I reached for a pair of socks. Once again, I had to root around for awhile before finally finding a matching pair.
I knew that someone had been in my sock drawer and I had a pretty good idea who. This nest is just getting a little too small for the six of us who live in it.
“That girl!” I thought, “it is time for her to leave and move into her own house…”
And then it hit me.
She is leaving. Very soon. For good.
This happened a few weeks ago. But how quickly time flies and now here we are: The week of the wedding.
You know, from the time our children are little we raise them to become responsible adults. We want them to live their own lives, hoping that it will include love and marriage and children, if that is their desire. We prepare them to leave us. We want them to fly!
But I guess no one ever told me that when our children start experiencing new beginnings, so do we!
You see, for awhile, I felt more like the exciting and new beginnings of my children were indicative that all my life’s dreams and hopes were ending. And in many ways they are. To get married and raise kids is all I ever wanted in life. Life as I knew it is drawing to a close. I still fight the feelings of nostalgia and sadness sometimes. I think only a mom who has faced the empty nest can truly understand this.
But recently I have realized that, in so many ways, I am starting a new beginning, too. Gradually– or was it suddenly?–I started going to the grocery store by myself. And then we went on little weekend trips and didn’t have to worry about a babysitter. And as they got older, my freedom increased and continues to increase.
So what am I going to do with it? Play? Work? Give my husband some of that attention that I poured on the kids? (that is his favorite option!) Start a new hobby or new career? Waste time watching TV?
Yes, this is one child and I still have three at home. But, I can feel the winds changing very quickly. And this Saturday will not only an indicate a fresh start in the lives of these precious young people, but in our lives, too–one that will include additional children (it is our goal to make the word “in-law” a positive thing!) and, hopefully, quite a few grandchildren.
Life is changing. Elisabeth Elliot says this about change: With acceptance comes peace. Yes, I think that may be true.
And so, while I still feel like life has gone a little too fast for my liking, I am so excited and thrilled for my daughter to be experiencing the wonderful adventure of marriage with the young man I’ve prayed for for all of her life. How faithful God is and how blessed we are.
The first birdie is leaving. Let the empty nest process begin.