I have three kids. My oldest is twenty-two. My middle child will be twenty-one in a few short weeks, and my youngest is sixteen.
They are all different, as happens in any given family. The older two were shy introverts while growing up. Not so much now that they are adults, though. My youngest was out-going as a young boy, always going and doing, and talking!
In recent years, however, once the teenage era hit, he changed a little. He too became a bit more reserved and thoughtful. I would question him when he would turn down invitations to go and do something, usually big group kinds of things. He would tell me he was more of a homebody these days. I told him I would remind him of that when he got his license.
That time is now. It is happening already. After two months of having his restricted license, the boy is rarely home!
How can he do this to me, I agonize? How can he grow up and leave the nest I so lovingly created for him? How can he simply grab his keys and head out the door, knowing he is my last, my baby? How indeed?
That is the nature of life; the way it was intended to be. I am happy for him, for them all, but oh the pain of letting go.
I am grateful today, however, that as he tells me good-bye while climbing into the vehicle of my demise (the car pictured above, the car we provided him with to drive) to meet a friend, this whole leaving the nest thing is a process, one that I have been experiencing for many years now; the everyday letting go. For that is what is required in the life of a parent.
I just wasn’t prepared for that emptying-nest feeling I am now experiencing, or the questions of what happens next?