Allergy season must have started early this year. Or maybe that’s not the real reason behind all of the red-eyed parents that I’ve seen recently. Yes, the red eyes are the symptom of a changing season…just a season of life, not the weather.
It’s a season of transition for many parents – the time when children are leaving for college.
We know it’s coming…but when the day actually arrives, wow. This child that we have loved, nurtured, protected, comforted, encouraged, discipled, disciplined and prayed for is leaving the nest. Yes, we want them to grow up and be healthy and strong and to fly. But how did this day get here so fast?
For moms, it often feels like downshifting a manual transition car straight from 4th gear to 1st gear, especially if it’s the last child to leave home. No matter how demanding and fulfilling a woman’s outside career, being a mom has been role #1 for almost two decades. Now what?
A few words of encouragement and advice for all of you dealing with an emptying nest:
Forgive me if what I’m about to share sounds macabre. It’s a perspective that actually helped me…and hopefully, will help you. Nine years ago, as I drove back from leaving my daughter at college for the first time, I tried to absorb the reality of what was happening. I was now totally alone – having lost my husband and my parents over the previous two years. I desperately wanted to call one of them and share my emotions. I realized that I easily could succumb to “poor me.” But instead of choosing the path of self pity, I chose the path of gratitude. Gratitude that my daughter was alive! Gratitude that she was growing and blossoming! Gratitude that I could still hug her, talk to her, see her, encourage her. This goodbye was not a final one. It was a changing season. And my allergies did get better! Yours will too.
Receive a regular dose of encouragement by signing up for the Leave Nothing Unsaid / Jody Noland newsletter!