There has been a lot of talk around our house recently about transitions and kids growing up. My husband and I are signing today on the house that will become our home in three years when our youngest graduates from high school, our oldest daughter and her husband are moving out of our basement this weekend into their first home, and I am right now sitting in a hotel near our middle daughter’s college where she set up her freshman dorm room yesterday.
I left home yesterday morning with six kids living in our home (and, yes, I refer to them all as kids regardless of age) and I will return home Saturday to only three. It has been almost twenty years since we had only three children in our home.
I find myself conflicted about these changes. I'd like to have the kids around forever, but I know these are the proper next steps and they are inevitable. I also know I get somewhat giddy looking forward to the time when it's just my husband and me (and a clean house). We’ve been doing this parenting thing for 32 of our 36 married years and more couple time will be nice. But the giddiness comes with a caveat: I want the kids close. I want to stay close to them emotionally, I hope to stay reasonably close to them physically and I want them to come for dinners, visits and celebrations or to share those times with them in their own homes or even in a restaurant when needed.
I’m excited for both of my daughters who are setting off on new adventures this week. I’m looking forward to seeing what my oldest daughter does to make their new house their home. I’m thrilled for our middle daughter as she begins her college career with so much opportunity for growth. But when I get home Saturday night and walk past those two empty bedrooms – yes, there will be a tear on my cheek…maybe even a few between now and then. I can’t see my screen very well right now – if you know what I mean.