I’m letting go, about to watch my beautiful baby bird fly. In less than a month she will be eighteen, which marks nearly nineteen years of nurturing and encouraging a person I never realized I could love quite so much. As she grows older, the intensity of the love I have for her burns and chafes, so I’m having to learn how to dial down the parts of mothering that come so naturally. You know, the nagging parts disguised as questions: Did you do your homework? Say your prayers? Eat something for lunch? Remember to xyz?
The situation is magnified when I consider how invested and involved I’ve been in her life since we have homeschooled these past ten years. Helicopter parenting? Please. My daughter will probably need years of therapy to deal with the level of hovering I’ve done to her over the years. (Not really kidding, here!)
I’m on an express train to that Empty Nest, and for a homeschooler, that’s saying something. I’ve spent the last ten years 100% invested in the details of my girl’s education, and now…I’m suddenly not. All her classes are at the community college. We got word a few weeks ago that she’s been accepted to the college of her choice. This time next year, she won’t even be living at home. Sniff.
To help me in this transition, I’ve taken a part-time job as a tutor at the community college. I just finished my second day helping college students learn how to improve their writing. I’m hoping that with my attention elsewhere, I’ll give my daughter a vacation from me. At the same time, I can get paid for telling other students what to do! That’s a win-win all around!
Facing the empty nest is a rite of passage I knew would come eventually. I just didn’t realize it would happen so soon. It seems like just yesterday I took her trick-or-treating in the neighborhood:
But real yesterday marked the first time in eighteen years that she didn’t dress up in a costume. So…yeah. The nest is starting to feel different already.