When my first child went off to college and I dropped her off and headed home, it felt like I had swallowed a bag of cotton balls. I had this constriction in my throat that just wouldn't go away. For the entire 8 hour drive home, I knew I had left something behind and it would never come back. Not in the way I had known it for the last 18 years. And I was right. After 4 years, she came back to live in the nest and save some money but she was different. She had grown up. Now, she is moving out again on her own and into her own apartment. I'm happy for her and I'm in a completely different place with her move this time. Having her back home gave me time. Time is my friend - as she allows me to adjust. :)
But my denial doesn't stop there because number two and number three are also leaving the nest for college this fall - at the same time. Actually, the same weekend (be still my heart). And if that isn't hard enough, I have to come home the next day and watch the movers take apart my nest and move it to a new nest - which I don't even have yet. Not only am I going to be childless, I'm going to be nest-less. I'm going to be an empty no-nester....
I get it. I get that the kids have to grow up and spread their wings and find their own happy...but does it all have to happen at once? Didn't we space them out for a reason? I am now convinced that we don't space children out for when they are young, we space them out so we have time to adjust to them leaving. Where is my adjustment period? Where is my additional year?
I am a homebody. I like the security and comfort of home. I like what is familiar and worn and crumpled. I like a routine.
In the end, I know it will all work out. The kids will find their way and I will find a new routine and a new nest. I have accepted the fact that I'm not good with change. I'm not. But I have decided that I will forge through this transition one day at a time, enjoy the moments and know that although change is coming, good things usually follow.
Today, even though I am drowning in my reality that everything is going to change all at once, I know that I will be ok. I pray for Serenity.
God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
that I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
forever in the next.
~Reinhold Niebuhr (1892-1971)