Empty Nest? Freebird!
So my only child left me for college the other day. How did that feel? Very, very, sad. I miss her terribly. The house is so quiet now, as my husband is a military DC commuter guy and I am a writer with a home office. The dog is a silent friend. But you know what, there is another side to this empty nest thing….sweet FREEDOM!!!!
My daughter seems to be having a great experience in her freshman year at college (at my alma mater I am happy to note), so I am not overwhelmed worrying about her well being. I know this concept of freedom is very sweet for her too, as an independent strong-willed young lady. How many times over this past year has she said: “I will miss you guys but I can’t WAIT for college.” I was not hurt by that; even as a little girl she made her own way, liked to know we were there but not hovering. She never once called us from a grade school sleepover at midnight asking to come home, or sent a note of homesickness from all those middle school summer camps or high school church mission trips. Her sorority sisters seem to be standing in as family, the big sisters she never had. So I am pretty sure she’s good, and knowing that makes it a lot easier to go forth.
I gave a lot to this kid, totally on my own volition and don’t regret that in the least. I stepped back from a full time career to be at home soon after she was born, and did freelance work thereafter. My husband was often deployed, and I felt it was important that I provide the stability at home–that I was there to collect her at the bus stop, help with homework, make dinner, listen to the tales of woe, tuck her in at night. That was a gift, not a burden.
So, I have decided that, rather than wallow, it is MAMA’S TURN. I have so many things on the bucket list that it is overflowing. There are so many amazing, inspiring, fun, educational, physical, spiritual things left to do, especially in a city like Richmond. In this blog I have or will describe those I have checked out thus far: rediscovering my bike and riding the Capital Trail, trying squash and pickleball for the first time, attending a Death Café (don’t be alarmed, see my blog post), kayaking, and hiking the Blue Ridge for example. And my husband and I are exploring RV ownership, sure to inspire a new set of adventures and misadventures! I invite visitors to the blog to tell us about their adventures as well, and hopefully soon enough we empty nester Boomers will have a conversation going, and a Meetup group, and who knows what all. Let’s do it!