My youngest is away at college, and has been learning to spread her wings. And she’s not just living in an apartment a few miles away, either. No, she’s going to college over two hundred miles from us, so it’s not like she can just hop in the car and come visit anytime she wants to. She has her classes, and she works, and she studies, and she is working towards lining up a summer job.
Last week was spring break, but she had to work through it and was particularly disappointed that she wouldn’t be able to come visit. So my wife and I decided to go see her, instead. We planned ahead, packed up on Thursday night, carpooled to work on Friday, and hit the road from work to see her that evening. It was a nice visit, and my only complaint is that it was simply too short. We got to have dinner with her on Friday night, and got to spend most of Saturday with her, but then we had to come back home.
Still, we did get to see her, and for that, I’m thankful. Having her away has been an adjustment for us. Our eldest has been out of the house for several years, and our son, the middle “child” has been out, back home, and is about to move out on his own again. But this latest adjustment has been the toughest, because when this one is done we will truly be “empty nesters”.
And to be fair, it’s not just been hard on us. She’s had to make plenty of adjustments as well. She’s had to learn to live on her own just as we’ve had to learn to live without having her nearby. But she’s also been learning to really live her own life. Some of you will have already gone through this, and know what I mean, but for those of you who haven’t, it’s quite the eye opener. You watch them take these final steps towards adulthood – towards standing on their own. And you realize with a mixture of pride and regret that they are pretty much to the point where they no longer need parents – not really.
And you begin to realize just how much of your life is taken up with interactions with your children, and how much you enjoy it – and how much your children add to your lives. So yeah, this is one of those sappy “go hug your kids” posts. It’s my blog. I’ll write whatever I want.
Go hug your kids. Before you know it, they’re no longer kids, and you’ll wonder where the time went.