The house is empty tonight except for my husband and me. All four of my children are spending the night at the new home of the oldest two. I am colliding inescapably with one of the brutal truths of motherhood. After 28 years as a mom, my home will soon be nearly empty. We had a taste of that change when our firstborn marched off to war 4 years ago; today our oldest daughter makes *her* first flight into a new life. I thought I was ready, however I am unprepared for the conflicting emotion with which I now sit. (How am I doing, English-major daughter?)
I am crying at the drop of a hat. Where does that come from? I should be rejoicing that my children are finding their way into the world! Dear daughter number three will not be far behind number two. I feel such emptiness anticipating that thought!
There will be three of us left at home, but of course the youngest will be off at school much of the time, and off with her young sweetheart as often as possible as well.
Who will eat my cooking experiments? Who cares if I even cook? Can I keep my vegetarian ways when the other two are meat-a-saurs? Who will help me choose my hair and cheek colors? Who will tell me the glasses I am considering are actually awfully dorky and I should look at a different style? Who will help me remember where I parked the car when I am finished shopping at Costco?
In the "before-times" I wore tans and blues; everything in my closet was tones of neutral. My children encouraged color. They encouraged me to be bright and bold. Do I go back into browns?
All these years of loving and teaching, I thought I was building them. I find that they have also built so much into me.
I know, it's a natural and necessary change. I am proud of the people my children have become and want them to be happy and independent. For the first time I understand fully the tearful smiles and the wistful, lingering looks I received from my parents as they left me at my college dormitory when I was 18 years old. For them, an adventure was ending; for me it was just beginning.
So, I prayerfully enter this next phase of my life with some sadness, but I know the Lord is with me and will not allow me to wallow long in my self-pity!
This probably sounds really dumb, but it's how I'm feeling right now and it's my blog...so I'm posting it and will probably have updates soon!
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