By Robin 'Red Hot' Kaye
Last weekend my son, Tony went to his Senior Prom. I was at Starbucks working with my critique partners at Starbucks when my husband and one of our daughters joined us to meet up with my son and his date so I could see them and take pictures before they left for dinner and the prom.
Tony’s date looked beautiful, and my son looked so handsome and grown up, it almost made me cry. We waved goodbye to the kids and my husband took out his phone and started scrolling through Tony’s baby pictures he’d recently downloaded. Tony is almost nineteen and when I saw the pictures of him at a day old, I couldn’t believe he’d grown up so fast. I remembered when people would tell me he’d be grown and gone in a blink-of-an-eye. I didn’t believe it, but it’s true. How did that happen? Tony will graduate high school next month, and in early August we’ll make the trip from Maryland to Boise, Idaho where he’s going to college at Boise State. Go Broncos! Knowing Tony, except for a few holiday visits, he’ll never be back—not really.
I feel as if I’m living in a whirlwind and the summer that has yet to begin is already flying by. Between my writing deadlines—revisions, a graduation party to plan with family coming in from out-of-town, a book due a month from today, planning a family cross-country trip/vacation to Boise, and the thought of my oldest living 2,800 miles away from home, I’ve been feeling as grounded as a fart in the wind. There is too much to do, too much to plan, too much to worry about, and too much to savor before it ends.
I never thought I’d be one of those women with empty nest syndrome. I’d swear I’d be that mom on the commercial who tearfully waves her kid goodbye, goes back into the house, and is dancing for joy and redecorating his bedroom within minutes. Now I’m beginning to wonder. I guess it’s a good thing I still have two hormonal teenage girls to drop kick out of the nest. After dealing with them for the next three years, by the time my youngest goes, I’m sure my husband and I will be doing the Macarena and packing for a trip to somewhere spectacular just in case they decide to come back!
How about you? If you’ve already launched your children, was it difficult? And if you haven’t, how do you think you’ll react when it’s time to cut the apron strings? Any advice, words of comfort, encouragement?