My babies are growing up. It is both exciting, frustrating, and heart-breaking. For them, it's exciting to see their lives unfolding and imagining all the possibilities (ahhh youth). For me it's frustrating when they don't do what I think they should do. It's heart-breaking because I ache for them when they are disappointed or hurt. I suppose that old saying about once being a mother always being a mother stands true.
I've just finished reading a book (watch for a review soon) and I honestly cried through the entire last chapter. Uggghh. It's a sweet little story but it really struck home. The main character's nest was on the verge of being empty...as is mine. I feel her pain.
It is all such a paradox though! I do NOT want my children to sit at home and sponge off their father and I for the rest of our lives. I WANT them to have adventures, meet new people, do interesting and exciting things. Only, I don't want it to be too exciting and I don't want it to be too far from home.
What's wrong with that?
Yet, on the other hand, I am loving my time alone with my Beloved. He rocks my world and I enjoy his company. I like doing what we want to do without considering the children. I want to travel, cook new foods, and not have to share the remote, or my Ipod, or anything else.
Last night I finally discovered that there are only three of us here, so I didn't need to make a HUGE stir-fry.
Snacks last longer when the children aren't home.
So does the toilet paper and the hand soap.
Sometimes I feel so good about my age, our nearly empty nest, and the future, that I am nearly giddy with excitement.
Then something happens to bring my feet back to earth.
Something like Girl traveling. Flying for the first time alone. Taking a road trip...without ME!
Then mommy mode kicks in. I start worrying about her flying. What if she doesn't know what to do? What if she can't find her gate? What if some strange dude tries to pick her up?! What if...
Will she eat right? Will she eat at all? Will she drink enough water, get enough sleep, be safe in some roadside motel?
What if she loses her cell phone, her plane ticket, her luggage? What if the car breaks down? They have a flat? The weather turns nasty?
Remember I am the same mommy who didn't sleep for two weeks when Boy visited Europe a few summers ago. The same one who burst into tears when a friend emailed a picture of Boy from the day they left. The same mama who was certain that he'd have trouble overseas and wrote not one, but two travel letters, giving them to TWO different people to make sure SOMEONE would have to take responsibility ... JUST IN CASE.
And now Girl is prepping for her own adventure.
I'm not sure I'll survive and she's not even leaving the country.
When I sit back and consider all things I come up with one very poignant thought: It's not the traveling that bothers me...it's what it represents.
My baby girl is growing up and life is beckoning to her. Soon, she'll be doing her own thing, with her own money, and at some point Prince Charming will come and woo her away.
And my nest will be empty.