I had always assumed that I was going to be one of those "empty nesters." The type of mother and wife that would cling to the wheel of the mother-ship for as long as humanly possible. Turns out, it doesn't seem to be the case at all. This mama is ready to let her birds find their wings.
My whole life I have been a micro-manager of sorts. I have planned out as many parts as life would allow me to. Growing up, I knew I wanted a daughter and the Universe blessed me with two. I've held hopes and dreams in my head of what they would some day grow to be and achieve.
Seemingly overnight, they turned in to young adults. Changing and blossoming right before my very eyes. And while they were raised in the same house, with the same parents and expectations, they couldn't possibly be any different. I don't say that in a negative way. Life would be totally boring if they were just clones of each other.
It turns out, even though they are 4.5 years apart in age... they are both ready to begin their adventures into the great big world of "adulting" at the same time.
I have spent the past week watching proud parents drop photos of their seniors with captions of their college choices. I recognize that feeling as our first kiddo has already graduated from a 2 year school. Our youngest, however, has declared that she will not be going to college. And we couldn't be more okay with that. College is not for everyone. And I wouldn't dare push it on someone who may not thrive in that environment. The world is in dire need of skilled workers. My husband is a great example. He has never stepped foot in a college and yet earns more as a signalman on the railroad than I do teaching with a masters degree in education.
I should add that she has attended vocational school for the past two years while in high school. She will be completing a Cosmetology program and has some skills in her back pocket for job opportunities. She is setting her sights on creative expression in the world of beauty or fashion. I am confident that this is where she will make her mark someday.
Regardless of the hopes and visions I may have had... I will always support the choices they make. (Most of them anyway!) I have to remind myself over and over again... this is their journey, not mine. My own mistakes and triumphs are what prepared me for success in this world. They must also learn to navigate the map called life. Grow from their own mistakes. Celebrate their own successes. We parents can do nothing more than hope we have instilled enough of our love and honor to guide them along safely.
As the two of them begin searches for apartments and independence, I choose to lovingly watch them go. It is time for them to meet the world. This is where they learn just how much their father and I have loved, pampered, and provided for them over the years.
Personally, I look forward to peace and calm. I am ready to enjoy time alone with my husband for the first time in 22 years.
This doesn't mean it will come without moments of sadness. It doesn't mean I am cutting them loose without love and support. It simply means I am ready to be a different kind of love and support. I know how genuinely blessed I am to have been given the gift of motherhood. I am grateful to be called "Mom" for the rest of my life. I truly look forward to seeing where their wings will fly them.
As Mother's Day approaches, I want to thank the Universe for allowing me to be theirs. They will always be my sunshine.🌞
Ps... I know they sometimes come back. Don't jinx me! 😉