Last weekend we moved our daughter into an apartment in her college town. She’s 19! I have this sinking feeling that she will never live at home again. Like I was at that age, she is fiercely independent. This makes me happy for her, sad for me.
I took such care into setting up her new bedroom. I lovingly made up her bed with clean sheets, a new comforter, bed positioned against a wall in a room that some stranger had occupied just days before. I resisted the urge to crawl in with her beside me, stroking her hair as I did when she was little. I kept these thoughts to myself.
Her dad hung shelves. He tended to the cable hook up for the TV as Giant games are a must for her. He was quiet with an occasional reference to the Giant’s hitting slump and possible preferred line-ups that might remedy the problem. He kept his thoughts private busying himself with what dads do. We were not novices at this, having gone through it with our older daughter. Yet it didn’t make it any easier.
I didn’t want to leave, but couldn’t stay. We left her with her older sister helping her plan her first dinner at home. That was comforting. They’re very different, personalities worlds apart, yet close as only sisters can be. Just a town away, they will enjoy spending time together as summer approaches. I am so very grateful for their relationship.
Daughter #1 cooked for daughter #2 that night. They continued to unpack, visited and laughed a lot, probably at our parental faux pas.
She survived her first year without us, not without drama, many ups and many downs. The learning continues for her. And it continues for us.
For the last 10 months, we’ve adjusted to the rhythms of a home without children. We got reacquainted with free time. We became pleasantly accustomed to a clean house. Yet, oh do I miss my girls.
Year one as empty nesters is coming to a rapid close as I write. Giants game in the background, I hear my husband talking on the phone about Matt Cain’s one hit game. He’s talking to her.