook for less. We used to look forward to that trip to Sam’s Club every week. It’s no longer necessary. The calendar has blank spaces where there were none. The babies that used to count on you to take care of them, to give them advice and to provide for them are now out of your reach.
Are they safe? Are they eating? Are they making friends? Are they behaving themselves? These questions cling to you while you try to assure yourself that you’ve done a good job raising them. You decide to text them. They don’t answer. They have so many more important things with which to occupy their time. On the other hand, if they needed something yesterday, you can bet on that text or phone call.
It’s been said that the greatest gift you can give a child is wings. So why does it not feel like a great gift? It’s the end of life as you know it, again. It’s time to start from the beginning, again. There is always that nostalgic period when part of your life ends: graduating high school, leaving your hometown, your friends and your family. Wait, that works both ways. Do your children have anxiety about these changes? Absolutely! I remember feeling anxious, less so after high school, but most definitely after graduating from college. The whole world is at your fingertips and now to decide what to do with the rest of your life. New jobs, new friends and new activities soon replace those feelings as your young adults take that giant leap into their new lives. So why do parents have such a hard time letting go of their past lives? Why aren’t we, collectively, able to embark on new adventures? I have no idea.
Perhaps we should all take a lesson from our kids and make some major changes: a new job, a new hobby, new friends, the list is endless. Use your imagination and get out there.