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Grown & Flown

Hi! It’s been a while. 

For those who know me in real life, they know my Man and I moved our eldest boy up to university last week. Lovely readers, I can put hand to heart and swear to you, never in all the years and tears of parenting did I think I would be this emotional. Ever. But I was an absolute mess. So much so, it’s taken me over a week to publish this piece – I needed some time and space away from my Big Feelings. Perspective is a wonderful thing. 

File this under things no one really warns you about: when your child leaves home, as in leaves home and goes out into the world kind of leaves home, you will be absolutely floored.

We’ve sent all 3 of our kids away every summer for years. I’ve shed a few tears at the bus, but within a day or two, I was happy for them to be far away at camp and for my guy and I to enjoy our freedom and each other. When it comes to milestones, I cry at all of ‘em. But this? This wasn’t just a pit in my stomach accompanied by the odd teary eye. I felt like I was emotionally sucker-punched. 

Speaking to friends who’ve sent their kids off, I knew it’d be….difficult….But now the real stories are coming out of the woodwork. Like the one that felt like she’d suffered a trauma; the one who felt it so acutely in her body she thought she’d collapse; the one who could barely look at his child without dissolving into tears; and the many who didn’t stop crying for weeks or even months!  Why doesn’t anyone talk about this? How could I have been so unprepared for the tsunami of feelings washing over me at the most random of moments? I knew I loved my kid, but this much? It was ugly-crying central over at my place. 

I’ve set the first one free, turned him loose in the world. I’m not worried about what he’ll be because I know who he already is. He’s soulful and smart, super funny and sensitive. He’s not the most emotive texter in town, but he does FaceTime. Our house feels very odd with one down, even with two more still here. I look at the younger two, and want to hug them both a little closer, squeeze them a little tighter because before I know it, they’ll be gone too. Which is exactly what I hope for them. 

Now that I’m (kind of) adjusting to the new normal, I’m able to get through the days without crying (at least about this). It’s weird being an observer, rather than a participant. I know it’s not the Beginning of the End. But it is the End of the Beginning. So I’m sad, but I’m happy. It’s wonderful, and it sucks. The Days are Long and the Years are Short.  Parenting Never Ends. Blah blah blah….The cliches are coming in hot, probably because they’re all true. And then of course there’s this one: They’ll be Back.

Then….and Now….
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1 comment

1 Irena { 09.13.21 at 8:15 am }

Beautifully put, as always. I feel your pain! As a friend told me…roots and wings.

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