An empty nest. Is it an exciting thought or does it fill you with dread? All parents will face it someday. Generally it has a way of sneaking upon you. Suddenly it happens. All the birdies have flown the coop.
I think we are doing just fine. It has only been two weeks. But if I compare the departure of our last born to the day our first born left in his car to drive 700 miles away to college . . . . well . . . there just is not any comparison. The leaving of the first born was horrendous. I wrote about it in my first blog; https://dianesergeant.wordpress.com/2014/12/27/the-neurotic-parent/ Since that time, two other children also went away to college and eventually three sons married and moved away. The departure of each one was a little easier than the previous one.
But we always had our bonus child with us. He is the son born to us when our other children were 17, 14, 12, and 10 years old. Like all bonuses, he was a very good surprise. Now even he has graduated from the local community college and his career has relocated him 200 miles away. On the day he filled his car and drove away I was sentimental and had tears in my eyes, but only for a minute then the four visiting grandchildren wanted my attention and I was distracted.
Life keeps changing. Now I am relearning how to cook for only two people. The groceries last longer, as does the laundry soap, and all toiletries. I expect to receive smaller electric and water bills. Our Wi-Fi modem is no longer over worked. We only have each other to blame when things are missing. We have resorted to blaming the imaginary dog. We no longer close our bedroom door or worry about what we wear at home. The house stays cleaner.
We have been parents for 37 years, nearly all my adult years. It is how we have done life. It is a HUGE piece of my identity. Done. We are not really finished. Parenting adult children is very different from dependent children and it is wonderful. They are still our kids. Just because they grow up and move out is not a guarantee that they will not return. They may even return multiple times. One of our children did this. Just because they move out does not mean they take all their stuff with them. It may be years, even a decade or more before they take it all (or I deliver it to their first house). Physical proximity may and probably will change, but relationally there can be closeness. Be ready to lend a hand or give advice when requested. Let go and let them live the lives of their own choosing. Hopefully, you have done a thorough job of preparing them and yourself for their independence.