Monday, July 6, 2009

Thoughts on an Empty Nest

Surprisingly, this time I am NOT talking about falcons!

I have never been afraid of being an empty-nester, because my best friend in the whole world is my husband. I figure as long as we have each other, it's OK to have our children grow up and face the world.

I want you to know that I LOVE BEING A MOM! It is the second best thing that has ever happened to me (can you guess the best thing?)! I not only love our children as their mother, but I really LIKE our children. They are talented, good people, and it is a blessing to get to associate with them daily. I have mentioned before that I was a pretty mean mom when they were little; but that has paid off because they are such good people now. I rarely have to be mean (though I'm still willing and very able when it's necessary).

When we were in the stage of having babies, it sure seemed like they came fast. Boom! We had one. Then boom! we had two. And so on. The same thing happened as they went to kindergarten. It was just one right after the other in quick succession. So I'm kinda figuring that having them graduate from high school is going to be like that.

Even though they all went really fast, they have also taken these steps in their own ways. Briana has been nervous for every new season she's entered. Taylor, on the other hand, went marching confidently through the doors. Ashtyn just flew along, as she always does, and Landon took the new world by storm.

So, as you might expect, Briana is a little bit hesitant about this adult world she's entering. She feels that she doesn't really fit in with the Young Women. But Relief Society doesn't quite fit, either. She likes her high school job a lot, but she also wants to find something that provides a bit better for her. She'd like to go to college, but she has to have the money to do that; but in order to get the better job, she has to go to college. This is not a new story, except for her.

And I find myself walking a line. There is something instinctive in me that knows that I'm going to have to do a certain amount of pushing for her to "leave the nest," so to speak. It's exciting and nerve-racking and wonderful. And there is something else in me that cries, "No! Let me keep my babies! They're too young! They're mine!"

Of course, a mother would never want to go to either extreme as she walks that line. I would never EVER want Briana to think or feel for an instant that I am trying to get rid of her--it simply isn't true! But it would be wrong for me to keep her under my wing when it really is her time to fly. And I know, as her mom, that it is going to take some amount of pushing to get her to go.


The funny part to me is that millions of parents have done this, and they and their children have survived. Briana--and each of the others in their turn--will be just fine. In fact, knowing our children, they will be WONDERFUL. Now if their mother can just survive (and I will!), everything will be good.


Amy said...

I bet this is why people cry when they say "our baby....all grown up....".

I'm just glad you've been a great mom to great children who we all know will continue to grow into great adults. Good luck in the line-walk!

T said...

It is reassuring that I'm not the only one going through it! I wish there was some way for us to do both--hold on and let them go--but that is not in God's plan.

I know I will be fine with being an empty-nester (I, too, live with my best friend, ever) but I LOVE being a Mom and don't know yet how I will fill up my Mom-time! If you come up with ideas first, let me know!