We spend the formative years of our children lives encouraging them to be independent, teaching them to be strong, self-reliant, dream big and set goals…. The downside to this is that one day, they grow wings and fly away.
Last week, we packed up our car with endless boxes and bags, and I drove my eldest to University. It was bittersweet – so much pride at seeing the woman she has become, watching her achieve her goals and take these first steps to the rest of her life, and grief at watching her fly away.
Thankfully, she’s only 80 or so miles away. An hour and a half drive, so it’s close enough for day visits. Helping her set up her new room, stocking her up with food and making sure she had everything she needed – and then saying goodbye and driving home alone.
Even with four other kids in the house, it’s odd without her here. I came home and cleaned her room – now I’d give anything for the floor to be strewn with rubbish again, and half of our glasses and plates to be hiding in there.
Tears were shed as we said goodbye, and I cried for the first half an hour of my drive home.
I’m so grateful we live in an age of smart phones and social media. I can send her a quick message to check in on her, see her posts on social media of what she’s been doing and have a weekly video call.
Oren is missing her very much, though was excited when she read him a book over Zoom at the weekend!
19 years of parenting, and it feels so strange to send them off into the world to fend for themselves, even though she’s a fully grown adult, my Mama heart feels bereft.
I am so unbelievably proud of everything she has achieved, all the hard work has paid off, and I cannot wait until Christmas when we get her home for two weeks!
One down…. four to go. THough one tells me she’s never moving out, which is fine by me! it’s a long time until the last is old enough to leave, so I don’t have to worry about an empty nest just yet. I’ve spent almost all my adult life as a Mama – cannot imagine a house without any of them living here! What on earth would I do???!!