As the youngest of 10 children, I remember distinctly as my parent's nest emptied one child after another. I remember all but my three oldest siblings leaving home. My memories of my parents missing each child are extremely vivid. I grieved right along with them, and in my childish way tried to console them by saying, "I will ALWAYS be with you." To this day I can feel my mother squeeze me and say, "It seems that way right now doesn't it Rachel?"
And so the feelings of empty nest syndrome have been a part of my life as long as I have memories. Though it wasn't "my nest" when I was a child, I felt those emotions.
When my own children were born I knew this day would come and I tried to live each day with that in the forefront of my mind. Wow! It happened over night! This past week, our little daughter is expressing many of the emotions that I felt as a child.
Each family has a distinct dynamic to the way they function and relate to each other. But it amazes me how much the human race has in common. I am reminding myself that millions of parents have experienced these emotions before and hundreds of thousands are experiencing it now, right along with me.
My husband and I left a piece of ourselves 10 hours away at the university, in the form of a full grown young man. It is time. He has deep roots. He is strong. He will grow mighty wings. He will soar.
Ah, life is an adventure...one day at a time.