Move in day is over. All the dorm stuff that had been clogging every orifice of your home is now safely ensconced at the dorm/apartment where your child resides. You lived through the final good-byes and the quiet ride home. You unlocked the door to a newly empty house.
And a newly empty spot in your life.
A spot that was once filled by an energetic/excited/overly emotional (or not nearly emotional enough!) person. For better or worse, the day you had been dreading for months or years has come and gone.
In the best of situation, you prepared for this day. Realizing that raising a child is not a lifetime event, but marriage supposedly is-you have built a life with your partner outside of your parenting that will now serve you well.
But what if that isn’t your story? What if you and your mate just held it together long enough to see this day come and go-a thin veneer of civility in relations but after many years of cohabiting and co-parenting-you look at each other and realize that you don’t know the person with whom you have shared a life.
Maybe you’re a single parent who has poured every part of yourself into your kiddo (s) alone. I have utmost respect for those who have done that hard journey well. You are now qualified to run our country.
Get your flyers up.
Our national debt crisis? Fighting in the Middle East? Immigration issues? These are small things compared to what you just went though.
For you, dear single parent, this can be such a hard time. Loneliness coupled with loss of purpose has the potential to be toxic. I pray you link arms with other single parents and take care of each other, especially in these first few weeks when the loss is acutely felt.
Whatever your situation, married or single, we all have the same question.
We who have perfected the helicopter parent generation have to take a good, hard look at how we spent the past 18 years. We entered into every aspect of our kids lives, many times rescuing them from peril with friends, school and life in general.
They are now on their own (in some way or another) and we can’t see or know their every move. We can no longer intervene when we deem necessary.
It’s terrifying. It’s freeing.
It’s how it’s supposed to be.
Many people struggle during this transition in life. They believe that the most important part of their life, launching their child into adulthood is over and nothing they will ever do will compare to the importance of that event. Add to that fact, that all of this usually comes at the half time of our life when we naturally become more philosophical.
It’s been 6 years since this was our story. 6 years since we dropped our third son, our “baby”, off at his dorm and drove away. This part of parenting never got easier-and bonus-this time there was no one waiting at home.
With that perspective, may I offer a few suggestions of how to navigate these new waters?
Part 2 (with all the good stuff) posts tomorrow. But for today-I’m tracking with your pain. And praying for your heart.