Autumn is approaching here in the Midwest. Cooler weather has been teasing us for a few days now. I absolutely love fall in the Midwest. Actually, I like all the seasons. There is just something about the feel of autumn. Forest, prairies, fields, and gardens will soon turn various shades of colors creating a beautiful outdoor tapestry. Savory soups will once again be simmering on the stove. Fresh picked apples, apple cider, apple butter, and more things apple, will tickle the taste buds with sweet and tart flavors. It feels good to leave a window open at night and to snuggle up in a warm blanket with a hint of chill in the night air.
This is also a life changing time for many. I can remember the day my first child (and second and third) had their very first day of school. I remember preparing for each subsequent new school year with the school supply and clothing shopping rituals. I remember dropping two of my daughters off at college and driving away. These were/are times of mixed feelings a parent knows well. There is the pride and joy of watching your children grow blended with the sadness of knowing they are moving on without you, away from you-which is as it should be.
This year was a little different. Over the weekend we delivered our youngest to her first apartment, not connected with college, and once again drove away. It didn't occur to me, not really, until late last week that this was not like college and she would not be home for holidays and over the summer. I am ecstatic and happy for her. It is a wonderful, exciting time in her life. This is what we raise our kids to do, to leave home and be happy, strong, independent adults. She is that. We do not have an empty nest yet, though. So the full affect of fledgling children hasn't fully hit me yet. But we do have an empty bedroom. I went in there when we returned from the move. It was much more empty than it has been when she moved for the semester.
Letting go and Rearranging-rooms and life
The plan for the room is to move my 'office' into her bedroom. Of course, there will always be a bed in there, you know, just in case we are lucky enough to get a weekend visit now and then. As I stood there in her room trying to figure out where I would put things, I realized I had to stop. It was too soon. I had to have a little time to give full value to the major life change that had just happened. So I waited until the next morning, letting the room sit relatively empty. I sat in there once or twice, trying to absorb her presence and revisit memories. I needed to let go before I could take the next step. So the next morning I was ready.
It is not only our children who move forward without us, parents must also move forward without their children. And it is not really 'without' each other, nor will it ever be, it is just different. Our relationship changes and I have thoroughly enjoyed the changes in my relationships with my adult daughters. So, I move forward with an eye on the past, my heart in the present, and joyful anticipation of the future. All of my office furniture and most of my things are in the bedroom now. The hardest part, physically and emotionally, is done-the first step taken. It is still a mess and I will take my time making the rest of this transition. The move itself took quite a long time, in part because I was trying to maintain a sense of my daughter when I arranged the room. I am ok with it now. I hope she will be, too, because no matter how much time passes, to me it will always be her room.
And tomorrow, well tomorrow I visit my parents and maybe I will borrow a car and head for the beach.