There IS life after empty nest!
When your last child leaves for college, emotions run high – especially yours! The transition begins now – if you have a high school senior, you probably know that the first week of May is typically the deadline for college applications. It can also herald the beginning symptoms of empty nest. Strap in.
There’s no question…your life will change for sure in a few months. You still have a ways to go till they leave the premises…but in your heart the leavin’ starts now. The lightning-speed advance of time from now till graduation is like some kick-ass rogue roller coaster. All the “lasts”…the last school dance, the last award ceremony, the last home game against the longtime rival team are akin to the feelings you had at the bus stop on the first day on kindergarten…times ten. Every time they go out the door for anything, your heart does a little clutch as you watch them leave. And yes, there’s more, so you might as well get used to it. Empty nest is fast arriving.
What did I learn during this time? I learned there is life after empty nest. I learned that all the struggles we had during the last year or so were but a preparation for the birdie to leave the nest free. I learned that I should keep my fears to myself lest they come bursting forth as misdirected anger. I learned that if I prepared well and did my job right, this event would be painful mostly just for me alone, as it should be. I learned that, just like every other major life experience we had together, my child was looking to me to be the grownup and take the lead emotionally, even though he wanted to hide it. Most importantly, I learned that these moments were for savoring lest I lose them forever.
It’s like being in a wind tunnel when your last child leaves for college – but only for a moment in time. I’m happy to report, that there IS life after empty nest! Take a deep breath, give it a chance, and prepare to be surprised, busy, and engaged in your own life! Maybe you’ll even adopt a new pet, or go out and buy forty beads or so!
And actually, this is the final part of your teaching job – your example lets your kids know that life goes on – beautifully.